On the ward
We want you to be safe and comfortable whilst you are in hospital. The staff looking after you will encourage you to do as much as you can for yourself. If, for instance, you need help to move around, to turn over in bed or to get to the toilet, the staff will decide with you on the safest and most suitable way to do this. It may involve using equipment such as a hoist to lift you.
Your safety and that of our staff is very important, which is why the hospital's Manual Handling Service train our staff in the safest ways of moving and lifting you, using the latest equipment.
At times we have to move patients to other wards if their clinical needs change in order to provide the best care. The ward staff will notify you and your relative in advance if this is to happen.
The hospital catering staff aim to make sure your meals are as healthy and appetising as possible and hope you enjoy them. Our professional chefs cook with fresh ingredients in the hospital's own kitchens.
Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 8am; lunch from 11.45am to 12.30pm; and supper from 5.15pm to 6.15pm. Your nurse will ask you the day before to select your meals from a choice of dishes, including vegetarian, for the following day. We also provide kosher and halal dishes, however we do need 24-hours' notice of this.
Please let the ward know before you come into hospital. If you have any special dietary needs your nurse will arrange for one of the hospital dietitians to see you. The catering staff want to provide a popular and high quality service. They welcome your comments or suggestions about the food during your stay in hospital. If you would like to talk to a member of the catering staff, please tell your nurse.
Visiting hours are shown here and it is important that visitors do not come outside these times except in special circumstances. Visiting times are limited to ensure your care and treatment is not interrupted, you have adequate rest, and to minimise the risk of infection. Please check the visiting times with the ward manager or ward clerk when you are admitted. Please pass these details on to your friends and relatives.
Children are welcome to visit but they must not be allowed to come if they are unwell. It is also important not to let children sit or crawl on the floor or beds and they must not disturb other patients. The comfort zone play area, in the Women and Children's building is not a crèche and each child must be in the care of an accompanying adult.
Could you please ask your family and friends if just one person could phone the ward for information on your condition. This person could then pass on the news to others. We need to reduce the number of incoming telephone calls to the wards so that nurses can better spend this time with their patients. Thank you very much for your help in this.
Every hospital bed except in CCU, ITU and HDU has a bedside TV and telephone, patients can use this facility to both make and receive telephone calls. There are also public telephone kiosks in the main hospital corridor, in the Accident & Emergency Department and in the Women & Children's building.
Letters are delivered to the wards each day. Please ask any relatives and friends who want to write to you to address the envelope like this:
Your full name
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Outgoing post is collected from the wards every day. There is also a post box inside the main entrance of the hospital. Stamps are on sale at the hospital shop.
Smoking affects both your heart and lungs, and continuing to smoke makes it more difficult to recover from an operation. Help is available if you want to stop smoking. Please contact your GP for details of smoking cessation schemes in your local area.
The hospital is a no smoking zone and we ask patients and visitors not to smoke anywhere inside the hospital or outside, particularly at the entrances to the General Wing and the Women & Children's building. The Trust is a totally smoke-free environment and we ask all patients and visitors not to smoke anywhere in the hospital and its grounds.
The hospital shop inside the main entrance sells a range of newspapers, magazines, books, stationery, groceries, confectionery, cards, flowers and gifts. Opening hours are 7.45am - 7.00pm (Monday to Friday) and 11.30am - 6.30pm (weekend).
A trolley shop also visits all wards every day, between 8am and 1pm, selling confectionery, newspapers, magazines and toiletries.
In the Women & Children's building, the Chester Childbirth Appeal have opened 'The Comfort Zone' - a shop, cafeteria and children's play area. The café serves refreshments and the shop is stocked with all the things that help make a stay in hospital more pleasant. Opening hours are 9am - 8pm (Monday to Friday) and 10am - 4pm (weekend). Last food orders are 7.45pm (Monday to Friday) and 3.45 (weekend).
Instructions on what to do in the case of fire are displayed on every ward. If you discover a fire, please tell a member of staff immediately. In the event of a fire, please follow the advice and instructions given by hospital staff.
The hospital's fire alarm system is tested at 11am every Wednesday.
All hospital staff wear an identification badge that includes a photograph.
The hospital has its own in-house Security Department with staff on duty 24-hours a day. The welfare of patients is their priority. If you have any security problem or worries during your stay our security staff are there to help you. If you see anything during your stay which you think may be a threat to safety or security within the hospital, please do not hesitate to tell a member of staff.
All patients and visitors need to be aware that the Trust is committed to supporting hospital staff in their working environment and will not tolerate the physical and verbal abuse of staff.