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On the ward

  • Breakfast: 8am to 8.45am
  • Lunch: 12pm to 1.15pm
  • Tea break: 5pm to 6.30pm

Each day you will be given a menu card to choose your meals. Hot drinks are also served during the morning and evening.

We cater for special dietary requirements that are authorised by a dietitian. If you require a special diet, for example diabetic, vegetarian, Halal or Kosher, please inform nursing staff.

If you are having special tests, x-rays or treatment, we may need to postpone the time of your meal or it may be restricted.

As a patient, you should only eat food provided by hospital staff. You should not eat food from other sources such as hospital canteens, shops or restaurants.


A junior house doctor will be in immediate charge of your care when you’re in hospital. A consultant will visit you on ward rounds along with other doctors. If you find it difficult to talk in front of so many people, you may ask for a private conversation with the consultant.

If you are in any doubt about your progress or treatment, ask the house doctor who visits you each day.

The ward manager is known as the ward sister or charge nurse. Each ward is staffed by a team of nurses who will make sure you receive the highest standard of care during your stay in hospital. All staff can be clearly recognised with a Trust identification badge.

Social workers
You may ask to see a social worker if you are experiencing any difficulties or are feeling anxious about coming into hospital or leaving. An on-call social worker is also available outside normal working hours. Contact can be made through your nurse.

If you would like any help or advice about your medicines, please ask the pharmacist on your ward.

Other health professionals
We have a full range of health professionals available for inpatients and outpatients, including:

  • audiologists
  • dietitians
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • podiatrists
  • radiographers
  • speech and language therapists
Teaching and research

Belfast City Hospital is a teaching hospital. Students from all medical and health professions visit the wards regularly. They work under the direction of qualified members of staff and your cooperation in helping them is appreciated.

If you are unhappy with students being involved in any aspect of your care, please tell a member of staff.

Research to improve patient care is an important part of our work. However, no clinical research is carried out unless patients give their consent to be involved.

The Research Office is responsible for managing all research that involves patients or staff across the Trust. This includes:

  • trials of new medicines or devices
  • studies to improve understanding of disease biology
  • studies to improve patients’ experience of care within the Trust

All Trust research is reviewed and approved by an independent research ethics committee. It is conducted in line with national guidelines from regulatory bodies.


Information about your illness is strictly confidential. This information will not be given to anyone without your prior permission, except the clinical staff involved in your care.

Delays, emergencies and transfers

It is not possible to predict the workload of staff in a major hospital. There may sometimes be delays with transport, tests and other services. We would appreciate your patience as we work to provide the appropriate care as quickly as possible.

Fire alarm bells will sometimes sound during the course of testing or because of sensitive smoke detectors. In the event of an emergency, staff will advise you immediately if any action is necessary. Please stay calm and follow their instructions.

During your stay in hospital, you may be transferred to another ward. There are a number of possible reasons for this:

  • an improvement in your condition
  • another consultant taking over your care
  • to accommodate an acutely ill patient