Welcome Guide – Learning disability

This welcome pack will provide you with useful information about your stay, it will tell you about the ward, staff and treatments and therapies that are available to you.

  • Welcome

    This Welcome Pack provides information about your ward, the staff, and the treatments and therapies that will be available to you.

    A member of staff or a carer can support you to read this Welcome Pack. They will be able to answer any questions that you have.

    Your nurse in charge will discuss the Welcome Pack with you when you are first admitted and answer any questions that you have. Staff will also give you a service leaflet about your ward.

  • When I arrive

    Arriving on the unit
    You will be met by the nurse in charge. They will make sure you know why you have come to the unit. They will explain what will happen during your stay.

    You will be asked lots of questions. This information will help the nurses to care for you.

    Your family or your support worker can be with you when you arrive.

    One of the nursing staff will help you to unpack your things. They will make a list of everything you brought with you.

    Staff will show you around the unit. They will introduce you to other patients if you wish. One of the nursing staff will stay with you until you have settled in. They will tell you about the unit and answer any questions you or your family might have.

    Health checks
    A doctor will check that you are well. They will ask you questions about yourself.

    The doctor may do some tests like:
    • listening to your heart and lungs

    • taking your blood pressure

    • checking your ears and eyes

    The doctor may ask for some other tests for example blood tests. If you agree this will be done by the doctor or nurse.

    This information will be used to begin to plan your treatment so we can do everything we can to help you get better. We want to help you get home as soon as possible.

    Medicines Information Helpline
    You or your carer can ring the Pharmacy Medicines Information Helpline if you have questions about your medication. Tel: 0191 245 6604 open between 9am – 5pm.

    Mental Health Act 1983
    If you have been admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, your rights will be explained to you. We will talk to you and your family about this and give you a leaflet.

  • What I need to know

    Who will look after me?
    The ward manager is in charge of the unit.

    The staff team will make sure your treatment is of a high standard. All of the team will support you and be involved in caring for you.

    You can talk to any of the staff if you have any concerns, worries or questions about your treatment.

    You will have a Consultant Psychiatrist in charge of your treatment. The consultants at this hospital may be psychiatrists, psychologists or nurses.

    Other staff involved in your care could be:

    • Advocate
    • Podiatrist
    • Dentist
    • Dietician
    • GP
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Pharmacists
    • Physiotherapist
    • Arts Therapist
    • Psychologist
    • Speech and Language Therapist
    • Social Worker
    • Community Nurse
    • Patient Advice and Liaison Officer
    • Positive Behaviour Support Nurse

    If you have religious or cultural needs the staff will help to support you. You can talk to a chaplain if you would like.

    What will I bring?
    You should bring enough clothes to last two weeks. Your clothes can be taken home to be washed or you can wash them on the unit.

    You will need:
    Toothpaste and toothbrush
    • things to wash or shower with
    • any other toiletries you like to use

    You can bring your own towel if you would like to.

    Bring any medicines, tablets, creams or inhalers with you that you use a lot. Please give them to the nurse in charge who will keep them in a safe place.

    Do not bring anything that is valuable or special. Things can get broken or lost.

    Electrical items will need to be checked before you use them.

    Will I need money?
    You should bring a small amount of money. You can look after the money yourself or the staff can keep it safe.

    Your main benefits will be paid while you are in hospital. You can collect your money in the usual way.

    You might have to make other arrangements to get your money. The nurses will talk to you about this.

    What should I not bring?
    • anything that is special
    • anything that is valuable
    • pets
    • lighter fuels
    • glass bottles
    • alcohol
    • illegal drugs
    • scissors
    • knives
    • cameras
    • pornographic material

    What will I eat?
    There is a dining room for you to eat your meals.

    There is a menu for you to choose your meals from. Snacks and drinks are available.

    If you need a special diet let the nurse know as soon as possible.

    The staff encourage you to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

    Mealtimes are usually around
    8.15 – Breakfast (weekends are later)
    12 noon to 1 o’clock – Lunch
    4 o’clock to 6 o’clock – Dinner
    9 o’clock – Supper

    What can I do during the day?
    There is a range of activities that you can attend; some are part of your treatment and others are for leisure.

    The nurses and therapists will be there to support you. Your named nurse will let you know what sessions and activities are available.

    You should always be involved in making decisions about your life, care and treatment. Staff will give you a leaflet about this.

    The hospital has a no smoking policy on all wards and public places.

    Staff can help you to give up smoking.

  • Keeping in touch

    Can I have visitors?
    You can have visitors on the unit. It is best for them to phone before they come to check you are in.

    If children would like to visit please check with the nursing staff first.

    You may be able to leave the unit with your visitors. You will need to talk to your named nurse about this.

    It is good for your family and friends to keep in touch with you.

    Any letters will be given to you unopened. Staff can help you read a letter if you wish. Staff will help you write a letter if you need help.

    Using the phone
    It would be helpful if your relatives and friends could ring after tea when the unit is quieter.

    The telephone number is …………….……………………………

    You can use the phone to call your friends and relatives.

    Useful phone numbers
    The numbers will be filled in by your named nurse.

    Main Switchboard ____________________________________

    Advocacy ___________________________________________

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) ___________


    Social Worker ______________________________________

    Social Services/Benefits Advice ____________________

    Community Nurse ____________________________________

    Carers Centre (National) ___________________________

    Local Carer Centre __________________________________

    Other important numbers ____________________________





    Problems, complaints or suggestions
    Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust has a complaints policy. We will give you a leaflet about how to make a complaint.

    If you think that we could improve our service then please let a nurse know your idea.

    You can also fill in a short survey, please ask staff for a copy.

  • How will my discharge be planned?

    Leaving hospital can be an important life event so it is essential that you receive good quality discharge care. Plans around your discharge should start soon after admission and be part of all care planning processes. Carers will be involved in the planning of any discharge.

    The following suggestions are things you might need to consider before leaving the ward:
    • Do you have accommodation?
    • Is your housing secure and fit to live in?
    • Do you have your keys?
    • Is your gas and electricity connected?
    • Are your finances sorted out?

    Staff on the ward will be able to help with any problems you might have.

  • Health information

    Patient Information Centre – Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Information about health.
    www.cntw.nhs.uk or Tel: 0191 246 7288

    The NHS website
    Information about conditions, treatments, local services and healthy lives.

  • Where can I get help and advice outside the hospital?

    Mind Infoline
    Tel: 0300 123 3393 Helpline available Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm.

    Helpline: 0300 500 0927
    89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TP

    Tel: 116 123

    Tel: 0300 304 7000

  • How can I get involved?

    Sign up to become a Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust member

     www.cntw.nhs.uk
     0191 245 6827

    Membership is completely free and as a member you can:
    – Give your views on the Trust’s plans and any issues that nterest you
    – Vote in the Governor Elections or stand as a Governor yourself
    – Receive regular information about the Trust

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2021 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/732/0921 Sept 2021 V3
    www.cntw.nhs.uk Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2024