Your inpatient stay

Prepare for your stay

We recommend that you start by reading our welcome booklet. It contains lots of information to help you to prepare for your stay.

Life on the ward

Shops and cafes

Royal Sussex County Hospital

  • Waves Restaurant – adjacent to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, open weekdays 7.30am to 3pm
  • Terrace Restaurant – top floor of the Audrey Emerton Building, open weekdays 8am to 4pm
  • Subway – adjacent to the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, open weekdays 7am to 8pm, Saturdays 8am to 7pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm
  • Costa coffee – main reception in the Barry Building, open weekdays 8am to 4pm
  • Newsagents – main reception in the Barry Building

Princess Royal Hospital

  • Bluebells Restaurant – 2nd floor of the main building, open weekdays 7.30am to 4pm and weekends 8.30am to 4pm
  • The League of Friends cafe – main entrance, open weekdays 8am to 5.30pm and weekends 2pm to 5pm
  • WRVS shop (Women’s Royal Voluntary Services) – main entrance

Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital

  • WRVS cafe –  main reception on Level 5
  • Newsagents – left of the main entrance, open weekdays 8am to 7pm and weekends 8am to 2pm

Sussex Eye Hospital

  • WRVS shop – ground floor A&E department

TV and phone

Each bedside TV has over 20 channels to choose from with radio (including hospital radio), and a personal phone which patients can use to make outgoing calls to friends and family.

Lots of the services are free and some require payment.

If you would like more information, please contact the Hospedia Customer Care Team on 0845 414 1234


Charges for the pay-as-you-go service are as follows:

  • One-off 10 min free trial
  • 3 hours – £2
  • 1 day – £4.50
  • 1 week – £9
  • 1 month – £13.50
  • 3 months – £36
  • 6 months – £63
  • 1 year – £108

To access the WiFi, select ‘Public WiFi’ on your device when you are within our hospital sites.

The WiFi is managed by WiFi Spark. If you experience any problems, please call 0344 848 9555.

Hospital radio

Coastway Hospital Radio is the free station for hospitals in the Brighton area and can be found on channel 6.

If you are in hospital, you can make a request free from your Patientline Unit by dialling *800.

If you are not in hospital, but want to make a request for someone who is, please phone the studio on 01273 626 627 or email


Receiving post

Letters should be addressed to you as follows:

  • Your full name
  • Ward name or number
  • Full hospital postal address

A member of the ward staff will bring your letters, cards, or parcels addressed to you.

Sending post

If you want to send any mail out of the hospital, you can do this using the hospital’s postal system.

There are post collections each day. Please make sure you use the correct postage.

Cash point

Royal Sussex County Hospital – there is a cash point to the left of the entrance of the Barry Building.

Princess Royal Hospital – there is a cash point in the entrance of the main building, just by the League of Friends cafe.


We are unable to take care of your personal laundry. Please ask a friend or relative to bring you enough clean items of clothing.

If this is difficult, please talk to the Senior Ward Housekeeper.

We recognise the importance of high standards of nutrition for patients in hospital.

Our aim is to provide meals that are both appetising and nourishing and to offer as much choice as we can.

Meals and snacks

A choice of meals is served three times a day on the ward. Menus are available either from your ward host/hostess or by the bedside.

A range of snacks, light meals and hot drinks is available 24 hours a day.

If you have specific dietary requirements, or any food allergies, please tell a member of the ward staff.

If there are clinical reasons why you are not allowed to eat or drink, a nurse will explain this to you.

Visitors at mealtimes

We welcome visitors at mealtimes who help by assisting you or having their meals with you. However, we ask that there is only one visitor per patient at these times.

When you reach the ward you will be welcomed by a member of the nursing staff or the Ward Clerk who will tell you about the ward and its daily routine.

On the ward you will see many different members of staff. If you are not sure who they are, please ask them to explain. All staff members should be wearing name badges with our logo on them. If you cannot see the badge, you can ask them to show it to you.

Your doctor

The person in charge of your medical care is called the consultant. Along with other doctors who may visit you, the consultant will discuss your condition and offer you the best available treatment options.

Your nurse

You will have a nurse who is responsible for your nursing care on each shift. They will introduce themselves to you and will also have help from other nurses while caring for you.

Ward sister or charge nurse

The ward sister (female) or charge nurse (male) manages the whole ward. You can ask to see them if you have any concerns.

Senior nurses

Senior nurses (the modern version of the matron) are in charge of a group of wards and can deal with a problem if the ward staff cannot. If you would like to speak with the senior nurse, please ask the ward staff.


Your ward housekeeper is in charge of making sure your ward is clean. If you have any worries about this, you can speak to the ward housekeeper.

You may also see other members of the ward team who will help deliver your care.

Leaving hospital

Planning your return home

Our staff will help you plan your return home (sometimes called your ‘discharge’). They will arrange any referrals to social services or district nurses that you need.

Our booklet, planning your discharge from hospital, will help you, your carer and your relatives and friends understand how your discharge or transfer from hospital takes place.


Please ensure you have organised for someone to take you home as we do not normally provide transport. If you find it difficult to arrange transport, please talk to the ward staff.

Patient Discharge Lounge

You might be asked to stay in our patient discharge lounge while you wait for your medication or for relatives to take you home.

Once home, if you are concerned about your medication, call the patient medicine helpline on 01444 454 388.

Having an operation

This film offers a guide to your journey to and after your operation.