When someone is admitted onto one of our wards, it is important that families and friends continue to support them. So stay in contact. Give them a call, send them a text, or write an old fashioned card or a letter to them so they know that you are there for them.
If you would like to visit someone, it is a good idea to telephone the ward first to find out the visiting times and when is a good time to visit the person.
Our visiting times are usually from 2pm-8pm. But if you are coming a long way or will not be able to visit during those times, contact the ward manager. They will try to accommodate your needs.
You can find the relevant phone numbers in our Service Directory
Gauge the length of your visit on how your relative or friend is. They may only be able to manage a short visit to begin with. Long visits can become uncomfortable for everyone and conversation can dry up. So take your cue and keep it short if that feels like the right plan of action.
Gifts and Items
Patients will appreciate small gifts, treats and items that they can use when in hospital. Such as:
- Healthy snacks
- Toiletries such as shower gel, shampoo, shaving foam, deodorant, skin creams, etc.
But mostly they will appreciate a conversation with you and news from the outside world.
Hot drinks dispensers are available on all wards. Or ask a member of staff.
Items Not Allowed
Because we have to ensure our wards are safe and healthy, there are a number of items that you cannot bring. These include:
- Flowers or plants
- Plastic bags of any kind - paper or fabric bags, boxes and plastic containers are fine
- Cigarettes and lighter (We supply nicotine replacement patches)
- Glass containers
- Sharp items such as scissors, files or knives
- Illegal drugs
- Belts, flexes, etc.
If you are not sure, just ask a member of staff
Our Forensic Units (at the John Howard Centre and Wolfson House) have special rules about items that are allowed into visiting areas. You will be advised of the steps to take on arrival.
Visits by Children
It is important for children and their parents to stay in contact and be assured each other are OK. Children can visit by arrangement with the ward manager. We have specially designed family visiting rooms at most of our sites to provide the right environment for families to spend time together.
No pets are permitted. Guide dogs and sensory/disability dogs are allowed. Please contact the ward manager in advance to arrange visits.
Improving Health and Wellbeing
Please help us to improve the health of the people in our care. Avoid bringing drink or food that has a high sugar content such as juice, fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolate.
Foods that are high in fat such as deep fried food, pizza or other takeaway meals should be limited to just 1-2 times a week.
These foodstuffs are fine in small amounts.
But we all need to look after our health and work to reduce the risk of obesity and health issues that come from being overweight. We want the patients in our care to become healthier during their time with us, so please help them to reach their optimum health.
All Trust sites are smokefree. That means that smoking is no permitted in car parks, in the grounds or in secluded corners of our sites. As well as being very expensive, the health risks from smoking are widely known.
We will provide Nicotine Replacement Therapy to anyone admitted to our wards. This could be the start of them actually quitting and saving hundreds of pounds a year. You will be challenged if you smoke on ELFT premises.
All our wards and many waiting rooms in our centres have Guest WiFi. Ask a member of staff for the password.
There is limited parking on ELFT's London sites but paid parking in the local streets. All sites are on public transport networks.
In Bedfordshire and Luton, there is paid parking and street parking around most of our sites.
Your friend or relative will value your support even more in the early days after being discharged from the ward. So stay in contact or pop in to see how they are doing. It can feel strange being home for the first few days and getting back to normal so any help or contact will be greatly appreciated.
Invite them to meet with you somewhere local or travel together to support them in getting out of the house for a while.