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Video - What to bring

So there you are at home, you've got your bag out and you're wondering what to take with you. Packing for hospital can take a bit of time – and imagination! Take a look at our top tips video for some ideas to get you started... 

If the video is not showing, please watch it on YouTube. A video transcript is also available.

First of all, work out what clothes you'll need – something for the daytime and the night. Remember, it can be very warm in hospital, sometimes warm enough to wear a T-shirt in winter!

But you'll also want a dressing gown or favourite jumper to keep you cosy if you get cold. Slippers are a good idea too.

Remember, the tips in our video won't be right for everyone - if you have any questions, please check with your nurse or doctor beforehand.

Beating boredom

Don't forget your toiletries and anything you need every day, including medication. But check with the medical team if you do have to take medicine regularly.

You might also want to pack computer games, a personal stereo, books and magazines.

Packing ideas

  • computer games
  • favourite toy
  • personal stereo
  • magazines, books
  • notepad and pen
  • mobile phone
  • clothes
  • nightclothes
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • toiletries (deodorant, moisturiser etc)

School work

If you're going to be in hospital for more than a week, you'll also need to bring your schoolwork with you. So don't forget some pens and paper!

Most hospitals have their own school. The teachers will get in touch with your home school to help you keep up with work.

Going to hospital school can be a great way to meet new people and beat boredom – some patients even prefer it to their regular classes!

Staying in touch

Families can usually visit anytime, though there may be a limit on the number of people who can visit at any one time.

It's best to check visiting hours with the hospital in advance so you know what the times are for visits from friends as well.

There are usually payphones on every ward. They're great because you might not be able to use your mobile in the hospital – you need to check with the staff on your ward.

Also check out what access you have to the internet. You could get an email account set up or chat to your mates on instant messenger or a social networking site.

If you are coming as an inpatient friends and family can write letters to you on the ward that you are staying on.


When you're going into hospital – whether it's for a few hours or a few weeks – you might not be sure what to tell your friends. Only you can decide what you want to tell them. If you do tell them what's happening, they might be able to support you.

Most people miss their friends when they're in hospital, but they can come in to visit you.

Need advice in hospital?

Every NHS hospital has a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) that provides free, independent and confidential advice and support to help patients, families and carers.