Patient Information

Your stay in hospital leaflets

Colchester Hospital
Tel: 01206 747 474


Welcome to Colchester Hospital as a Planned (Non-emergency) Inpatient

We will make every effort to ensure you receive the very best treatment, care and attention during your stay. This leaflet provides important information to help you prepare for your stay before you come into hospital. An inpatient information leaflet will be given to you by staff on the ward.

If you have any concerns regarding any other aspect of your stay, please ask a member of our staff.

Your appointment date

You may already have received a letter informing you of your date for admission to hospital, although some wards prefer to phone you. If you are unable to attend or unsure of the details If, due to illness or any other reason, you are unable to come into hospital on your agreed date, please tell us as soon as possible so your place can be given to another patient. Please phone either the number on your admission letter, your nurse specialist (if you have been allocated one) or the ward that is expecting you via the hospital switchboard on 01206 747 474.

Getting to the hospital

You are expected to make your own way to and from hospital. However, hospital transport can be provided if there is a clinical need, which is assessed by your GP or hospital staff.

Travel information is on our getting to Colchester Hospital page and car parking and payment information is on our Colchester Hospital car parking page

Private patients

If you wish to be treated as a private patient, you should speak to your consultant prior to admission.

Treatment of overseas visitors

If you are visiting the United Kingdom or have been living outside the UK for more than three months, you may have to pay for hospital treatment regardless of whether you are a British citizen or have lived or worked here in the past.

Special needs

If you have mobility, communication, hearing or visual difficulties, please let us know in advance.

Medication and allergies

Your current medication should have been discussed with you during your pre-admission visit. If you are not sure whether you should stop taking it prior to the day of your operation, however, please contact your consultant’s secretary at least a week before, if possible.

Please bring all of your current medication with you including all medication prescribed by your GP, bought from a pharmacy or alternative therapies, such as:

  • tablets, capsules, inhalers, eye drops, liquids, creams, HRT, sprays and dressings
  • herbal, homeopathic remedies
  • medidose / dosette box or any other medication aids.

Also, please bring a list of your medication and any allergies you have. It is good practice to always carry an up-to-date list of your medication and allergies in case of an emergency. This is essential so that we can obtain a correct drug history before prescribing any other medication.

Equipment and belongings

If you need to bring any large pieces of equipment, such as a wheelchair, please phone either 01206 744 442 or 01206 744 016 to arrange collection.

Please bring:

  • nightwear, underwear, a dressing-gown and slippers and loose-fitting comfortable daytime clothes such as T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms
  • glasses, hearing aid and dentures with storage containers, if applicable
  • toiletries and a towel (not a white one to avoid confusion with hospital towels)
  • hand wipes
  • shaving materials (non-electric)
  • any X-rays in your possession
  • any mobility aids, such as sticks, frame, splints, special shoes, wheelchair
  • any useful information about your health that may be relevant to your stay in hospital (such as assessments carried out in your home or medical diaries)
  • a contact phone number for a relative or close friend.


You might like to bring:

  • books, magazines, newspapers
  • writing materials
  • personal stereo or ipod (with headphones)
  • money to pay for our personal TV and phone service, newspapers and personal items.


Please do not bring:

  • jewellery or large amounts of money
  • large amounts of food
  • large suitcases
  • plug-in electrical equipment.


We have very limited space for clothing and personal property. Nursing staff on your ward will tell you what to do if you inadvertently bring in valuable items. We do not accept liability for any property or possessions that are lost or damaged, unless they have been handed in for safe custody and an official receipt obtained.

If you are being admitted on the day of your operation

  • Your admission letter will advise you when to stop eating and drinking. Failure to do so may mean your operation will have to be cancelled.
  • If you have diabetes and have any questions, please contact your pre-assessment nurse.
  • Please have a bath or shower before you come into hospital.
  • If you are to have keyhole surgery, pay particular attention to your tummy button area. Please do not use any toiletries around the area of your operation. Do not wear nail polish or make-up.


By law we must obtain your written consent before any operation and some other procedures. Staff will explain all the risks, benefits and alternatives before they ask you to sign the consent form. If you are unsure about any aspect of your proposed procedure or treatment, please ask us to explain again.

Identification wristbands

Wristbands are used to identify hospital inpatients. When you are in hospital it is essential that you are given and wear your wristband, which carries your name, date of birth, NHS number and hospital number. This ensures that staff can identify you correctly and give you the right care.

Your photographic records

As part of your treatment, a photographic record may be made, such as X-ray(s), clinical photographs or digital images, which will be kept confidentially in your health records and seen only by people involved in your care or quality checking.

They are also extremely important for teaching or medical research so we may ask for your written consent to use your images, in which case your personal details will be removed so you cannot be identified.

Verifying your identity

When you attend hospital you will be asked to confirm your first and last names, date of birth, postcode and NHS number, if you know it, and to let us know if you have any allergies.

Comments, compliments or complaints about your care

Please raise any concerns in the ward or department you are in. Ask to speak with the ward sister, matron or department manager. If your concerns cannot be resolved or you wish to make a formal complaint, please look at the PALS (Patient Advice & Liaison Service) page (Opens in a new window), call PALS on 0800 783 7328 or pick up a PALS leaflet at the hospital.

Your views

If you or a family member has recently been in Colchester Hospital, you can tell us about your experience by searching for ‘Colchester’ on the NHS Choices website (Opens in a new window) , by writing to us or by filling in a ‘Friends & Family Test’ questionnaire.



The Recite feature on this website attempts to provide digital accessibility and translation support. If you would like to make a request for a leaflet to be produced in a different format please see our PALS contact page in order to contact the team and make a request. If you require a translation please see our translation information page. ESNEFT are actively attempting to achieve accessibility regulation compliance under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

© East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, 2021.
All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced in whole, or in part,
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