Information for the public
What should happen if I need to stay in hospital?
If you go to hospital for treatment and care, you should meet with a healthcare professional within 2 hours of arrival for an assessment. They should make sure that you feel safe. Shortly after you arrive you should be given information about the hospital and the ward, about the treatments, activities and services available, the rules of the ward, your rights, visiting arrangements and meal times. You should also be told how often you can expect to meet health and social care professionals. There should be enough time for you to ask questions about the information you are given.
You should also be shown around the ward and introduced to the team as soon as possible, and within the first 12 hours if you are admitted at night. You should also be introduced to the nominated healthcare professional who will care for you throughout your stay.
You should be offered one-to-one meetings with:
a healthcare professional you know for at least 1 hour every day
your consultant (for example, a psychiatrist or nurse) for at least 20 minutes each week
a specialist mental health pharmacist to discuss any medication for your mental health problem, including the advantages and disadvantages of taking it.
You should be involved in making decisions about your treatment and care with health and social care professionals. You should be able to have the psychological treatments and drug treatments recommended in NICE guidance, and these may be provided by professionals who were involved in your care before you were admitted to hospital. Health and social care professionals responsible for your community care should visit you routinely.
You should have access to a phone and the internet and be able to join in a wide range of activities, including creative and leisure activities and exercise, 7 days a week, throughout the day and evening. A choice of foods should be available to suit a range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds.
If you have children, there should be a family area in the hospital where you can meet them when they visit you.
You should be offered the chance to meet with an advocate. This might be someone who has previously stayed in hospital for a mental health problem and has been trained to help you put your views across, especially about any problems on the ward.