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Hospital services

The following information will ensure you have a comfortable stay with us. Please speak to our staff and volunteers if you have any questions or need directions. 


A menu card will be given to you before each meal from which you can make your choice. Drinks are provided with all meals, and at intervals during the day and evening. If you are on a special diet please advise your nurse who will contact the dietetic or catering department. We always have vegetarian dishes and can provide kosher meals. Meals are served at the following times: breakfast 7.30am - 8.30am, lunch 11.45am - 1.15pm, supper 5.20pm - 6.20pm. If your visitors need to stay overnight, meals can be purchased from Time Out, the staff restaurant on the first floor. Light refreshments may be purchased by relatives from the Courtyard Cafe on the ground floor when it is open.

Hospital chaplaincy

The Chaplaincy recognises that a stay in hospital can be a worrying experience, both emotionally and spiritually. Chaplaincy staff aim to provide a service to all, regardless of beliefs or faith. A contact list of ministers of the world's main religions is maintained by the department. The hospital chaplains can be contacted 24 hours a day, via the ward staff, and are happy to have an informal chat or to be a listening ear. The Chapel of the Good Samaritan is situated just off the front corridor, on the ground floor, and is always open for quiet reflection and prayer. Details of services held in the chapel are provided in a bedside Welcome Pack. We also have a group of trained and supervised volunteers who visit the wards on a regular basis. If patients cannot easily get to the chapel services, then arrangements for them to receive bedside communion can be made.

Radio and television

You will be able to listen to radio stations and watch TV and films on the beside entertainment system over your bed. Please ask the nursing staff to explain how these should be used. RWSfm (on 103.3fm or online) local radio station for Bury St Edmunds and beyond is also free to play and if you would like a request you can call the station on 01284 713403 and leave a message.

Patients’ library

The hospital has its own patients’ library service, and a trolley brings books, talking books and magazines to the wards at least once a week. Please make sure you return any books you borrow to the trolley or to the nursing staff before you leave. If you mistakenly take them home please return them to the hospital as soon as possible.


There is a personal bedside telephone at most beds in the hospital. Patients can make outgoing calls at similar rates to payphones by purchasing a pay card for the phone at Premier Bedside vending machines located in the hospital. Patients can also receive incoming calls to their bedside by simply giving the bedside phone number 070 123 983 16 and their 4 digit phone extension number (located on the screen) to their visitors. Incoming calls (calling party pays) are charged at 50p per minute. Outgoing calls are charged at 10p per minute, although calls to mobiles and other networks may vary. There are also public phones in the main entrance and Day Treatment Centre for taxis.

Personal laundry

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a personal laundry service for our patients. Please ask your visitors to arrange to wash your clothes and return those you need while you are in hospital.

Overnight accommodation

We have some rooms available for relatives of seriously ill patients to stay overnight if necessary. Please ask the nurse in charge for more details.


WHSmith and the Friends of West Suffolk Hospital shops are situated in the main concourse at the front of the hospital sell a variety of goods including newspapers, magazines, cards, light refreshments, cold drinks, toiletries, etc. Both shops provide trolley services to the wards. A cash machine is situated in the main reception. Please be aware that there is a charge for each withdrawal.

Meeting individual needs

If you have any problems in accessing our services please let us know and we will do our best to resolve the problem. Wheelchair access toilets are situated in the out patient department, main reception, near the general office and at the entrance of wards 4, 5 and 6 corridor on the first floor. Induction loops compatible with NHS hearing aids have been installed in many reception areas and we also have portable induction loops. Information can be recorded onto audio tapes and we have a number of RNIB approved cassette players for patients to use. If you have language difficulties we can arrange for an interpreter (including signage) to assist you.