What is an informal patient?

An informal patient is when you have said yes to coming into hospital.

You have agreed to come into hospital because you are unwell.

When you are unwell you will need some help to get well.

You are not held under the mental health act.

You have the right to leave the ward.

Leaving the ward

We want to help you with your recovery. If you do want to leave the ward it is best to talk to the staff before making your decision.

If staff are worried about you leaving the ward they will tell you why.

You may be stopped from leaving the ward if the nurse is worried about you.

If you are stopped from leaving the ward, doctors will assess you under the mental health act to make sure you will be safe and get well again.

What will happen in hospital?

We would like you to be involved in your care plan and decisions about your care.

A care plan is an agreement between you and your health professional to

• help you
• keep you safe and healthy.

You will be given a copy of your care plan.

You have the right to tell us what information you would like to be shared with our family or friends.

You will be supported to attend meetings and will have patient allocated time with your doctor. You do not have to go if you do not want to.

We would like you to be involved in activities on the ward. Tell us which activities you enjoy and you will be supported with this.

Doctors and nurses will help you to get better.

You may need treatment – this is care given to you to feel better.

Sometimes this will be taking medication or talking to people.

Medication is medicine or tablets.

You have the right to say no to take your medication.

If you are unsure about your medication talk to the doctor or nurses as they can help you.

Locked doors

The main door to the ward will be locked to keep you safe.

If you want to leave the ward the staff will unlock the door for you.

There may be times when staff may ask you to wait before they open the door and this will be to keep you safe.


Any letters that come to the ward for you will be given to you.

Staff will help you to read your letters if you need them to.

A link to our easy read patient carer information including imagery for this service can be downloaded here;

Informal patients rights

Leaflet reference: L527E
Version: V3
Date last updated: 12 / 2017
Archive date: 12 / 2020

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