This page provides answers to some of the questions you may have about your stay with us at Northampton General Hospital.
When you arrive
Please arrive at the area outlined in your letter at the appropriate time.
Please ensure that any ward, clinic or department you attend has your most up-to-date details (home address, telephone numbers, your GP and next of kin). It is very important we have accurate records and are able to make contact easily. Staff should check information as you book in for treatment.
A nurse will give you a bracelet with your name on it, and you must wear this at all times in the hospital. It allows us to check that we are giving you the correct treatment throughout your stay.
Where can I put my things?
We provide a bedside cupboard for your personal possessions. This does not lock and we do not recommend using it for anything of value. Lockable medicine boxes are available in some ward areas; the nurses and pharmacists will explain the system to you. Please do not leave medicines on or in an unlocked bedside cupboard, as they may be a danger to children visiting the ward.
We do not have laundry facilities on wards so we advise you to send any dirty laundry home with relatives or friends if at all possible.
Things to tell us
Do you have any allergies?
Are you taking any medicine or tablets?
Do you need someone to deal with your benefits, pensions or allowances?
Do you have any valuables that need to be kept safe?
Will you miss any outpatient appointments while you are in hospital?
Do you need to send an inpatient certificate to your employer?
Anything that needs to be taken into consideration before your return home, eg care packages
We do ask patients, visitors and staff to pay particular attention to hand hygiene. We have alcohol gel handwash dispensers by every bed, and at the entrance to every ward, and we ask that patients and visitors use them. Good hand hygiene goes a long way to beating the spread of infection. If you do not think a member of staff has washed their hands, you should ask them to do so or mention it to a person in charge. For more information about infection control, please visit the Controlling Infection section of the website.
At the start of every shift, the nurse who will be looking after you will come and introduce himself or herself - so you know who to call if you have any questions or problems.
Every ward has a ward nurse manager, responsible for managing the ward. You can ask to see them if you need information or have any concerns.
Members of our staff wear different colour uniforms, depending on their role. A nurse can explain what the different colours mean. Every member of staff wears a badge with a photograph, their name and their job title.
Consenting to treatment
We want to make sure that you fully understand your condition, the treatment options available and the procedure/treatment you are about to have. Before you receive any treatment, the doctor will explain what he or she is recommending and will answer any questions you may have. This explanation should involve the risks, benefits and any alternatives. Following this explanation you may be asked to sign a consent form. If you choose to refuse treatment the medical staff will explain the consequences of your decision.
Staff should make sure you are fully involved in your care and understand the treatment plan being proposed. It is important to ask questions if you are unsure about anything.
We train healthcare professionals at Northampton General Hospital. So that our students get practical experience, we allow them to get involved in the treatment and care of patients.
Please tell your doctor or nurse if you don’t want students to be involved in your care. Your care will not be affected in any way by your decision.
Pharmacists will visit your ward daily to check that your medication is correct and that you have enough supplies. Please do not hesitate to ask them if you have any questions regarding your medication.
Your personal information
When you come to hospital, we ask you for information to help with your care. We keep this information on file, in case you need to be treated again in the future. The information remains confidential.
You have the right to access your health records. Should you require access, please write to the Health Records Manager, Northampton General Hospital, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5BD.
Unless you tell your NGH consultant otherwise, you will automatically receive a copy of any letters written by one health professional to another about you. We believe that sharing these letters will help improve communications between you and your health professionals.
Who can I talk to if I have questions about a letter I receive?
Each letter will be written by a member of your consultant's team. If you wish to discuss the contents of a letter please contact the consultant's secretary via the Trust switchboard.
Comments, concerns, complaints and compliments
We are committed to providing a high-quality service for all our patients, and will do everything we can to make sure that your visit to our hospital is as comfortable as possible. We are constantly developing the services we provide for patients and visitors, and would welcome your input because your opinion of our services is important to us.
If you would like to make a comment, compliment, suggestion, highlight a concern or make a complaint, please ask a member of staff for a copy of our information leaflet, which should be available on the ward or in the department. You may also wish to do one of the following:
If you have a comment or concern about your care or treatment, or about any of our services, please talk to a member of staff who is with you at the time. They will be as helpful as possible and may be able to resolve your concerns straight away.
Making a written complaint
If staff or PALS are unable to resolve your concerns, or you would rather make a formal complaint, you can submit a complaint in writing to the Trust. You may want to talk through the process with our complaints department, which is open 9.00am - 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Tel: 01604 545774
The hospital’s catering team will try to ensure that during your stay in hospital, you will receive appetising and nutritious meals in a clean and welcoming environment. As an inpatient you will be provided with three meals a day (with a choice of hot or cold dishes) and drinks at a time agreed by ward staff. Your food and drink will be brought to your bedside.
The Trust provides food 24 hours a day. Please let your nurse know if you are hungry, or if you have missed a meal for any reason. Drinks, snacks and cereal are always available. If you are well enough and check with ward staff, you can also visit the Cliftonville restaurant, situated centrally on Hospital Street.
Visiting time may vary per ward and it is worth checking with a member of the team to see when visiting hours are on your ward.
Standard visiting times are:
14:00 - 16:30
18:00 - 20:00
For more information on visiting please visit the visitors page. Please note that we have protected meal times where visitors are not permitted
The hospital has protected meal times across most of its wards to ensure there is reduced activity at these times, and patients are not disrupted whilst eating.
Dependent upon individual ward requirements, meals are served at the following approximate times:
Breakfast 07.45 – 08.30
Lunch 11.45 – 13.00
Supper 17.00 – 18.00
Beverages are served at other times during the day and at the end of the evening.
If you need a special diet for health reasons or have cultural or religious needs please tell our staff. They will be happy to ensure you are given appropriate meals, or visited by a member of the catering team.
Some patients need extra help to feed themselves. This will normally be recognised on assessment, but please highlight this to the nursing staff if necessary. If as their relative you wish to help during meal times please inform the staff.
Refreshments for family and friends
Two locations are available offering food and drink for family and friends:
Cliftonville Restaurant is situated centrally on Hospital Street and is open for a full range of meals from 07.30 to 19.30 every day.
Café Royal is situated next to main reception at the Cliftonville entrance, and is open for snacks and drinks from 18.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday.
24-hour vending machines are also available throughout the hospital.
Patient bedside entertainment
Most of the beds in our hospital have a Hospedia bedside TV, phone and entertainment system to help make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Bedside TV and phone services offered*
TV, movies and incoming/outgoing phone services are available on all bedside units; other services include:
FREE TV, typically from 08.00-12.00, channels 1-5
FREE TV on our children's wards, usually from 07.00-19.00 all channels
FREE telephone calls to 01, 02 and 03 numbers
Up to 29 other TV channels/Sky Sports,over 50 new and classic movies
Internet, audiobooks and puzzles
Information services, surveys and feedback
*Services may vary by ward - see your bedside unit for the actual services available
Please note, if you are not planning to take any means of payment into hospital with you, you can still contact the Hospedia Helpline free of charge on 0345 414 1234 to pre-register and add credit by credit/debit card so your tv is available for you to use when you arrive in hospital. If your bed does not have a bedside unit, or you do not use the service, please call the Helpline to arrange a refund of any credit.
For more information and details about getting set up and our charges
Radio Nene Valley
Radio Nene Valley is the hospital radio station for Northampton General Hospital. For more than 30 years the station has broadcast a wide variety of programmes to patients and staff. Radio Nene Valley is available 24 hours a day – it broadcasts live every weekday evening from 7pm until late and throughout the weekend – and recorded programming at all other times.
Music requests, dedications and messages can be made by contacting Radio Nene Valley
For further information and to leave an E-Request, visit the Radio Nene Valley website at www.radionenevalley.co.uk
Link cash machines are situated next to the lifts at level one, near to the South entrance (entrance from main car park) and near the vending machines by the Billing Road entrance.
The Royal Voluntary Service runs two shops at the hospital, which both sell confectionery, soft drinks, crisps, fruit, toiletries, stationery, stamps, cards, toys, small gifts, newspapers, and magazines. The shops are open from 10.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday, and 14.00 – 17.00 at weekends, and are situated:
The Eye To Eye shop also provides a full optician service, and is situated next to the Eye department at the Cheyne Walk entrance.
Books, newspapers and magazines
A library service is operated in the hospital by volunteers who visit most wards on a regular basis. Newspapers and magazines are sold on the wards daily.
Incoming mail is brought to wards each morning and outgoing mail is collected.
Public telephones are available close to all of the major entrances to the Hospital.
Payphones for use by patients are available on all wards.
A Textphone is available, on request, for use by patients with hearing or speech impairment.
The hospital has subscribed to the Community Access and Language Service. This provides interpreting facilities, free of charge, to patients and relatives.