Simple steps to keep you safe during your hospital stay

Keeping you safe and well while in hospital is a priority for the staff looking after you.

There are also some simple things you can do to help keep yourself safe during your hospital stay

Ask for help if you don’t understand

Graphic of an elderly patient and clinical worker

Make staff aware if you need extra help to communicate, or need support from a friend, carer or family member.

Also let staff know if you need any assistance, have any needs, or have any questions or concerns.

Check your hospital wristband

Graphic of a hospital wristband

This is important as your wristband will be checked by staff to confirm you are the right patient before they give you medication or carry out tests.

Tell someone right away if any of the information on your hospital wristband is wrong.

Make staff aware of any allergies

Graphic of pills, eggs and milk

Tell staff if you have any allergies, such as to certain medicines, foods or materials like latex or plasters.

Ask if you don’t understand your medicines

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Ask a member of staff:

  • If you don’t understand what any new medicines are for and why you need to take them
  • If you have questions about possible side effects.

Take steps to prevent blood clots

Graphic of a woman doing sat down exercises

  • Take short walks, if you are able to.
  • Do simple leg and ankle exercises.
  • Drink plenty of water, or other fluids, unless staff have told you not to.
  • You might also need to have injections to thin your blood.

Preventing pressure ulcers

Graphic of a patient in bed

  • Regularly change position in bed.
  • Ask staff to help you move if you find it difficult.
  • Staff can also get you a special mattress or cushion if you need them.

Protect yourself from slips and falls

Graphic of some trainers

When walking around the hospital:

  • wear the right kind of footwear, such as snug fitting slippers or shoes with rubber soles, such as trainers
  • use the walking aid you normally use wear your glasses and hearing aids if you have them
  • ask a member of staff to help if you need any support.

Help prevent infections

Graphic of hand washing

  • Always wash your hands after going to the toilet and before all meals.
  • Ask staff and visitors if they’ve washed or sanitised their hands before they have contact with you.
  • Tell staff right away if you have any diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Let staff know if any tubes or needles attached to you become uncomfortable.

When it’s time to go home

Make sure you:

  • understand when you will receive your hospital discharge letter and any follow up appointments
  • have been given any medicines to take at home; and you know what they’re for and how to take them
  • know who to contact if you have any questions about your care or follow up arrangements.

Remember, the staff caring for you in hospital are there to help and keep you safe and well.
We want you to be a partner in your care, so just ask if you have any questions, worries or concerns.