Information alert

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Going to the NHNN

This booklet has been written to prepare you for your hospital stay. We hope that you will find it helpful. We understand that this may be a stressful time for you and your family. We will aim to keep you fully informed about your care and treatment and ensure you are included in decisions about your care, so it is very important to read this booklet carefully. 

Do not hesitate to ask a member of the clinical team caring for you if you have any questions about your care or treatment.

Welcome note

The NHNN is part of the UCLH NHS Foundation Trust.

What happens at the NHNN?

Our teams are here to provide a Specialist Neurological contribution to care to patients from all over the country who need emergency and complex neurological treatment. This means we treat diseases of the brain and nervous system.

What should I expect?

People are usually admitted to NHNN for short-term admissions. This is so they can receive specialist neurological care, and then go on to complete the rest of their healing journey elsewhere.

This means that when your treatment is completed and our medical and/or therapy teams decide you no longer need one of our beds, you will be discharged to your home, rehabilitation unit, care home, or local NHS hospital.

The Multidisciplinary team in charge of your care will let you know where they think it’s best for you, before arranging for your discharge.

We do this so that we can continue to admit new patients in, and to provide them with emergency and elective specialist care in a timely manner.

Do you need an interpreter?

If you would require an interpreter, kindly please let us know as soon as possible as this can take up to 24 - 72 hours to arrange. 

Wi-fi access network (wireless)

The Guest@UCLH network provides internet access for patient and staff personal mobile devices.

You do not need to install any software to access the internet, but you will be asked to register with the service the first time you connect.

Before admission to NHNN

  • Inform your next of kin of your proposed admission.
  • Prepare for your return home in advance by buying food items which can be frozen or stored.
  • Consider if you will need someone to stay with you on discharge.
  • Buy some simple painkillers such as paracetamol.
  • Arrange transport to and from the hospital. Transport is not routinely provided.
  • If you need to book rail or bus tickets, please ensure that these are flexible tickets which will allow.
  • changes in travel to be made should the need arise. (Note, there are times when changes in admission dates need to be made at short notice).
  • Make sure you bring a key to access your home on discharge. 
  • Read through the written information provided, write down any questions you may have about your treatment or admission.
  • Please try to stop smoking, eat a nutritious diet and take regular gentle exercise leading up to your admission.

General Information

  • Your admission letter and details of next-of-kin, closest friend or relative.
  • Any medicines that you use (including non-prescription and herbal medicines), and a list of any allergies you may have.
  • Clothes: two nighties or pyjamas (shirts and pyjama tops that open in the front rather than being pulled over your head are recommended); dressing gown and slippers; daywear (comfortable clothes) and underwear. Please be aware that the bedside cupboard has limited space.
  • Toiletries: toothbrush and toothpaste, soap, shampoo, hairbrush, shaving kit, deodorant, flannel or sponge, box of tissues, earplugs, and sanitary products as appropriate.
  • Any walking or hearing aids (please label clearly with your name) – spectacles, contact lenses or dentures (please bring cases with your name on and cleaning equipment for these items).
  • You may also like to bring mobile phone, chargers, your diary or personal organiser, books, magazines, knitting, puzzles, electronic games (please keep these on silent mode so as not to disturb other patients), pen, paper, stamps, bottled water.
  • Medical documents/previous scans/test results.

Please don’t bring:

  • Towels or bed linen – these are provided by the hospital
  • Washing powder – there are no laundry facilities on the wards. 
  • Valuables –large amounts of money, jewellery, expensive games, computers, or music players. You will have small bedside locker for your clothes, medications, and personal belongings but the unit cannot take responsibility for the safekeeping of your valuables.
  • Anything noisy – please don’t bring your own TV or radio 
  • Alcohol – is strictly not allowed in any of the Trust’s hospitals and is not available in the Trust cafes and restaurants.

If you show any COVID -19 symptoms, colds, flu, diarrhoea, vomiting and other infectious illness, please do not come to the hospital until you are well. Following national guidance, we currently provide face masks for staff and visitors who may prefer to wear them, and we request that all visitors clean their hands with gel when entering the building and all clinical areas. 

Please contact the ward before visiting as restrictions may apply however the trust aim for 2pm – 7pm visiting hours. We ask that there are no more than two visitors at the bed space to minimise noise, promote rest and comfort to all patients. Speak to the ward manager or charge nurse if your visiting request falls outside visiting hours. 

Your medical team and the admissions staff have created a plan for your arrival at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. Kindly arrive at the designated time to avoid delays of your treatment. 

A nurse or ward clerk will greet you, check your details and explain the ward routine to you. The nurse and health care assistants will start your admission. They will give you a wristband with your name on it which you must always wear as this is vital to ensure you are always given the correct treatment or medicines. Each ward is managed by a Ward Sister or Charge Nurse. If you have any concerns, they will be available to answer any questions you have. 

All our staff are required to wear visible identity badges telling you who they are and what they do, but if you cannot see this badge, please feel free to ask. 

Once on the ward, you will be given the name of a nurse and other nursing staff who will be responsible for your care. At the start of every shift, they will introduce themselves. 24-hour care is provided to all patients. 

Your consultant is responsible for your care. Although you may not see your consultant every day, a doctor on your consultant’s team should visit you. Ward rounds generally begin about 10am, but this can vary so feel free to ask the staff. 

Both doctors and nurses will discuss your treatment with you as well as give you written information where available. 

NHNN is a teaching hospital which trains doctors, nurses, midwives, and other health professionals. You may often see medical students on the wards, and under supervision, they may help to give you care or complete a test. We will ask for your consent for this, and you have the right to refuse it. 

If you choose not to provide your consent, your care will not be affected in any way. 

We keep your name, address, date of birth and GP details, as well as information on your medical condition. All this information is strictly confidential, and we have a legal duty to protect your privacy. This will not be shared with any third party unless necessary for clinical or other essential reasons related to your medical condition. 

If you wish to access your own medical records, you can sign up to MyCare UCLH. This is our patient portal, which gives you online, secure access to information about your care. You can download this app from app store or google play for free. If you need any assistance your doctor or nurse can activate your account during your appointment.

Alternatively, please contact the Release of Information team on 020 3447 9849.

Please be aware that smoking or vaping is not allowed in the hospital grounds. This policy applies to staff, patients, and visitors.

Family, friends, and carers are welcome to telephone the ward and ask about your progress. For confidentiality reasons, we cannot give out any medical information over the phone, but your nurse can give a general update. We recommend that, where possible one member of the family is nominated as the person to receive updates from the medical teams and to then pass the information on to other family members. 

If you wish to receive mail, please ask your relatives and friends to add the name of your ward and the full hospital address to all correspondence.

Meals are provided and there is a varied choice of daily menus. You may eat food brought by your family and visitors, but please check with your nurse whether there are any foods you should not be eating as part of your care plan. Snack boxes can be provided if you miss a meal.

Mealtimes may vary slightly but generally:
    Breakfast (8am – 9am)
    Lunch (12 midday – 1pm)
    Dinner (6pm – 7pm)

Patients should not bring their own food into the hospital as there are no storage facilities and as per trust Infection control policy, we cannot reheat food. 

We also follow protected mealtime policy where you will not be disturbed during your meals unless completely necessary. 

NHNN has a team of chaplains of different faith traditions. Our chapel is near the main hospital entrance.

If you would like to see a chaplain, then please ask the ward staff to contact them. 

On the ward

NHNN has demonstrated its commitment to improving privacy, dignity, and respect for its patients by eliminating mixed sex accommodation from our hospitals. 

Patients will be nursed in a room or bay within a ward with patients of the same sex. Patients can also expect to have access to toilets and bathrooms which are close to their bed and designated male or female (except for the critical care areas and recovery).

If you are unhappy about your bed arrangements, please speak to the nurse looking after you. We will try to find you a more suitable space. Safeguarding your privacy and dignity is a high priority for all our staff. 

Infection control

We are working hard to fight infection and we ask for you and your visitors to help. Please wash your hands with soap and water and use the hand gel provided as this is the most effective way to prevent spread of infection. 

Going home

To make sure your stay in hospital is no longer than necessary, you will be informed of the anticipated length of admission to hospital by your consultant/team prior to admission.  This will be confirmed again within 24 hours of admission. This allows patients and families to prepare for admission and discharge. Please be assured that you will not be discharged if you are unwell, or complications arise.  

We will also aim for you to drink, eat and move out of bed to a chair within 24 hours of your treatment or as soon as permitted after your treatment. This has been shown to help patients recover more quickly and be discharged home in a timely manner.    

Please note that patients do not have the right to remain in hospital longer than required especially in acute care. If you require further information, please ask a member of staff to give you a copy of ‘Choice Policy’.

Your nurse and/or therapists will be responsible for arranging your discharge plan if deemed appropriate. The integrated discharge service at NHNN may also be involved when necessary. 

Taxis can be arranged at the reception desk or patient lounge, but you will have to pay for them.

Hospital transport is only provided for those who for medical reasons are unable to use other forms of transport. An assessment will be carried out to see if you meet the eligibility criteria. We advise patients to arrange their own hospital transport with families or friends. 

Patients requiring extended hospitalisation, but not the specialist care of the NHNN may be transferred to their local or referring hospital if appropriate care can be provided there.

Before you leave the ward:

  • Ask for a Fit note if needed.
  • Collect all your valuables by your bedside.
  • Pack all belongings from your locker.

Your leaving hospital checklist:

  • A copy of your discharge letter.
  • All the medications you need with information about them, including usage and storage. Details of care required from other health professionals (such as practice nurse/district nurse).
  • Understood your agreed care plan.
  • Information about potential lifestyle changes with appropriate advice sheets to help you.
  • Any relevant patient care booklet for example wound care.  
  • Advice about when you can expect to return to work.
  • Contact details of your Clinical Nurse Specialist if applicable. 
  • Please make sure to return any hospital equipment you no longer need.

You should be discharged from the ward before 12 midday. If you cannot go straight home at that time for any reason and if you have everything you need (discharge letter and medications), we may ask you to wait in the visitor’s room of the ward for a short period only. 

Please note that your discharge will usually be led by the nurse, and you may not always get to see your consultant on the day you leave.

Further information

We welcome your feedback. You should receive a text message after discharge asking for feedback about your admission. We appreciate you taking time to complete this as it helps us improve the services. 

If you are unhappy with any part of your hospital experience, please speak immediately to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse or Matron.

You can also contact PALS directly. If you would like to have a formal investigation into a complaint, contact our Complaints Department on ext. 73413 or write to:

Chief Executive
250 Euston Road
London NW1 2PG

All complaints will be dealt with promptly and you will be kept informed of all actions taken.

We do not tolerate any harassment, threats or actual violence against staff, patients or visitors and action will be taken over incidents of unacceptable behaviour.

Our staff are committed to ensuring that the rights, dignity and cultural values of our patients are respected. We will try to ensure that no person is discriminated against on the grounds of age, disability, gender, religion and belief or sexual orientation. 

As a patient or local resident, you are entitled to become a member of UCLH Foundation Trust and have a say in the way the Trust develops and improves its services. 

If you would like more information or would like to become a patient member, sign up at our website or contact us via switchboard.

How to get here

NHNN map.png

Euston, King’s Cross and St Pancras are all only about 15 minutes walk from the hospital.

Southampton Row -  nos.59, 68, 91, 168, 188, 501

Theobalds Road -  nos.19, 38, 55, 243

High Holborn / New Oxford Street - nos.8, 25, 242, 501, 521

You can travel on buses and trams using an Oyster or contactless payment card with pay as you go credit, or you can add a Travelcard or Bus & Tram pass to your Oyster card. You are no longer able to use cash to pay for your bus fare.

Russell Square (Piccadilly Line) and Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines) are both within walking distance.

Parking spaces in the area can be difficult to find. Parking – public meter bays in Queen Square and Great Ormond Street. NCP underground car park at Brunswick Square.

Normal blue badge restrictions apply in Queen Square and streets close to the square. Please check the restrictions of your badge within Camden. There are three disabled bays in Queen Square. For any additional advice if you have concerns about parking or accessible transport you can contact the Camden Council team on 020 7974 4444.

Page last updated: 25 April 2024

Review due: 01 April 2026