Planning for your admission

If you’re coming into Harrogate District Hospital or Ripon Community Hospital as an inpatient, you should receive a letter from us which will contain your admission details.

Your letter may also contain specific instructions on what to bring, so please do read it carefully. If you are coming for planned elective surgery, you will be offered a pre-operative assessment appointment where you will get an opportunity to ask questions.

Rearranging your admission

If you’re unable to be admitted to hospital on your admission date, it’s really important that you let us know as soon as possible by calling the telephone number provided on your letter.

Occasionally, we may have to rearrange your admission as emergency admissions take priority. We will always give you as much notice as possible and will work to reschedule your appointment promptly.

Special requirements

If you have any special requirements such as hearing, sight or dietary needs, please let us know as soon as possible by calling the number on your appointment letter.

We are able to provide interpreters for spoken language interpretation, either in person or over the telephone, for people whose first language is not English. We can also provide sign language interpreters and deafblind communicator guides if required.

What to bring

Whether you’re an inpatient, or a Day Surgery patient, please bring your admissions letter and the contact details of your GP and next of kin, as well as any medication or inhalers that you’re currently using and aids such as glasses or hearing aids.


  • Personal toiletries including soap, a flannel, a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, a hairbrush and any shaving items you might require
  • Comfortable clothing and nightclothes, including a dressing gown and slippers
  • Books, magazines, and other things to do
  • A Tablet (such as an iPad) or other device for connecting to the free patient WiFi
  • A list of questions or concerns that you may want to discuss with the medical team.

Day Surgery patients

  • Nightclothes, including a dressing gown and slippers

Please bear in mind that you may require the assistance of a friend or relative to get home after your surgery. Your appointment letter should tell you if this is the case.

Maternity patients

We recommend that you have your hospital bag ready two weeks before your due date in case of an early arrival. We would also advise that you pack two bags, one for labour and one for your hospital stay afterwards.

Labour bag

  • A clean t-shirt or front-opening nightdress, dressing gown and slippers
  • Personal toiletries
  • Body oil, fine talcum powder, or lotion for back rubs
  • Some to eat and drink, and a straw to make sipping liquids easier
  • A small facial sponge
  • Music (either on an iPod, iPhone or an MP3 battery-operated device)
  • Maternity pads and a change of underwear

Hospital stay bag

  • A front-opening nightdress
  • Comfy clothing and footwear
  • Maternity pads and a change of underwear
  • A towel and toiletries
  • Two nursing bras and breast pads
  • Books, magazines and other things to do during your stay
  • Baby clothes and nappies


In our inpatient wards, each bed has a small locker for clothes and other belongings. However, space is limited and we cannot accept responsibility for any items lost or damaged during your stay. We would therefore recommend that you leave any valuables at home and don’t bring large amounts of cash into hospital with you.

Mobile phones

We understand that when you stay in hospital, you want to be able to contact your friends and loved ones. We allow mobile phones on our inpatient wards, but please note that staff may visually inspect your charging cable before you can use it. We also ask that you are sensitive to the needs of others when using your phone and try not to disturb others staying on your ward.


Both Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Community Hospital are smokefree.  Patients, visitors and staff are not allowed to smoke anywhere on our premises, either indoors or outdoors.  If you have planned admission to hospital, the best thing you can do for your health and recovery is to stop smoking.  For help and advice on how best to cut down or to quit by using alternative forms of nicotine, see our Swap & Stop Smoking Services webpage.