If you are admitted to hospital, staying overnight and receiving treatment, you are an inpatient. 

We will send you a letter to confirm when you will need to arrive for a stay at one of our hospitals. Please follow the instructions in the letter.  

We have also created a patient information leaflet with helpful advice if you are due to have surgery and how we are taking steps to protect you from coronavirus (COVID-19).  You can download the leaflet here.

Electronic consent for treatment or a procedure at our hospitals

The way patients give their consent to treatments and procedures at hospitals across Hertfordshire and west Essex is changing.

A new electronic consent system (eConsent) has been introduced to replace the paper consent forms to help improve patient experience and help relieve pressure on services as they recover from the pandemic.

We are the first hospital to start using the eConsent system, which is called Concentric. The new system was first used in the obstetrics and gynaecology and orthopaedics departments, before rolling out to other areas.

East and North Hertfordshire Hospital NHS Trust and West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospital NHS Trust are also introducing the eConsent system.

The eConsent system enables patients to see information about their treatment and provide their consent online. The system uses a secure link sent by email and/or text message. Patients can also consent for procedures using a computer or tablet. If patients do not have a device at home, they can also give their consent online during an appointment or on the ward.

Moving to an electronic consent system:

  • Allows patients to have more time to review and understand information
  • Means fewer cancellations and delays to surgery/treatment
  • Saves time for clinicians and hospital administrators, allowing more time to care
  • Enables more personalised information and better documentation
  • Offers better patient engagement in shared decision making
  • Enables remote consultations and care pathways; a face-to-face appointment isn’t always needed before the day of treatment.

All patient information is compliant with healthcare governance requirements. The system uses Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for all hosting and data processing, within a data centre in the UK.

How will I be contacted by Concentric?

You may receive information from your clinician via the Concentric system, either as an email from the email address or as text message from a mobile contact named ‘Concentric'.

You can see the information any time before or after treatment.

What technology do I need to be able to give my consent online?

Concentric works on any modern web-enabled device and on different screen sizes (i.e., mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktop computers). Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple, Safari or Mozilla Firefox are fully supported by Concentric.

What do I do if I need technical help to use Concentric?

If you are having any issue in getting started with Concentric please email the Concetric support team.

What do I do if I have a question about the planned treatment/procedure?

Although you may receive consent information online, you will still have had a conversation about the proposed treatment/procedure with the clinician responsible for your care. The information you receive from Concentric will include contact details for the hospital/department in case you have any follow-up questions.

What will you need during your hospital stay

You must bring in the following items. Before you leave for the hospital, please check you have:

  • Your admission letter
  • The name and address of your GP
  • Your full postcode
  • Any medication you are currently taking
  • Details of any community services you use, such as social workers or carers 

What to bring with you during your hospital stay

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Night clothes
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries, including shaving equipment, toothbrush, toothpaste, soap and shampoo
  • Flannel and towel 
  • Mobility aids (if needed)

What to avoid bringing with you during your hospital stay

  • Valuables - jewellery, credit cards, large amounts of money
  • Large amounts of food
  • Alcohol and tobacco products
  • Portable televisions or radios

Due to limited space, we would ask that you only bring items you really need.

Only your doctor or a senior nurse can discharge you once they are happy you are well enough to go home. We aim to discharge you by 12noon on the day you are leaving hospital. A member of the nursing team will give you an estimated discharge date within 24 to 48 hours of your arrival on the ward.

Please make a member of your nursing team aware of any housing or other problems that you may have when leaving the hospital as soon as possible, especially if you live on your own or have reduced mobility.

Leaving the hospital

It is important that you are discharged as soon as you are medically fit to leave our care, as unnecessarily prolonged stays in hospital can have a negative effect on your health and wellbeing.

On the day you leave

Before you go home, please make sure you:

  • have arranged your transport home - if you require a taxi please speak to a member of staff, as hospital transport is only available for eligible patients
  • have your discharge letter and medicines and understand how to take them
  • have asked for any certificates you need
  • check if you need a follow-up appointment
  • have your house keys
  • take all your belongings with you when you leave the hospital

The discharge lounge

In some cases you may be discharged from the ward and transferred to the discharge lounge. This is a comfortable environment for you to wait for transport or for your medication.

While there you will be looked after by our friendly nurses until you are ready to go home. You will be provided with a range of refreshments and snacks during your stay.

Inpatient comment:

Everyone offered words of such reassurance and kindness. I felt so cared for and the communication with me at all times was fantastic.