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NHS (National Health Service) hospital treatment is free in the UK.
Unless it is an emergency and you need to be treated in the accident and emergency (A&E) department, you cannot walk into a hospital for treatment. Instead, a doctor will usually refer you.
Going to hospital can be a scary experience but the doctors and nurses are there to help you so don’t be afraid to talk to them and share any concerns.
As a hospital patient, you have certain rights including:
- Refusing to be treated by medical students
- Seeing your medical notes
- Having a second opinion
- Being referred to a specialist
- Refusing to take part in research trials
- Being informed about your health and all treatment options
- Having a friend or relative with you
- Having an interpreter or signer to help you
There are some things you might want to think about taking with you if you are going into hospital, such as:
- Mobile phone (you are only allowed to use it in certain areas)
- Contact details of friends and family
- Any regular medicines
- Books and magazines
- Games and puzzles
- Pen and paper
- Food or snacks (check with your doctor what you can and cannot eat)