Your Inpatient Stay

Before your admission 

  • You will get a letter to tell you when and what time you need to come into hospital.
  • On your admission day you may need to ring and check that there is a bed ready for you. If it is necessary to call in advance, your admission letter will state this and give details of where and what time you need to phone.

See our video: Getting ready for surgery, what to do, what to expect

What to bring with you 

  • Inhaler, tablets or medicines you are taking.
  • Night clothes, slippers (non-slip) and dressing gown.
  • Comfortable clothes or tracksuit.
  • Toiletries (e.g. towel, soap, flannel, toothbrush, hairbrush, shaving kit, cosmetics).
  • Spectacles/hearing aids/ contact lenses if you use them.
  • Change for phone calls, newspapers etc.
  • Something to read. 

Please try to avoid bringing valuables or large sums of money into hospital.  If this is not possible, please give them to the nurse to take to the cashier’s office for safekeeping. We cannot accept responsibility for items that are lost, if you don’t ask us to look after them.     

Particular requirements

Please tell the ward in advance if you or your family have any particular requirements e.g. a disability or you need an interpreter, and we will do our best to help.  

If you require a special diet please let the ward know 24 hours before your admission.

Food and Drink

Our patient food service is based on a cook freeze delivered meal service providing high quality, nutritious and appetising food. Our patient menu has been reviewed in line with Hospital Food Standards

We provide breakfast, lunch, and an evening meal with snacks available between meals. Hot and cold drinks are served at frequent intervals through the day.  


  • The standard menu will offer dishes including energy dense/high calorie, gluten free, healthier, easy chew, and vegetarian choices.

  • There are separate menus for children, patients requiring texture modified, gluten free, modified, or low fibre meals and for patients with ethnic, cultural, and religious dietary needs. 

Ordering meals

  • Most patients are given the opportunity to choose their meals in advance. However, this is not always possible on wards where patients are very ill or on very short stay areas. 

  • If you are due to come into hospital, please inform the ward as soon as possible if you have special dietary requirements.  This is to ensure the required diet is in stock when you are admitted.  In some cases, it may be necessary for you to see a dietician who will make a special request to the catering department for any dietary requirements you may have.

Missed meals

Sometimes patients may miss a meal due to receiving treatment or undergoing tests.  If this should occur, the ward staff can arrange a sandwich snack box or an individual microwaveable meal for you. If this is not made available to you, please ask a member of the ward team to arrange it. If you would prefer a light snack, cereals, toast and preserves, biscuits, cakes and fruit are available from the ward kitchen 24 hours a day.


  • Nursing staff will be on hand to assist with feeding those patients who need help and although we discourage visitors during mealtimes, relatives are very welcome to stay if they wish to offer help with feeding.

  • If you experience any difficulties with the food service, please speak to a member of staff.

Related information

Cafe's and Restaurants at Derriford hospital

Shops and facilities

Hospital Radio Plymouth

We’ve plenty of things to keep you occupied during your inpatient stay and, you can also now listen to our service when you are back at home or on the move.

Our live 24-hour-a-day service can be heard in Derriford Hospital on 107.3FM within the Derriford Hospital grounds;  or at (there’s free wi-fi in the hospital) on your mobile devices/ smart speaker or via the Hospital Radio Plymouth App.

You will find more information about our services on our website.

Volunteer-led: We are staffed entirely by volunteers who create and produce both live and recorded programmes. We have the ability to go live from pretty much anywhere and with that in mind we continue to broadcast the Plymouth Argyle football matches from Home Park and the chapel service live from level 7, direct to your bedside. Our volunteers range in age from those in their teens through to those in their seventies and they come from a variety of backgrounds. As well as able-bodied persons, we also have some volunteers with physical and learning disabilities. If you are interested in joining us you are welcome to email us on

Award-winning: The quality of our programming has been recognised with an array of awards over the years. We have been in the final 10 shortlisted for the Hospital Broadcasting Association’s Station of the Year for every single year between 2008 and 2023 and when you consider there are more than 200 hospital radio stations across the UK this is quite an achievement. We have been awarded the Station of the Year title five times.

Details about the current schedule and how to contact us with queries and requests can be found on our website, and if you have any suggestions to improve our service the ‘Contact’ button can also be found there.

Filming and Photography

We recognise that mobile phones and other devices, such as tablets and laptops, are essential to maintain communication with friends, family and loved ones; especially so whilst you are in hospital. However, the use of these devices to make audio recordings or take photos and videos can pose a risk to the privacy and dignity of our staff and other patients.

We have a duty to protect the confidentiality of our patients and the privacy of our staff.

The following points are taken from our Audio and Visual Recording Policy which also includes examples of behaviour both acceptable and unacceptable.

  • Please do not take any photos or videos or make any audio recordings in public areas such as corridors, lifts and waiting areas.
  • In wards and clinic rooms, if you wish to take photographs or record audio or video please speak to your clinician or a member of staff before starting any photography or recording.
  • Where any photos or recordings are made, please do not capture any other patients, visitors or staff without their consent.
  • If a member of staff has reason to believe that inappropriate images or recordings have been made without the explicit consent of those involved, we may ask to check your device and ask that this material is deleted, including any related social media posts.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Going Home (Discharge)

Once the doctors decide is appropiate, you will be discharged from hospital home or to another place of care. You can read more information on the dowloadble leaflets below:


As part of a national programme designed to help people return home from hospital as quickly as possible, the Trust and Livewell Southwest have launched our own ‘Homefirst’ discharge pathway.

We are able to provide a service where a person (who is identified as appropriate for the Homefirst pathway) is met within two hours of discharge home for their assessment. All goals, rehab and care needs are assessed and planned for in their own home.

This is based on the belief that home is always the first option to be considered in the discharge process, hospital is not the best location to determine the support someone needs at home and that arranging care from hospital can extend a person’s time in hospital and often uses more of the domiciliary care hours.

The DTA Team is made up of social workers, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and support workers. They work closely with colleagues in UHP and locality teams as well as our reablement provider (Human Support Group). The service provides time limited, goal driven reablement to support maximum independence being achieved.

Find out more about Homefirst

Boots outpatient pharmacy

Important update for patients: Boots Outpatient Pharmacy (25 April 2024)

Thank you all for your support in the launch of our new Boots Outpatient Pharmacy service. We recognise there have been some teething issues using the new service with Boots and want to thank you for your patience whilst we work through these. We experienced some initial delays from medicine suppliers and a critical IT failure during our first week, which has made the transition particularly challenging. However, we are confident these issues will be resolved in the coming weeks as we move into a new Outpatient Pharmacy Service.

We have also noted there have been some queries around collecting from other local pharmacies. Unfortunately, this is not currently possible as many hospital medicines are specialist and therefore cannot be obtained from your local pharmacy. All medicines are dispensed at the Boots outpatient pharmacy on site and delivered to your local Boots store. You can choose to collect from the Boots outpatient pharmacy (on-site) or from an approved list of nearly 20 local Boots community stores (in approximately 48 Hours). The list of local Boots stores will be reviewed regularly, and new stores may be added. Please give sufficient time for your medicines to be delivered.

We hope that the new Outpatient Pharmacy on site and the ability to collect from a list of nearly 20 Boots community stores, will make collecting prescriptions easier for patients.

Infographic with instructions to collect medication

From 2 April 2024

If your doctor says your medication is urgent for today: 

  • Your prescription will be emailed to Boots. 

  • Why not have a coffee while you wait? 

  • If you have shared your mobile telephone number, you will also receive a text message when your medication is ready to collect. 

  • Your number will show on a screen in the hospital main concourse or Boots outpatient pharmacy when it is ready.  

If you do not need to collect your medication today: 

  • Your prescription will be emailed to Boots outpatients pharmacy to be dispensed. You can choose to collect from the Boots outpatient pharmacy or from an approved list of nearly 20 local Boots community stores* (in approximately 48 Hours) 

  • If you have shared your mobile telephone number, you will also receive a text message when your medication is ready to collect. 

  • Please note, there is no routine courier to home service available, except in certain circumstances which will be documented on your prescription.


Opening hours  

  • Monday to Friday - 8.30am until 6pm 

  • Saturday - 9.00am until 2pm 

  • Sundays – closed. 

  • Bank Holidays – 9.00am until 4pm (excluding Christmas Day) 

Contacting Boots outpatient pharmacy 

  • Telephone number for UHP patients (external) 01752 237930 



  • Boots is located next to multi-storey car park which is a short walk from the main entrance. Please follow the signs. 

  • If you have difficulties with mobility, there is a shuttle bus which can collect you from the main entrance.  

  • If you need to break up your journey there is some dedicated seating outside the Orthopaedic outpatient department, halfway between the main entrance and the Boots store. 


  • If you are parked in the multistorey car park, Boots is on the ground floor, next door to Costa.  

  • There will be two dedicated bays close to the Boots store allowing pharmacy customers to park for enough time to pick up their prescriptions. 

  • In addition, there is dedicated parking for disabled customers in the multistorey car park. 


*We are reviewing approved local stores on a monthly basis to amend the list as appropriate.

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