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Arriving at St Mark’s

If you arrive at St Mark’s for your inpatient stay and aren’t sure where to go, a member of staff at our main reception desk will be happy to help you.

Consent and Personal Information

During your hospital stay, you will be given as much information as possible by the staff involved in your treatment. No procedures will be carried out without your consent, and you have the right to withdraw consent at any time. For patients deemed incapable of giving consent, staff will do their best to contact a next of kin of advocate. No treatment will be carried out without consent except in emergency situations.

If you have any questions, please do speak to your doctors and nurses to ensure that you fully understand your condition and treatment options.

You may be asked to give information about yourself, including 24 hour contact details for the person you would like to be contacted in an emergency e.g. your wife, husband, partner, friend or relative. If you change your GP or your home address, please contact us so we can update our records.

Presence of Students

St Mark’s is a teaching hospital. You may be asked if you would like to take part in teaching activities for medical students. While this would of course be very appreciated by the hospital, you are under no obligation to take part; please do let the staff know of your preferences.

Leaving St Mark’s

In order for your stay to be as calm and stress-free as possible, plans for going home should be discussed before or at the beginning of your stay. You will be kept up to date about your progress and plans for discharge by the doctor or nurse caring for you.

On the day of your discharge, the staff on the ward will make sure you are given the appropriate information about; further treatment, necessary after-care for your condition, any new medication you may need to take, and appointment details for outpatient appointments you may need to attend.

You should also think about transport home after your stay, and whether you can be collected by friends, family or carers. If you are discharged in the morning and cannot be collected until the afternoon, we have a discharge lounge where you can wait. This is a comfortable area, staffed by our nurses.


During meals we like to stop everything we’re doing to make sure your friend or relative is eating properly. Some wards have dedicated mealtime volunteers, too.

You’re welcome to stay during mealtimes but we ask that you save your questions until mealtime is over and encourage your friend to eat.

Meal times vary slightly between each ward. Meals are served:

  • Breakfast: 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 12.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m.
  • Supper: 5.30 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Hot drinks are served at regular times throughout the day, and with and after meals. If you miss a meal, snacks and drinks are readily available throughout the day. Please ask your nurse. There is a full choice of menu which includes vegetarian and special diets. If you have particular dietary requirements, please let the staff know.

A protected meal time policy is in operation on wards, which means that clinical interventions (ward rounds and therapy) will not take place during meal times.


We would like to make your visit to St Mark’s Hospital as easy as possible. In order to maintain a calm, relaxed atmosphere on the wards we prefer to allow only two visitors at any one time. However, special permission to allow more visitors may be granted by the nurse in charge. We have a patients’ day lounge where patients and visitors are welcome; hot drinks are usually available here.

If a friend or member of your family has had a cough, cold, stomach upset, or condition that may be infectious please ask them not to visit until they are well again. All visitors are requested to use the hand gel provided at the Hospital’s entrance and on the wards.

Visiting Times

Visitors to our wards and the Intestinal Rehabilitation Unit are welcome between 11.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. and between 1.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. For full details of visiting hours at general wards, visit the North West London Hospital Trust website.

Patients should also be aware that you may be undergoing investigations during the day, and so we would advise that your friends or relatives telephone the ward prior to setting out on a long journey.


St Mark’s does not allow flowers due to infection reasons. Please be aware of this as a visitor. If you are a patient, please ensure your visitors know this.

What to bring

The following is a useful checklist of some items you may need during your stay with us, and some items we would ask you not to bring into the hospital.

Please bear in mind that while each patient will have bedside cabinet, these cannot be locked. St Mark’s are unable to accept liability for any lost or stolen items during your stay.

If you have any personal or valuable items with you, you can give these to a nurse on your ward who will give you a receipt.

  • Any paperwork regarding your admission
  • All and any medication you are taking, in their original containers, and any cards giving details of your current treatment (for example, a steroid card). Please also bring any non-prescription medicines, supplements or ointments you regularly take (unless specifically requested not to)
  • Toiletries (shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap)
  • Shaving and grooming equipment (non-electrical)
  • Towels, slippers, dressing gown, nightwear, tissues
  • Comfortable day clothes
  • Money (a small amount) for purchasing newspapers and snacks from the hospital’s shops. There is a cabinet beside your bed for personal belongings but please do not bring valuables or large amounts of money as these are not locked
  • Relevant walking aids
  • Leisure items such as books, magazines, newspapers, crosswords, notepads, pens

What not to bring

  • Expensive or valuable items
  • Large sums of money
  • Any plug-in electrical appliances
  • Laptops, Kindle and tablets and iPads
  • Alcohol