While you're with us

 While you're staying in one of our hospitals you may find it useful to know more about:

When you arrive

As some of the hospitals are large, our maps should help you see where exactly you need to go for your appointment, and which car park will be nearest.

Once you arrive our staff and hospital volunteers will be happy to direct you to the ward referred to in your letter.

Ward timetable

For information on the ward you will be staying on and visiting times for it, please select a hospital.

Catering and food

If you’re staying in one of our hospitals you will be provided with breakfast, lunch and an evening meal which you can order through the Hospedia entertainment system at your bedside. 

If you arrive in between meal times you should be offered a snack box. Please don’t hesitate to ask ward staff for one. 

We are able to cater for any special diets, allergies and religious requirements. If possible please let us know in advance or speak to a member of staff on your arrival. 

Most of our hospitals have either a restaurant or a café where you can get hot and cold meals, snacks and refreshments. A snack trolley comes round most wards during the day. Please ask ward staff for more information. In addition our general hospitals have shops selling snacks, refreshments and newspapers.

HVS shops   

We have shops run by our Hospital Volunteer Service in North Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham general hospitals. 

North Tyneside

There are two shops in North Tyneside General Hospital:

Main shop selling snacks, newspapers and hot drinks:

  • Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 7.30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, 1.30pm - 7.30pm

Patio shop

  • Monday - Friday, 10.00am - 4.30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Hexham: The shop sells snacks and newspapers

  • Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
  • Closed at the weekend

Wansbeck: The shop sells snacks, newspapers and hot drinks

  • Monday - Friday, 9.00am - 4.00pm 
  • Closed at the weekend

If you need assistance

Please let us know if you need any extra assistance during your visit. For instance we can help if you, or someone you know, needs a translator or uses sign language. 

You can also use an NHS Help Card which lets healthcare staff know what kind of additional help you need. This is a simple card that lets you write on what support you need which you can then show to a member of staff. These are available throughout our hospitals.

Please speak to a member of staff if you need any help.

Other useful information

Same sex accommodation

For your privacy and dignity all of our wards provide same sex accommodation where specific sleeping areas and toilet and washing facilities are designated as either men-only or women-only. 

There will be times when the need for fast effective treatment is greater than the need to provide same-sex accommodation. This might happen if you need urgent, highly specialised care such as intensive, high-dependency or emergency care. In this situation you will be moved to same-sex accommodation as quickly as possible.

Read our declaration on eliminating mixed sex accommodation.

Clean environment

We have stringent hygiene procedures to ensure our hospitals are as clean as possible. All of our hospitals have been given the highest marks possible for their environments by the National Patient Safety Agency, a national body set up to improve patient care.

All our public areas including wards, clinics and reception areas are cleaned throughout the day. We also carry out weekly inspections of all areas to ensure high standards are maintained. 

We employ our own cleaners who are trained in infection control procedures and in addition our infection control team also monitor the wards to check their cleanliness.  

However if you consider that any of our hospitals are not as clean as they could be or you are concerned about cleanliness please contact us. Speak to the ward manager while you are in our care so we can sort out any issues immediately. Or you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) free on 0800 032 0202.

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed in any of our hospitals or grounds with the exception of North Tyneside General Hospital where smoking shelters are provided in the grounds.  

We are happy to help you manage your habit and can provide nicotine patches or help you to stop smoking for good. You can either talk to the ward manager or call the local stop smoking services on the numbers below:

  • If you live in Northumberland call 01670 813135 
  • If you live in North Tyneside call 033 123 92 92 90

Chaplaincy  

Our Chaplaincy team are here to provide confidential comfort and support to people in facing difficult situations such as living with illness, facing bereavement or life pressures. They are available to people of all faiths or none. They offer bedside communion, prayers and anointing on request and can help put you in touch with faith communities.

Our three general hospitals have chapels for quiet reflection and prayer. A member of the team is available 24 hours a day in these hospitals and as soon as they are able to be with you at the community hospitals.

If you would like a chaplain you can contact them through switchboard on 0844 811 8111. 

Bedside television and phone

Many of the wards in Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham general hospitals have bedside entertainment systems. 

Costs vary depending on which package you choose and how long for. All packages include unlimited outgoing calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers and access to the internet and games.  

Mini TV bundle
2hr / 1 day / 3 day / 5 day / 10 day
TV (20 channels and radio)
£2.50 / £3.50 / £7.50 / £12.00 / £15.00

Big TV bundle
3 Film Channels & TV (25 channels and radio)
£5.00 / £10.00 / £15.00 / £20.00

You can choose to just use the telephone at a cost of 10p per minute, with mobile costs varying depending on the network.

To obtain credit for the system you can use vending machines in the hospitals which take cash only. Alternatively you can pay using a credit or debit card by using the 24 hour customer call centre free from the handset’s green operator button. The services are supplied by Hospedia Limited on Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham hospital sites. 

In our community hospitals there are free communal television facilities, payphones and designated places for the use of mobile phones. 

Benefits advice

You may be entitled to certain benefits if you are ill or if you are a carer. You can find more information at:

For information about local services which can provide advice and support please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) free on 0800 032 0202.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones should not be used in any clinical areas such as wards and departments, to protect the privacy of other patients. You may use mobile phones on corridors, main reception areas or in the hospital grounds.