Information for Inpatients
Please check the location of your admission on the letter you received. Your admission will be at one of the following locations:
Dorset County Hospital
Dorchester DT1 2JY
Weymouth Community Hospital
Weymouth DT4 7TB
The nearest entrance to your admission location will be marked on your appointment letter.
Please be aware that the hospital transport service is only available to patients that have a medical need for the transport. Eligibility criteria can be obtained via your GP.
How will I be informed on my surgery date?
We will contact you by telephone to arrange a date for your surgery. It is very important we have your daytime contact telephone number in our records.
How long will I wait for my surgery date?
We will endeavour to treat you within 18 weeks from your GP referral. In order to do this we need to ensure that all the patients on our waiting list are ready, willing and available to come in for surgery:
Ready - depending on your planned surgery you will be asked to come for a pre-operative assessment appointment or complete a medical questionnaire.
If you are found to have a medical condition which could delay your surgery, your care will be returned to your GP and he/she will re-refer you when you are ready.
Willing - by giving your consent for your operation or procedure you are confirming you are happy to go ahead with your surgery. If after discussing this with family and friends you change your mind, please let us know as soon as possible.
Available - we realise there may be some dates that will be inconvenient for you. We hope we will be in a position to offer you a date that is mutually convenient. It is important that you inform us if you wish to delay your admission. This will of course affect our ability to treat you within 18 weeks.
Reasonable offer date for surgery
If clinically appropriate we will telephone you at least 3 weeks prior to your date of surgery. However you will be given the opportunity for short notice admission (i.e. less than 3 weeks). We will hopefully be in a position to offer you up to 3 dates. If you are unable to accept any of these dates we may return you to your GP. Your GP will re-refer you when you are available.
What happens if I cancel my surgery date?
You will agree the date of your surgery verbally and we will follow this up with a letter confirming the arrangements that have been made. If the date of your surgery then becomes inconvenient you should notify the Admissions Department as early as possible prior to your surgery date using the phone number on your letter. A 'patient pause' may be added from the point you make contact to the point you are available for surgery. If you do not inform us and fail to arrive for admission, we may return your care back to your GP. If your GP considers that you should be seen again he/she will re-refer you. For full details please refer to our Patient Access Policy.
You can help us to keep waiting times down by ensuring you contact us if you are unable to keep your admission date.
Consenting for treatment
Health professionals need to gain your consent. Before having your operation you should be asked to sign a consent form. Before you consent be sure that you are aware of the risks, benefits and alternatives. You can withdraw consent at any time.
What should I bring with me?
Depending on your length of stay you will need toiletries and nightwear. You may also wish to bring a small amount of cash for newspapers etc. Please do not bring any expensive jewellery or clothing into the hospital as we are unable to accept responsibility for items not secured in the safe. Credit can be purchased from vending machines.
Please bring a supply of your regular medication with you, including any injections, inhalers, eye drops or patches; this helps hospital staff prescribe your medication correctly, prevents delays in treatment and reduces waste.
Involving carers, relatives and friends
We recognise and value the role of patients' carers, relatives and friends and will respect your wishes with regard to their involvement in your care.
Planning your discharge
You should start thinking now about your discharge arrangements and any help that you will need after you go home. We will aim to keep your stay in hospital as short as possible. On the day of your discharge you will be transferred to the Discharge Lounge to await collection. There is a designated pick up area for your convenience if someone is collecting you by car.
This hospital actively contributes to research. You may therefore be approached to discuss the opportunity to participate in a study.
Your Personal Information
Please be assured that all of your information is treated confidentially and only shared on a 'need to know basis'.
Under the Data Protection Act you are entitled to see information held on your health record. For details please call 01305 255442 or email: Health.RecordsAdministrator@dchft.nhs.uk
We have a responsibility to protect our staff from violence, threatening behaviour and verbal abuse. Staff have the same rights as patients to be treated with respect and dignity at all times and are asked to record incidences of violence and aggression.
A no smoking policy is strictly enforced at all our hospital sites. If you are a smoker due to come into hospital please speak to your GP about getting support or contact the Dorset SmokeStop service on 0800 007 6653 or www.dorsetsmokestop.com
You can only use your mobile telephone in 'safe' areas of our hospitals such as main corridors and foyers. However, in the interest of patient safety and privacy, we would ask that you only use your mobile telephones where absolutely necessary.
'Bluetooth' must not be used anywhere inside hospitals as it can interfere with medical equipment.
Refreshments are available at Dorset County Hospital from Damers Restaurant, located on the first floor in North Wing, at the Friends of Dorset County Hospital shop on the ground floor in North Wing and at the Terrace Café located on the first floor in South Wing.