Coming into hospital as a day case

This information is intended to prepare you for a short stay within the hospital, for what to expect and for what you need to bring with you.

Some patients are admitted for a short stay, of two hours, for others it is much longer, on average four hours post surgery. It is always best to check with your Consultant.

As a day case you are likely to be admitted to our dedicated short stay unit. If your operation is planned for late in the day or there are any concerns about you requiring an overnight stay then an inpatient room may be allocated to you. Again we suggest you check with your Consultant prior to admission or speak to the nurse in charge of the floor when you arrive.

The links below will guide you to other information that you may find useful regarding your visit:

Day case - What preparation is needed?

If you are an insured patient please contact your insurance company to alert them of your admission and gain authorisation, if not previously agreed.

If you are coming to the hospital for a surgical procedure your preparation will depend on whether you are having a general anaesthetic, sedation or a local anaesthetic.

Even for very simple procedures you may need to be nil by mouth. It is best to check this with your Consultant before arriving at the hospital to avoid delay or cancellation. As a matter of safety we require you to provide us with the name and contact number of your escort home.

Day case - General Anaesthetic

You will be seen by the anaesthetist on the day of your surgery but if you would prefer to discuss anything prior to your admission this can be arranged either by your Consultant or the hospital.

Important - you must not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours prior to your operation.

The only exception is if you have to take regular medications, which you can take with a little water, if your Consultant and anaesthetist agree.

Sedation As for general anaesthetic unless advised otherwise.

Local anaesthetic There is normally no preparation. You may eat or drink before and after the operation unless otherwise advised.

Following any procedure, however minor, if you are the sole carer in a household you may not be able to resume that care directly after discharge. You should make alternative arrangements for a minimum of 24 hours.

Day case - What to bring with you

What to bring

Comfortable and suitable clothes to wear after your operation. Wide legged trousers after a knee operation, or a button through shirt if your operation may affect your arm or chest.

Following vein, foot/ankle surgery you will need wide fitting shoes, if your operation does not include application of a walking cast.

Do not forget personal toiletries plus general night attire, a dressing gown and slippers if there is a possibility of an overnight stay.

A list of all the medicines that you are currently taking including those you occasionally take, any creams you apply and inhalers that you use.

Any item that you would normally take on holiday with you to pass the time such as a walkman/disc player or a book.

Most hospitals now have the facility for you to use a lap top computer, however please check beforehand that your procedure doesn't require rest rather than work afterwards.

What not to bring

Valuables or large amounts of cash. The hospital cannot be responsible for them.

Although mobile phones are now a part of our daily lives we must ask (if brought into hospital) that they are used with discretion so as not to disturb other patients and your own recuperation.

Day case - On the day of arrival (Surgical Patients)

What will happen when I arrive at the hospital?

Please go to the main reception area where you will be directed to the Admissions Office.

If you have not been pre-registered, you will need to be seen by an Admissions Officer.

Once admissions formalities have been completed, you will be escorted to the day care unit or to your room.

If necessary, a nurse who is responsible for your care will complete the admission process. She or he will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Day care - During your stay

The operation or your condition will dictate the need of your consultants to visit. Set criteria will have been determined as to when you are considered suitable for discharge.

However if you wish to speak to your Consultant, about any concerns, the nursing staff can always contact them.

The consultant will dictate your plan of care and discharge criteria along with a follow up date.

The nursing staff and other multidisciplinary staff you see will assist in your day to day needs and complete the plan as prescribed. This will include lines of communication and any issues that you may experience when you go home such as the easy access to resting, hygiene and toilet facilities.

During your stay we ask you to report immediately any worries that you may have so that they can be rectified without delay. Both the floor staff and duty manager are available at all times.

You will be given advice on any wounds that you may have and may require an additional visit to have your wound checked or stitches removed.

Day care - Going home

After any length of stay in hospital we would advise that someone accompany you home and preferably stay with you for 24 hours following discharge if you live alone. We strongly advise that public transport is avoided and that a private car or taxi is used to take you home.

We also advise against driving yourself until, and depending on your operation, it is safe for you to do so. Consideration should be given for the need to contact your insurance company or the Vehicle Licensing Authority.

You should allow yourself time to get over the anaesthetic and gradually increase your activities. You should return to work only as advised by your Consultant. If you are uncertain when, please ask.

Good practice is to not drink alcohol, drive or operate machinery (this includes kettles and cookers) for 48 hours following an anaesthetic.

Any medications that you require can be prescribed before you leave. Please be aware that take home medications are normally outside insurance arrangements and would therefore, incur a cost to you personally on discharge.

Please remember to take your X-rays home with you, they are your property and you may need them for any follow up visits.

For any concerns after discharge please call your consultant or the ward staff.

Taxis can be arranged via the reception or easily hailed on the main road.