On the Ward

To help you prepare for a stay in our hospital, this page gives some information about what patients will experience when they are on a ward.

Meals

Breakfast                                        7.30am - 8.45am

Lunch                                              12.30pm - 1.15pm

High Tea                                          5.00pm - 6.30pm

Each day you will be given a menu card to choose your meals in advance. Hot drinks are also served mid-morning and during the evening. Special dietary requirements are catered for but need to be authorised by a dietitian.

If you are undergoing special tests, X-Rays or treatment, it may be necessary to postpone the time of your meal or it may be restricted.


Staff

Doctors

A junior house doctor is in immediate charge of your care. Your consultant will visit you on ward rounds accompanied by other doctors. If you find it difficult to talk in front of so many people, you may ask for a private conversation with the consultant.
If you are in any doubt about your progress or treatment, ask the house doctor who visits you daily.

Nurses

The ward manager is known as the Ward Sister or Charge Nurse. Each ward is staffed by a team of nurses who will make sure you receive the highest standard of care during your stay in hospital  All staff can be clearly recognised with a Trust identification badge

Professions Allied to Medicine

We have a full range of diagnostic and therapy services for both inpatients and outpatients. These include:
  • Audiology
  • Dietetics
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Speech and Language Therapy.

Social Workers

You may ask to see a social worker if you are experiencing any difficulties or are feeling anxious about either your admission or your discharge. A social worker is also available on-call outside normal working hours. Contact can be made through your nurse. Pharmacist

Should you wish for help or advice on any matter relating to your medicines, please ask the pharmacist on your ward.


Teaching & Research

Teaching

Belfast City Hospital is a leading teaching hospital and students from all medical and health professions visit the wards regularly. They work under the direction of qualified members of staff and your co-operation in helping them is appreciated. If you are unhappy with the involvement of students in any aspect of your care please tell a member of staff.

Research

Research to improve patient care is an integral and important part of the work of the Belfast Trust.  However no clinical research is carried out unless patients give their consent to be involved.

The Research Office is responsible for managing all research which involves patients or staff across the Belfast Trust.  This includes trials of new medicines or devices, studies which try to understand the biology of disease, and studies which aim to understand and improve patient experience of care within the Trust.  All research in the Trust is reviewed and approved by an independent research ethics committee, and is conducted in line with national guidelines from regulatory bodies.


Confidentiality

Any information concerning your illness is strictly confidential. It will not be given to anyone, except the clinical staff involved in your care, without your prior permission.


Delays, Emergencies and Transfers

Delays

It is impossible to accurately predict the pattern of workload upon staff in a major hospital with facilities spread over several acres. Delays in transport, tests and other services may be inevitable on occasion, and we would appreciate your patience as we work to provide services as quickly as possible.

Emergencies

Occasionally fire alarm bells will sound during the course of testing or as the result of sensitive smoke detection equipment. In the event of an emergency staff will advise you immediately if any action is necessary.  Please keep calm and follow their instructions. 

Transfers

During your stay, you may be required to transfer to another ward.  This can be for a variety of reasons including:

  • An improvement in your condition
  • Another Consultant may be taking over your care
  • To facilitate the admission of an acutely ill patient