During Your Stay in Hospital
The Doctors and Nurses in charge of your ward will be ready to discuss your treatment and progress with you. If you are worried, or in pain or discomfort, please let them know. If you wish, they will keep relatives informed about your progress. However, your medical information is strictly confidential and will not be passed on to anyone except your family Doctor without your permission. You are entitled to see what is contained in your Health Records. The Nurse in Charge will explain the procedure to be followed if you wish to see your Health Records.
Consent to treatment
If you are to have an operation or examination the Doctor will explain to you what will be done, and why it is necessary. If you do not fully understand please ask for further information. You may be asked to read and sign a consent form which means you agree to the treatment being carried out. Again, you should ask that this is fully explained to you. Consent of parents or a guardian is needed for people under 16 years old.
Helping the staff to learn more
The West Suffolk Hospital is a University of Cambridge teaching hospital; doctors, nurses and other health workers undertake some of their training here and medical students may be part of the team of doctors who look after you.
During your stay you may be asked if you would be willing to participate in a teaching session attended by medical students. As a patient you play an important role in the teaching work of the hospital, but if you feel you do not want to take part we will of course respect your wishes.
Please let the doctor or the nurse in charge of your care know as soon as possible if you do not wish to participate.
We ask you for information about yourself so you can receive the appropriate care and treatment. This information is retained as it may be needed if we need to see you again.
You may be receiving care from other people as well as the NHS and, so that we can work together, it may be necessary to share some of the information.We only ever use or pass on information to people who have a genuine need for it in your and everyone's interest. Whenever possible, we shall remove details which identify you.
The sharing of some types of very sensitive personal information is strictly controlled by law.
Everyone working for the NHS has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential and anyone who receives information from us is also under a legal duty to keep it confidential.
The main reasons for which your information may be needed are:
Providing healthcare and treatment
Looking after the health of the general public
Managing and planning the NHS
Review of care and measuring standards
Training and educating staff
If at any time you would like to know more about how we use the information you can speak to the person in charge of your care.
NB: In accordance with the Data Protection Act and Access to Health
Records all patients have the right of access to their records.
Moving about during your stay
While you are in hospital you may need to be moved from one ward to another, or to another bay as your treatment progresses. Ward staff will let your relatives know if you are going to be moved.
Please ask the Nurse in Charge for self-certification forms for the first seven days of your stay. If you are in hospital for a long time you will be given medical certificates at fortnightly intervals. When you are discharged from hospital any further certificates will be issued by your own Doctor.
The hospital is protected by a modern fire detection system and all staff have been trained to deal with fire situations. If there is a fire during your stay, please follow instructions given to you by ward staff. Instructions are posted in every ward.
The West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust is a Health Promoting Trust which is committed to making people more aware of health issues, and can provide information on a wide range of topics as well as your current condition.
The aim of Health Promotion is to provide you with the information to help you to improve and maintain your health and therefore enjoy your life to the full.
If you wish to find out more about such topics as coronary heart disease, cold sores, breast examination, smoking, skin cancer or any other subject, please ask the staff on your ward who will be happy to obtain such information for you or your family.