Patients & Visitors

Older People's Unit

Ward Information

At the RUH we have five wards that are dedicated to the care of older people in addition to a Hip Fracture Unit:

In addition to this, we also care for a number of ‘slow stream’ patients on Charlotte ward.

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Currently Combe, Waterhouse and Midford are all participating in the Quality Mark for Elder-Friendly Hospital Wards, introduced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.  We encourage relatives and carers of all patients with cognitive impairment and dementia to complete a
‘This is me’ document to help us personalise care as far as possible.

Engaging in this process will ensure a continuous focus on the care provided for people over the age of 65 demonstrating a commitment to improvement and the achievement of consistent quality care for older people. Further information can be found by clicking here (this links to an external website).

General information for all wards

Visiting Times

The official visiting time for all OPU wards is 11am – 8pm.  In certain circumstances visiting times can be more flexible.  Additionally at times visiting may be restricted if there is an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting in order to limit the spread of infection.

It is possible for relatives to stay overnight on the wards if a loved one is very unwell although there are no guest beds available to accommodate this.

Meals and Drinks

There is a varied menu on the wards and any special dietary requirements will be catered for; just let the ward staff know

Meal times are approximately as follows:

  1. Breakfast 7.00am
  2. Lunch 12.00 noon
  3. Dinner 5.00pm

The RUH has a policy of 'protected meal times' and patients should not be seen by doctors, nurses or any other therapists during this time. This is to ensure patients have the opportunity to eat their meal without interruptions whilst it is hot.

Assistance will be given to anyone who needs help with eating and drinking. We encourage relatives and carers to visit at meal times if they wish to assist with eating and drinking.

Personal belongings

To help keep you comfortable during your stay, we encourage your relatives to check that you have sufficient clothing, slippers, toiletries and towels, etc. We suggest you do not bring valuables into the hospital. However, you may find it useful to have a small amount of money if you wish to pay for the hairdresser or buy newspapers.

You are allowed to use mobile phones on the ward but we recommend these are kept in bedside lockers when not in use. On admission to the hospital you may be asked to sign a disclaimer form to say you are happy to take responsibility for any belongings you bring to the ward.

Discharge from hospital

All patients will be discharged with a discharge summary letter with a copy sent with the patient or relative and a copy to the patients’ GP surgery.  Discharge planning is commenced early in patient’s admission and all patients are discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting at least weekly, and on many of the wards on a daily basis.  

Discussing you and your care

The consultants, with your permission, are happy to discuss your care with your relatives either in person or over the phone.  If this is required it should be arranged through their secretary (see individual ward pages for details).


We welcome comments on your experience of OPU.  We encourage people to complete the 'Friends and Family Test' cards available on the ward and are also keen to hear from patients and families directly with ideas, suggestions or concerns.

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