UPMC Whitfield Hospital Patient Information
To make your admission to UPMC Whitfield Hospital as smooth as possible, please review the information that you have received from the hospital and/or your consultant prior to your arrival.
Before You Arrive
Pre-operative assessment is very important to ensure you have the best outcome following surgery. We provide a nurse-led service, situated on the ground floor of the hospital.
When you attend the pre-assessment clinic, a full medical history will be taken, including the list of all your medications and any allergies which you may have.
After this, a physical examination and any tests or investigations requested by your consultant will be performed. Following your pre-assessment we will liaise with your surgeon/anaesthetist, and if any further tests/investigations are deemed necessary, these will be arranged.
When you are attending pre-assessment, it is best to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing. If you need to fast prior to attending the pre-assessment, we will let you know in advance.
At pre-assessment you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions about your hospital stay, procedure, or recovery. We aim to ensure you are fully informed and well prepared for your surgery by delivering effective, quality-assured patient care.
It is very important that you follow the instructions you have been given by your consultant and your pre-assessment nurse to prepare for your procedure.
If you have been advised to fast (this means no food or drink, including water), please ensure you do this for the period recommended. This information will be in your letter advising you of your admission time.
If you have any questions, please contact the pre-assessment nursing team at 051 337455, Monday to Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Attending the Joint School
If you are having joint replacement surgery, you may be required to attend our Joint School, which is a nurse-led joint surgery education programme. The Joint School offers many resources before, during, and after your surgery.
The goal of the joint school is to help you throughout your journey so that you know what to expect and are able to be a part of your care. We will:
- Provide you with clear and comprehensive information before joint replacement surgery.
- Ensure that realistic expectations for your recovery are established.
- Begin planning for your discharge from hospital and rehabilitation following surgery.
List of Essentials for Your Packing List
- A copy your current prescriptions.
- All the medication you are currently taking, including non-prescription medications, herbal, and other remedies.
- All medication must be in the original pharmacy dispensed container or manufacturer's box.
- You must also bring a supply of all medication to cover the duration of your stay in hospital.
- A list of all your allergies to medicines (if any).
- Copies of relevant medical or health-related information you may have, e.g. x-rays, records, and reports.
It is vital that (upon request) you show these items to the nurse or doctor. Please hand these to the nursing staff on admission for storage in the lockable cupboards adjacent to your bed.
Please note that it is our policy that nurses administer all medications when you are in hospital. If you have any concerns or questions about your medicines, please ask a member of the nursing staff.
When you are ready to go home, your medication will be returned to you. We do not dispense medication from our pharmacy for your discharge. If you are started on any new medications during your stay, a prescription will be issued for you.
Personal items check list
- Comb or hairbrush.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Pyjamas/nightdress and loose comfortable clothing.
- A pair of closed-back shoes, flat-soled shoes, trainers, or well-fitting slippers.
- Glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and dentures. Try, where possible, to keep these in their protective containers when not in use to ensure that they do not become mislaid or damaged.
- Small amount of cash for sundry items.
- Reading materials.
- Something to help you pass the time, such as a laptop, (wi-fi is available free of charge throughout the hospital), books, magazines, or puzzles.
What Not to Bring with You to Hospital
We would be grateful if you would leave the following at home:
- Jewellery (other than a wedding band).
- Please remove all body piercings, nail polish, gel or false nails, and make up.
- Valuables, for example, cheque books, credit/debit cards, or large sums of cash.
- Cigarettes or e-cigarettes.
- We cannot accept liability for loss or damage to any cash or valuables or personal effects, whether they belong to you or your visitors.
- Where you cannot avoid bringing valuables with you to the hospital, please ensure you're fully covered by your own insurance.
- Towels are provided by the hospital.
If you have special dietary, religious, or disability requirements, please let us know well in advance of your admission so that we can meet your needs.
Your privacy – if you do not wish people to know that you are a patient in hospital or if you would like to restrict your visitors or phone calls, please inform the admissions staff or a staff member on your ward.
On Arrival at the Hospital
When you arrive at the hospital you will be directed to the Admissions area. This is where you will 'check in' to the hospital. We will confirm your personal and insurance details. You will be requested to verify this. Once the admission process is complete, you will be directed to your designated ward where the staff will take you through information on your condition, your planned treatment, and care. Occasionally, we may ask patients to wait in a waiting room whilst we prepare their room. We do our best to minimise this and ask for your patience if it does happen.
During Your Stay
During your stay at UPMC Whitfield Hospital, we will do everything we can to make you comfortable. It is important that you are involved in your care. Please do not hesitate to ask questions about your admission, treatment, or care.
Getting ready for your procedure
When your admission to the ward is complete, you will be given a theatre gown to change into in preparation for your procedure.
To help prevent blood clots, you may be asked to wear surgical stockings or be prescribed anti-coagulant injections before or after your procedure.
At this time, one of our doctors will re-confirm your consent to proceed with surgery and may use a pen to mark the part of your body to be operated on.
It is very important that we can clearly and correctly identify you at any given time. Our staff will ask you to repeat certain critical information several times in each patient care area. This includes:
- Your first name (as it appears on your birth certificate).
- Your surname.
- Your date of birth.
- Your address.
- What procedure you are scheduled for.
- What part of the body/side will the procedure be carried out on.
On Arrival to the Ward
On arrival to the ward, you will be shown to your room. A nurse will complete your admission details, conduct routine measurements and tests, and confirm the time of your procedure. Your procedure time could change due to unforeseen circumstances, but we will always keep you informed. At this time, you will also be issued an identification (ID) bracelet. Please check the information on your ID bracelet to make sure your name and date of birth are correct.
Including you as a partner in this important process helps us provide you with a safe experience throughout your stay. Please wear your ID bracelet throughout your hospital stay. If your ID bracelet comes off, please inform your nurse, who will issue you a new one.
Consent for treatment
Before starting any treatment, investigation, or providing personal care to you, your consent will be requested either verbally or in writing. In the case of a medical examination, treatment, or investigation, the need for consent is recognised in Irish and international law.
The reason behind obtaining consent is to respect your right as the patient to self-determination (autonomy) – your right to control and decide what happens to your body. Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to try and maximise your health and well-being whilst minimising harm to you. Before consenting to any treatment, your consultant will discuss:
- The nature and purpose of the operation or procedure.
- The benefits and risks of the operation or procedure.
- The possibilities of complications.
- The alternatives to this operation or procedure.
Minimising the risk of slips, trips, and falls
During your stay, you are requested to wear safe, well-fitted footwear (no backless shoes or backless slippers, no high heels or crocs) at all times.
We ask this to ensure that we minimise the risk of falling or slipping.
More information is available on our falls prevention leaflet – which if you have not already received, will be available on admission.
Hygiene and Infection Control
The hospital follows best practice guidelines to reduce the risk of infection. If you have a procedure scheduled and are suffering from COVID-19, flu, or other infectious respiratory symptoms, please contact your consultant. Masks must be worn in all indoor settings at UPMC Whitfield Hospital.
There are certain things that you as a patient can do to further reduce infection risks:
- We request that all arrivals to the hospital use the hand gels provided and sanitise their hands frequently.
- Hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs and infections.
- It is especially important to wash hands after using the toilet or before touching any wound or incision.
- Depending on your planned procedure, we may ask you to shower/bath with disinfectant soap to reduce the risk of infection. We also require that patients have a shower/bath on the morning of surgery.
- Let your nurse know if you require fresh linen or towels.
- Ask friends and family who have colds, stomach bugs, or other infections to stay at home and not to visit until they recover.
- Avoid sitting on patients' beds.
As part of our infection control policy, we ask that you and your visitors be sensitive to the needs of other patients and respond to any requests made to you by the ward staff.
We ask visitors who have experienced an episode of sickness or diarrhoea in the previous two days to refrain from visiting relatives or friends in the hospital.
It is the policy of UPMC Whitfield to assess all patients' MRSA status.
Discharge from UPMC Whitfield Hospital
Discharge time is 12 p.m. (Noon). Due to admissions and room cleaning, you may be requested to wait in the patient lounge while you wait for your transport home.
On admission to UPMC Whitfield Hospital, your discharge planning will be commenced. You will be informed of your estimated discharge date by medical/nursing staff. If you feel you may require continued care i.e. nursing home/rehab please have this organised prior to your admission where possible.
If you require a medical certificate, please ask the nursing staff. Please note UPMC Whitfield Hospital certs are valid for two weeks and if you require a cert for a longer period, you will need to contact your GP.
On discharge, your GP will be advised of your treatment and plan of care.
It is important that you follow the instructions in your discharge pack, given to you by your consultant and the nursing staff. Please ensure that you understand these instructions before leaving the hospital. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions at this time.
Prescription for medication
On your discharge from UPMC Whitfield Hospital you may be given a prescription for medication, often including but not limited to antibiotics or painkillers.
If you think you may have an allergy to the prescribed medication, please inform the nurse/doctor of this prior to leaving the hospital so that the prescription may be altered. It is very important that you have the prescription filled at a pharmacy before going home and take the medication as prescribed and in the case of antibiotics be sure to finish the course.
We encourage our patients to take painkillers as prescribed, even if you are comfortable while resting.
This prevents pain from increasing unnecessarily when you start to move around after surgery or illness. It is much easier to relieve pain if it is dealt with before it gets too bad.
Good pain relief can help prevent complications such as chest infection or leg clots, by enabling you to breathe deeply, cough easily, and move around more freely.
When you return home, it's important to take it easy. If possible, have someone stay with you the first night. Follow your discharge instructions carefully.
If you have any problems or concerns, or if you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed below, please call the number on your discharge advice sheet at any time day or night:
- Heavy bleeding
- Intense pain
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Trouble catching your breath
Day Case Surgery
Prior to your admission to the Ambulatory Day Ward, please take note of the following:
On leaving the Ambulatory Day Ward after having anaesthesia/sedation, you must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Do not drive or travel alone. If you have difficulty arranging transport, please advise the staff at the Ambulatory Day Ward as they will be happy to assist.
It is not necessary to a bring dressing gown, but you may prefer to wear one as you will be given a theatre gown with a back opening.
Following your procedure, you will be staying on the Ambulatory Day Ward for a minimum of two hours.
Consent for personal data processing
At UPMC Whitfield Hospital, we take your privacy very seriously.
It is important that you know exactly what we do with personal and sensitive personal information (“Personal Data") that you and others provide to us, why we gather it, and what it means to you.
We commit to processing, protecting, and respecting all Personal Data about you under national and EU data protection legislation. To lawfully process your Personal Data, we obtain and record explicit consent from you.
If you have concerns about your personal data or wish to make an enquiry or a complaint about a GDPR related issue, please contact UPMC Whitfield Hospital's Data Protection Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: DPO, UPMC Whitfield Hospital, Cork Road, Butlerstown North, Waterford, X91 DH9W.
Information on Visitors/Family
We actively encourage you and your family to participate in any decisions about your care.
If you feel more comfortable having a nominated family member present during key consultations, please let your nurse know so that we can facilitate this.
Throughout your stay, the team involved in your care will keep you informed on your treatment and progress.
If you wish to have a chaperone present during any examination or procedure, please let your nurse know.