Patient bedside information

We appreciate that coming into hospital may be an anxious time for you and your family and aim to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible.

This information has been designed to give you, your relatives, carers and visitors information you may need about hospital life, your care, treatment and your discharge from hospital.

You can also find this information in the bedside information folder.

Who will be looking after me?

We expect all our staff to be friendly and easy to talk to. Staff should always tell you their name, and if you have not met them before, what their job is. All staff wear an identity badge which shows their name, job role and photo.

LGBT+ rainbow badges

If you see a member of staff wearing an NHS rainbow badge, this is to let you know that this staff member has been on LGBT+ training and has pledged to improve healthcare for LGBT+ people. They have agreed that they are a safe person to talk to about LGBT+ issues.

Consultants and doctors

Your consultant and their team are in charge of your medical care. They will discuss your condition with you, listen to you and offer you the best available treatment options.

The medical teams conduct ward rounds throughout the week, which is an opportunity to ask questions about your care. They can also talk to your family about your care, with your consent. This may be at a separate time and by prior arrangement. Please speak to a member of the nursing team who can make arrangements.

Advanced clinical practitioners/ Specialist nurses

You may be seen by an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) who has received additional training to support the medical teams in looking after you. 

You may also be seen by a Specialist Nurse, who has received specific training in the management of your long-term condition.

Ward manager

The Ward manager is the most senior nurse in charge of the ward and has responsibility for the quality of your care. They will be happy to hear your suggestions or comments regarding your stay or about improving care on the ward. Please don't hesitate to speak to them if you have any concerns.

Sister/ Charge nurse

The Sister/ Charge nurse is also a senior nurse and deputy to the Ward manager. They are often the nurse in charge of the shift and will also have responsibility for the quality of your care.

Staff nurses

Staff nurses are responsible for your day to day nursing care. If you have any questions about your care or your treatment, please speak to the nurse looking after you.

Nursing Associates/ Assistant practitioners

Nursing associates and assistant practitioners are members of the nursing or therapy teams who have received additional training to bridge the gap between healthcare support workers, registered nurses and therapists.

Healthcare support workers

Healthcare support workers assist nurses, therapists, midwives, hospital doctors and other healthcare professionals to deliver essential nursing care.


Therapists are registered healthcare professionals who will work with you and your medical and ward team to give advice on your treatment.

You may be referred to a Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist to help you regain your independence, sometimes recommending aids or adapting things in your own home.

A Dietitian may assess your nutritional needs and make recommendations about your diet that will help you with your recovery or management of a medical condition.

A Speech and Language Therapist may assess and help with your swallowing and/or communication.

An Orthotist may use braces or splints to reduce pain and aid movement.


Pharmacists have an expert knowledge on the safe use of medicines and can help you understand what medications you were taking before you came to hospital, what you should take during your time in hospital and after you go home.

Pharmacy technicians

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist and may speak to you about your medicines, offering advice on how best to manage them.

Tobacco treatment advisors

If you smoke, our tobacco treatment advisors are available to see you in hospital and offer support in stopping smoking. This may include advice, motivational support and free nicotine replacement therapy.

Pets as therapy (PAT)

Volunteer PAT teams may visit the ward with their own pets for patients who may appreciate the company of animals. This is organised through the Pets as Therapy charity.

Facilities in the hospital

Rooftop Restaurant (A level - top floor)

The Rooftop Restaurant is open 5 days a week; Monday to Friday 8am to 2pm. It serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches and main meals.

Costa Coffee (C level near the main entrance)

Costa Coffee is open 7 days a week; Monday to Friday 7am to 7pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4pm. It serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches and cakes.

Boots (C level near the main entrance)

Boots is open 6 days a week; Monday to Saturday. It sells health products, some pharmacy items, toiletries, cosmetics, drinks and snacks.

Marks and Spencer (C level near the main entrance)

M&S is open 7 days a week; Monday to Friday 7am to 8.30pm, Saturday 8am to 8pm and Sunday 9am to 8pm. It sells newspapers, magazines, cards, food, drinks and snacks.

The Stock Shop (C level near the main entrance)

The Stock Shop is open 6 days a week; Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm and Saturday 12pm to 4pm. It sells clothing for women and small gifts.

The flower shop - Floral Expressions (C level near the main entrance)

The flower shop is open 5 days a week; Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm, selling cards, flowers and small gifts.

Lloyds Pharmacy (C level near the main entrance)

Lloyds Pharmacy is open 5 days a week; Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. It sells pharmaceutical items and can dispense outpatient prescriptions.

Books at your bedside

If you are a patient in the hospital you are welcome to use the library services, which offer a range of fiction and non-fiction books for adults and children as well as audio books on CD and DVD. 

The library has a large health and wellbeing collection where you can find out more about your condition and has 'reminiscence resources' for patients living with dementia.

The service is run by a team of volunteers who offer a book trolley service to wards three mornings a week, taking individual requests for books if required, dependent on infection prevention and control restrictions.

If you miss the book trolley round or it isn't available on the day you need it then you can ask a member of staff to contact the library with your request, which will be delivered to your bedside (Monday to Friday only).

You can contact the library staff by email: and if you wish to search for something specific you can access the catalogue

Cash point (C level near the main entrance)

If you require cash, a free of charge cash point is available on C level near the main entrance.


There is free Wi-Fi across the Trust. However, some wards do experience a variation in the Wi-Fi signal.

TV and hospital radio

There is a hospital radio service - Radio Nightingale. This is free entertainment and broadcasts relaxing music 24 hours per day, and has a request show to which you can submit requests for yourself or others as well as listening online from your phone, tablet or laptop.

There are some wards with shared-use TVs, which are generally on medical wards.

Woodland Walk, Sensory and Memorial gardens

There are three nature projects available for patients who are fully and safely mobile, or their families, to visit.

These are calm and relaxing spaces to enjoy away from the wards and without leaving the hospital. 

All three areas have been supported and developed by Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity and Trust volunteers.

The gardens are accessible via D or E level off junction 4, and from outside by the Oakwood Hall Drive area of the site.

Car parking and security

Public car parking is provided on site and parking charges displayed. Drivers should pay for their car parking before returning to the car. Payment machines are located near the main reception area and accept cash and credit/debit cards.

Concessions for parking can be provided for patients undergoing chemotherapy, for visitors to patients having palliative care, critical care (ITU), visitors or parents of children in long-term care, or within the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).

Disabled service user parking is available in several locations. The driver must display the patient's valid disabled parking permit. The bays are located near the main doors around the hospital. If you need assistance, please ask at the main reception desk.


Patient information

Visiting times

We recognise that being with your friends and family while you are in hospital can aid your recovery and improve communication about your care.

All our adult wards welcome visitors between 11am - 8pm to allow you to be partners in care and have the flexibility of a visiting time that suits your family. We ask that no more than two visitors are at your bedside at any one time. If you have more than two visitors, we may ask that your visitors take it in turns. Children aged 16 and under are welcome to visit you but must be supervised by an adult at all times within the hospital.

Children's ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) welcome parents and carers as partners in care. Please speak with the nurse in charge to confirm arrangements for siblings and other family members.

For maternity, we welcome birth partners and visitors. Please check with the midwife in charge for visiting times.

The critical care unit welcomes relatives/carers as partners in care. Visiting is 11.30am-2.30pm and 4.30pm-8pm. We have a daily quiet period for part of the afternoon (2.30pm-4.30pm) to allow patients to rest.

You can help us keep you and other patients safe by encouraging your visitors not to attend the hospital if they feel unwell in anyway. Viruses that cause Covid-19 or diarrhoea can be easily passed to others and can cause severe illness in vulnerable patients. 

Visiting during the Covid-19 pandemic

When cases of Covid-19 are significantly high in our local communities, we may take the difficult decision to stop or significantly limit visiting to keep you and other patients safe. Please check the Trust website for the most up to date visiting information.

John's Campaign

Our Trust is in support of John's Campaign. This is a public declaration stating that we welcome carers at all times to support patients living with dementia or experiencing delirium, whenever you need them, including overnight if necessary.

Virtual visiting

Virtual visiting using an electronic tablet can be arranged for you to stay in contact with loved ones. You will be fully supported if you are unable to use this technology yourself. Please speak to a member of the ward staff for more information about this.

Phoning the ward

It is only natural for your friends and family to want to know how you are but too many calls to the ward phone can tie up staff who should be caring for you. Please encourage friends and families to phone you directly if you have a phone with you in hospital. If your friends and family need to speak to the ward staff directly, we would ask one designated family member does this and passes on messages to others.

What you will need in hospital

We ask that you only bring essentials with you as there is limited storage space. During your stay you will need:

  • Comfortable day clothing and well-fitting slippers or shoes - we encourage all our patients to dress during the day, which will encourage you to move around the ward more and to help your recovery.
  • All your normal personal toiletries, exactly the same as you would use in your daily routine at home.
  • Any walking aids that you would normally use at home.

The hospital cannot wash your personal clothing and you will need to arrange for a friend or relative to replace your dirty laundry on a regular basis.

You should avoid bringing cash or valuables with you into hospital. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage unless property has been properly handed over to ward staff for safe custody and a receipt given.

Dentures, hearing aids and glasses

Please make sure you bring any glasses, hearing aids or dentures that you may use into hospital with you. These are essential for your care and wellbeing. They can also be easily lost or misplaced, so please help us to look after them by keeping them safe. Please use the Eyes, Ears and Teeth bags when not in use.

Pharmacy and medications

If you are admitted to hospital, please brings all your own medicines from home. Alternatively, please ask an adult family member or friend to bring them for you following admission.

We need to make sure that you have the right medicines when you need them, from the moment you arrive in hospital until you are discharged. This is done by clinicians, pharmacy staff and nurses at various stages of your stay in hospital.

Clinicians will answer your questions about your medicines when you are first admitted, when they see you on the ward round and at the time when they write your prescription.

Pharmacy staff visit wards on a regular basis. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be happy to provide advice and answer questions about your medicines.

Nurses are available to answer questions about medicines too, for example when they give you the medicines during your stay and before you go home.

Ward rounds

You will be informed what days you will be seen by your Consultant or member of their team. If you are admitted to hospital over the weekend you will be reviewed by a member of the on-call medical or surgical team.


The nurses may well enter the bay or room that you are in and introduce the nurses who are coming onto a new shift to look after you. The handover includes important information about how you have been that day, any tests you have had, if you have been unwell or in pain or what you are eating and drinking.

Privacy and dignity

Our aim is to ensure that your right to privacy and dignity is respected at all times. We promise that:

  • You will be called by the name of your choosing
  • Your privacy and modesty will be maintained at all times
  • You will be treated courteously, respecting religious and cultural beliefs
  • You will be cared for in a clean and safe environment


The Trust actively participates in good quality healthcare research in a range of clinical specialties. We are involved in local, national and international research, benefitting patients both locally in Rotherham and across the world. It is only through research that we can develop better treatments, as well as improve diagnosis, prevention, care and quality of life for everyone.

You may be approached by the research team to consider taking part in research whilst you are an inpatient or after you are discharged from the hospital.

Moving wards

It is not unusual for people who are admitted to hospital to move between wards. Most hospitals have medical and surgical assessment areas where you may stay for tests. You may be discharged from the assessment area or admitted to an inpatient ward.

While in hospital, you may move under another Consultant's care, which may mean moving wards for specialty treatment or rehabilitation. We recognise that moving wards can be an anxious time, so will make every effort to transfer you during the day and inform your next of kin.

Commitment to cleanliness

We will all work together to provide high quality, safe cleaning services that meet your needs. These will be displayed as a star rating, showing how clean the area is.


All patient information is treated with the upmost confidentiality. Only professionals directly involved in your care will have access to your information. If you are concerned that this confidentiality has been breached or compromised in any way, please let any member of staff know immediately.

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and your records

Any personal data we hold about you in our records is subject to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Further information about our obligations under GDPR and your right to access your personal data can be found on the Information Commissioner's Office website. If you wish to see your records, please speak to any member of the ward team looking after you.

Respect - it works both ways

Visiting healthcare services can lead to strong emotions as people are worried, scared or upset, but this can sometimes lead to discrimination, violence or aggression.

We respect the diverse community we serve and we are proud that we have a diverse and inclusive workforce. We expect our colleagues to be treated with respect in return. We work closely with South Yorkshire Police and unacceptable behaviour will be reported. In some cases it could lead to treatment being refused.


Person-centred care

Being person-centred means we will focus care on you as an individual, ensuring your preferences, needs and values guide clinical decisions and provide care that is respectful and responsive to you. Some ways we can do this are:

Asking what matters to you

Asking "what matters to you?" is a simple question that can have a big impact on your care. It helps to ensure that the care you receive is in line with your preferences and is more patient and family centred. Visit the what matters to you website for more information.

Veteran Aware

We have been successfully accredited as 'Veteran Aware' by the national steering group for the NHS Veteran Covenant Healthcare Alliance. Please let us know if you or a member of your immediate family has served in the UK armed forces so that we can best support your care needs.


For people living with dementia or experiencing delirium, we encourage a 'This is me' document to be completed by you or your family so we can better understand who you really are. This can help is deliver better person-centred care, which in turn reduces distress for people who can't easily share information about themselves.

Learning disabilities and/or autism

For people with learning disabilities and autism, we will make reasonable adjustments to keep you safe and well cared for during your stay in hospital. This may mean your carer can stay with you or we spend more time explaining things to you. We will make sure there is a learning disability and autism nurse available to support you. Information about support if you have a learning disability and are going into hospital is available on the NHS website.


Being a patient can be a daunting experience for anybody and particularly so if English is not your first language. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the visit, there are a range of options available to help with your understanding and ensure that your needs are met. This includes:

  • telephone interpreting
  • video interpreting
  • face-to-face interpreting
  • sign language

In some cases we may also be able to translate documents into your chosen language.

Every day rehabilitation

Your road to recovery and rehabilitation requires everyone in your care - you, your friends, family, carers and all staff in the hospital - to work together to get you home. Here are some simple everyday things you will be encouraged to do to support you on the road to recovery:

  • Wash in the bathroom if you can. Let staff know if you would like a shower and brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Pick out clothes and dress yourself is able. Wear the shoes or slippers you would normally use at home.
  • Eat meals out of bed, drink plenty and let staff know your likes and dislikes.
  • At lunchtime try and walk. This will help your digestion and breathing.
  • Visiting time - your visitors can help you with exercises and bring items to keep you busy during your stay.
  • Ready for bed - walk to the bathroom to do your nightly routine if you are able. Remember to put clothes in your locker.
  • Walk to the toilet if you are able. This builds strength, stamina and balance and is good exercise.
  • Let a member of staff know if you are in pain or not able to sleep. If you need the toilet at night staff will encourage you to walk to the toilet or use a commode.

Making mealtimes matter

Mealtimes are important to ensuring you are provided with adequate food and drink, together with the opportunity for social interaction. The therapeutic role of food and drink in the healing process cannot be underestimated. However, food - even of the highest quality - is only of value if our patients actually eat it. We have therefore introduced 'making mealtimes matter' to ensure that you are able to eat your meals and that help is available to you, if required.

We aim to give you meals that are good for you and give you the calories and nutrients that you need. Non-urgent work on the ward should stop at mealtimes and you will still see staff helping patients with meals. This may include giving mealtime medications (such as insulin) or carrying out assessments that are mealtime related.

There are patient menus on the ward and the ward catering assistant will take your meal choices prior to each meal. In addition to our main menu, we have a range of meals to suit different faith, ethnic and other dietary requirements. Please ask a member of the ward staff or ward catering assistant for details.

You should always wash your hands before mealtimes to help reduce the risk of infections. If you are not able to wash your hands, you will be provided with hand wipes.

Any special dietary requirements are managed by a hospital dietitian with the assistance of the catering department.

Meals are served at:

  • Breakfast: 8-9am
  • Lunch: 12-1pm
  • Evening meal: 5-6pm

Hot drinks and water are available at any time and snacks are provided outside of regular mealtimes. If you miss your mealtime, please speak to a member of staff and they will order a meal for you or arrange a snack.

Red trays

A red tray is used on the wards to help staff identify which patients need extra attention when eating, or need foods that have a modified texture, such as mashed or pureed foods.

Eating disorders

If you are wondering whether you have an eating disorder, this may bring up lots of questions, thoughts and feelings. It may also be that other people are telling you that they are concerned about you or think you have an eating disorder, but you don't agree. Please speak to your nurse or doctor about this so we can discuss the support options available. We may refer you to a specialist team who can support your needs.

Traffic light water jug lids

By using a simple visual way of monitoring how much patients are drinking, we can work together to prevent dehydration and the associated harm to patients. We welcome visitors helping our patients to drink more water. Please let us know if we need to move to the next coloured lid.

Patient safety

Preventing infection in hospital

We want to protect you, your visitors and other patients from the risk of infections in hospital.

If your visitors are feeling unwell please ask them not to visit until they are feeling better. This is really important and helps to protect you from infection brought in from outside the hospital.

When you do have visitors, please ask them to sit on a chair, not on your bed.

Washing your hands is important to help prevent the spread of infection.

When to clean your hands:

  • After visiting the toilet
  • Prior to eating
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • On returning to your bed
  • Visibly dirty hands

If you are unable to wash your hands at the sink, you will be provided with hand wipes.

How to use a hand wipe:

  • Palm of hands
  • Back of hands
  • Each finger and thumb

Please tell us if you have any diarrhoea that is not usual for you. We may require a sample to send to the laboratory for testing.

We also encourage you to help us keep our hospital clean and put things away so that cleaning can take place more easily.

Preventing pressure ulcers in hospital

A pressure ulcer (sometimes called bed sore or pressure sore) is damage to the skin and the deeper layer of tissue under the skin. This happens when pressure is applied to the same area over a period of time which cuts off its blood supply. You are more at risk of developing a pressure ulcer if you stay in bed or a chair for long periods of time or have damage to the skin from sliding or slumping down a bed or chair.

You and your carers can help prevent skin damage by the SSKIN approach:

  • Skin inspection - means early detection
  • Surface - having the right support surface
  • Keep moving regularly helps to prevent pressure ulcers
  • Incontinence - keep skin clean and dry
  • Nutrition - eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids

Managing your pain

Pain can be a warning sign that all is not well. Please tell the nursing staff if you are in pain. This includes pain when you deep-breathe, cough or move. The nurse will ask you if your pain is mild, moderate or severe. Please tell your nurse as soon as you feel pain as this is easier to treat.

Preventing falls in hospital

People often feel unsteady when unwell and can be at greater risk of falling. However, there are some things you can do to help reduce the risk of a fall and keep yourself safe.

  • Keep your nurse call buzzer within easy reach - ask your visitors to leave your call buzzer where you can reach it when they leave.
  • Be careful of obstacles in your way.
  • If your bed, chair or toilet seat are too low, please let your nurse know.
  • Please use your own footwear to walk on the ward. Safe footwear should be firm-soled and well fitting. We can provide slipper socks as a last resort.
  • Please bring in your own walking aid or ask someone to bring it in for you. Always use your walking aid and please tell your nurse if you don't have it with you.
  • Please bring in your glasses and hearing aids and help us keep them safe in hospital.
  • Always tell your nurse or doctor if you have fallen recently or if you have a fear of falling.
  • Don't be worried about asking ward staff for help or assistance.
  • Tell the nurse looking after you if you feel dizzy or unwell or are worried about going to the toilet.
  • Sometimes it can help to sit upright for a few moments at the edge of your bed to help you get your balance before moving.
  • Do not use hospital furniture to help you walk as this could be unstable.

For more information, read the get up and go leaflet.

Preventing blood clots in hospital

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is the name given to a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE).

A DVT is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms in a deep vein, most commonly in your leg or pelvis and can cause pain and swelling. In the longer term, DVT can cause painful swelling and ulcers.

If the blood clot becomes dislodged, passes through your circulation and reaches your lungs it is called a PE. A PE can cause coughing, chest pain and breathlessness.

When in hospital, we will encourage you to move around if you are able and to drink plenty of fluid to keep hydrated. This will help reduce your risk of a VTE. If you are at risk, you may be asked to wear anti-embolism stockings or prescribed an anticoagulant tablet or injection, which reduces the chance of your blood clotting and stops a VTE from forming.

Sometimes VTE can develop after you have been discharged from hospital. If you think you have developed VTE after discharge, please consult your GP immediately.

Preventing acute kidney injury in hospital

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is sudden damage to the kidneys that causes them to not work properly. It can range from minor loss of kidney function to complete kidney failure. AKI normally happens as a complication of another serious illness. It's not the result of a physical blow to the kidneys, as the name might suggest. This type of kidney damage is usually seen in older people who are unwell with other conditions where the kidneys are also affected.

If you are at risk of AKI, you will be monitored with regular blood tests. It is also useful to check how much urine you are passing, which is recorded to check there is a balance with how much you are drinking.

If you have warning signs of AKI such as vomiting or producing little urine, this will require immediate investigation and treatment. If you are dehydrated, or at risk of dehydration, you may need to be given fluids via a drip and/or have some of your medication paused.

If you feel thirsty, please tell the nurse in charge as this may be a sign you are dehydrated. If you are unable to tell us what drinks you like, please make sure you have a person-centred care communication tool completed and it is passed to the ward staff.

Sleep helps healing (Shh)

We all feel better after a good night's sleep. Sleep is even more important to help healing and avoid harm. To help you get a peaceful night's sleep, we have adopted the Sleep Helps Healing (Shh) principles and we aim to keep noise at night down to a minimum between the hours of 11pm and 6am.

You and your visitors can help us by:

  • Keeping mobile phones on silent after 11pm
  • If you do need to receive or make a call, please speak quietly and keep phone calls short or move away from sleeping patients
  • Use the call buzzer if you need assistance rather than shouting
  • Draw curtains around your bed if you are using the reading light
  • Use headphones when listening to radio or television

Please speak to the nurse looking after you if you feel the noise at night is too loud.

Mouth care matters

Good mouth care is vital for your recovery in hospital. It will help you to eat and drink and reduce the risk of some infections like pneumonia as well as help your general health. Brushing your teeth twice a day, looking after your dentures and keeping your lips moistened can help too.

Please tell the nursing staff if you don't have a toothbrush. We will help you if you are unable to brush your teeth or look after your dentures without assistance.

Alcohol and other substances

The use of alcohol, drugs or other substances not prescribed by your hospital doctor is not permitted as this may affect your treatment. If you have concerns over your own or someone else's alcohol or drug use and would like to talk to someone about this, please talk to your nurse who can arrange for our alcohol nurse service to visit you.


Every patient should feel safe and secure during their stay in hospital. However, if you have any safeguarding concerns please talk to a member of the ward staff who will advise what to do. This may be a referral to the Safeguarding Team for specialist help and advice.

If you do not wish to speak to someone working on the ward, you can contact the Patient Experience Team and ask to speak to the matron in charge of the ward. Matrons can offer advice, support and information, and will involve the Safeguarding Team as required.

Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions

DNACPR stands for do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This means if your heart or breathing stops your healthcare team will not try to restart it.

A DNACPR decision is made by you and/or your doctor or healthcare team and is usually recorded on a special form. Different doctors or hospitals might use different forms but they all serve the same purpose. Some examples are a DNACPR form, a treatment escalation plan, or a recommended summary plan for emergency care and treatment (ReSPECT) process.

All these forms are easily recognised by doctors, nurses and healthcare workers so they know what to do in an emergency. This form is kept in your medical records. It may also be printed and kept with you if you are at home or in a care home.

You and the people important to you should know that a DNACPR decision has been made and a form has been put in your medical records.

Organ donation

Healthcare professionals have a duty of care to save your life first. If, despite their best efforts, death is inevitable organ and tissue donation will be considered as end of life care discussions start with your loved ones.

Only when end of life care planning is started is the NHS Organ Donor Register assessed by a specialist nurse for organ donation and the possibility of organ donation discussed with your family. There are strict criteria in place in the United Kingdom to help those caring for the dying, and providing safe, timely and consistent criteria for the diagnosis of death.

Most people do not die in circumstances that make it possible for them to donate their organs. In fact, only around one in 100 people who die in the UK are usually able to be donors. Donors are typically those who have died in a hospital intensive care unit or emergency department.

Within an opt out system the decision about whether or not you choose to donate your organs is still yours to make. If you don't want to donate, it's really quick and simple to record your decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Duty of Candour - being open and honest

Whilst we always strive to deliver high standards of care and treatment for our patients, on rare occasions we may not achieve these standards due to unexpected outcomes. As a learning organisation, we will always try to understand why something has happened and then address the issue or concern as soon as possible. Our staff are required to report patient safety incidents. The incidents are investigated to help us make improvements. We will always tell you if we know there has been an incident involving you. Sometimes, we may undertake a more in-depth investigation. When this happens we nominate a senior member of the team to liaise with you and ensure you receive a written apology.

As part of any investigation we will also endeavour to understand how this has affected you and address any of your concerns. If you require more information about our investigation process, please speak to a senior member of the team.

Stopping smoking

All sites within The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust are smoke free.

If you are a smoker the Tobacco Treatment Team are here to support you in stopping smoking during your time with us and remaining non-smoking in the community. Our Tobacco Treatment Advisors will come to see you in hospital to support you in stopping smoking. This may include advice, motivational support and free nicotine replacement therapy. If you smoke and are yet to be seen by one of our Tobacco Treatment Advisors, please inform your nurse who will happily refer you.

Mental health in hospital

Being in hospital can be a difficult time. You may find it hard not being in your usual routine, being away from your home environment or to have issues with pain. You may also have stress and worry about a new diagnosis or treatment.

This is not unusual and you are not alone. Talk to someone about how you feel. Being honest with someone else about how you feel can be a big relief and can help you cope. You could talk to:

  • friends or family members
  • our hospital Chaplains
  • a member of staff
  • the Samaritans are available around the clock. Call on 116 123
  • the Silver Line is a free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people. Call 0800 470 8090.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) help with common mental health problems including depression, stress and anxiety. They offer a range of talking therapies to help with mental health. Call the team Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, about getting an appointment on 01709 447755.

Ways to maintain your mental wellbeing in hospital:

  • If you are able, take a short walk, get some fresh air or sit out of bed.
  • Maintain a routine - keep doing normal daily activities in hospital like washing regularly and changing into daytime clothes.
  • Keep your mind active - reading and doing activities like Sudoku or crosswords can help you relax and improve your mood.
  • Keep a journal - write down how you feel and your experiences in hospital. This can help you to process your experiences.

If you have any thoughts about hurting yourself or others, or ending your life, talk to a member of staff immediately. Help is available.

When it's time to leave hospital make sure you talk to a member of the healthcare staff if you are worried about your mental health. When you leave hospital you may need further guidance or support about your mental health or wellbeing.

Visit Mecclink for more help and information.


The chapel is on C level in the main hospital and is open at all times. It is a quiet place within the hospital for peace, prayer and meditation. As well as the chapel itself, there is a Muslim prayer room with ablution facilities. This room is open between 8am and 10pm. Access outside these times can be arranged via Security.

Members of the Chaplaincy Team are happy to visit patients, of all faiths or none, on request for conversation, prayer or administration of sacraments. A chaplain visits the wards at the hospital every Saturday morning and chaplaincy volunteers visit some wards during the week.

If you'd like to see a chaplain, please call 01709 424098 or ask a member of the nursing staff to contact us for you. An on-call chaplain is available at all times of the day and night and can be contacted by Switchboard for urgent referrals.


  • Holy Communion is held each Sunday at 11am
  • Morning Prayer is said daily in the chapel at 9am
  • Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated on the first Wednesday of every month at 12noon
  • Juma prayers are held in the Prayer Room/Chapel each Friday at 1pm. Please note: this time is subject to slight variations throughout the year

If you cannot attend a service, you can receive Holy Communion and other ministry at your bedside. Please contact the Chaplaincy Team to request this.

Overseas visitors

The NHS provides healthcare for people who live in the United Kingdom. If you do not normally live in this country you are not automatically entitled to use the NHS free of charge, regardless of whether you hold a British passport or have lived and paid National Insurance contributions and taxes in this country in the past. Entitlement to free NHS treatment is based on residence status alone. If you are a non-resident you will be assessed in accordance with the regulations to ascertain if you are liable to be charged for your treatment.

The Trust has a commitment to ensure that all overseas visitors are treated with the same degree of respect, care and confidentiality as any NHS patient.

More information about how the NHS charges overseas visitors for NHS hospital care is available on the Gov.UK website.

Discharge from hospital

Our top priority is to help you get better and support you to leave hospital when the time is right. This is often quickly after you are declared well enough from your medical team. You will leave hospital when you no longer need hospital care and it is safe for you to do so. This helps us allocate hospital resources to those that need them the most.

In most cases, you will return home. However, you might need some additional care to help you in your recovery or practical support with your day-to-day needs. We will discuss individually with you.

If you require more complex discharge we will support you by a referral to our Integrated Discharge Team, who are nurses, social workers and specialist support workers.

Soon after you arrive in hospital we will discuss your discharge and make a plan for when and how you will be able to leave. We will involve your carers and family or friends in these conversations if you would like them to be included.

The team caring for you will ask 'what matters to you'. They will ensure this is considered when planning for you to leave hospital.

If you need help putting your views across, an independent advocate may be able to help. If you have nominated a Legal Power of Attorney (LPA) it is important that you notify us and provide a copy of the LPA documentation to the nurse in charge. If necessary, we will then contact them regards any health or finance decisions.

What's meant by a simple or complex discharge?

If the discharge assessments shows you'll need little or no care after you leave hospital, it's called a simple discharge. If you need more specialised care, your discharge or transfer procedure is referred to as a complex discharge and in which case we will discuss a care plan detailing your health and social care needs with you. You will have the opportunity to be fully involved in this process.

Medication to take home

If you're given any medication to take home, you'll usually be given enough for the following 14 days, except for medicines that have a shorter course, such as antibiotics, and some analgesia. If you have a good supply of medication at home, we may not supply you with any more but will check this with you. Over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may not always be provided but you will be advised about this. A letter will be sent to your GP that will include information about your medication.

If you need to keep taking your medication, make sure you arrange to get a repeat prescription from your GP before your hospital supply runs out. Some surgeries require up to two working days (48 hours) notice for repeat prescriptions. If you're registered for patient online services with your GP, you could order your repeat prescription through the NHS website.

Organising transport

If you're being discharged, you should arrange for a relative, friend or a taxi to collect you and take you home. In some circumstances we may be able to make other transport arrangements for you.

Returning home

If you're returning home, make sure you have everything you need for your recovery. It may be helpful to ask a friend or relative to stay with you or visit regularly. If this is not possible, make sure you have plenty of food, drink and other essentials at home.

If you are homeless

If you are homeless, meaning you have nowhere to stay, you must let us know as soon as possible so that we can provide advice and direction for you to access support.

Sick notes

If you are unable to attend work, you may need a fit note (sick note) for your employer or information for insurance companies. Please speak to the nurse in charge of your care if you need a form to be completed.

Discharge lounge

On the day you go home, we will ask that you wait in our comfortable discharge lounge for your medications and your transport, carers and/or relatives. You will be collected from your ward and will be looked after in this area until you are ready to leave hospital.

Tell us how we did

Hearing about the experience you had in our hospital is very important because it enables us to pass compliments to our staff on your behalf and make improvements if we have not met your expectations.

Friends and family test

You will be asked to complete the Friends and Family Test feedback card before you are discharged. If you are not given a card to complete, please ask the nurse looking after you.


If you wish to pass on your compliments to the team responsible for your care or particular individuals, you can send a card, letter or email to the relevant ward or department. This will be shared directly with those concerned. Alternatively, you can send your compliments to the Patient Experience Team at who will ensure it is passed on.


Our staff will help and support you with any problem or concern you have and you are encouraged to raise issues as soon as possible. There is always a registered nurse in charge of the ward who will be able to help you with this or you can ask to speak to the Ward Manager, Matron or Head of Nursing.


The Patient Experience Team provides a point of contact for patients, their families and carers. The team aims to:

  • listen to comments, concerns and complaints
  • answer queries and help resolve problems on behalf of patients, their families and carers
  • provide advice and support on how to make sure concerns and complaints are dealt with in a satisfactory manner
  • liaise with departments to ensure concerns and complaints are dealt with and effectively responded to.

The Patient Experience Team is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm and can be contacted by telephone on 01709 424461 or email at:

There are two important things to remember:

It is important that you make your formal complaint as soon as possible after the event you want to complain about has happened. The NHS has laid down time limits for accepting complaints. In order to assemble all the facts, the earlier a complaint is made the better. The time limit for making a formal complaint is 12 months from the event, unless you could not have been aware at the time that there was cause for complaint. In such cases, the complaint must be made within 12 months of you becoming aware that you had cause to complain.

If you are writing on behalf of a patient, the patient must be aware that a complaint is being made and the substance of the complaint. Their signed authority must always be provided. If for any reason this is not possible, an explanation should be given and in some cases the patient's next of kin can give authority for the complaint to be investigated.

Other place to get help and advice

Healthwatch are the independent local champions of health and social care. They make sure that health services, and those that commission and run the services, put people at the heart of care. They exist to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf to improve local services.

They can answer questions about local NHS and care services and link you to the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) supporting those making a complaint about an NHS service. They focus on ensuring the peoples' worries and concerns about current services are addressed to get services right for the future.

Public Panel events

We hold regular events for you to come and discuss different topics. Find out what Public Panel events we have planned.

General information

Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity

Generous supporters in the community, volunteers and colleagues have been supporting Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity for over 25 years - and your help is needed now more than ever.

With support from our colleagues, members of the public, fundraisers and volunteers, the charity aims to raise money to help fund the care and treatment for thousands of patients and their families accessing NHS treatment in and around Rotherham. The charity provides support normally beyond the scope of government funding.

Generous donations received have enabled the charity to fund everything from toys for the Children's Ward and artwork for the Special Care Baby Unit, to a specialist heart scanner for youngsters and Purple Butterfly rooms which offer privacy and dignity to families when time is most precious.

Thinking of raising money for Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity? If you are looking for ideas, a challenge, inspiration or advice on how you can help, please contact the Charity Team on 01709 426821 or

No matter how big or small, we are grateful for all your donations. You can donate online through JustGiving.

Registered charity no. 1054407.

Join us as a member

The NHS belongs to all of us, and being a member of The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust gives you the opportunity to have a say in how it is run. We need your ideas, comments, enthusiasm and experience. As a member one of the most important things you will do is elect new Governors.

As well as voting for Governors you can, if you so wish, stand for election to the Council of Governors yourself. By voting or standing for the Council of Governors you can have a direct influence over the direction of the Trust.

You will also receive regular email updates about Trust news, meetings and events and be given the opportunity to provide your feedback about service developments.

Membership is free and you can have as little or as much involvement with the Trust as you like. If you'd like to discuss membership, please email

How to become a member

The easiest way to become a member is to apply online.

Alternatively, if you would prefer a printed membership application form, they are available from a number of locations in the hospital, including Health Information in the main entrance on C level.

Become a volunteer

Volunteers are a valuable part of our team. Working as a volunteer can give you new skills, you can find out about healthcare, meet new people and contribute to the community.

We recruit volunteers to work in clinical and non-clinical areas to support and enhance the experience of our patients and visitors. A full list of current roles is available on our Volunteering page or you can contact our Voluntary Services Coordination by email:

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