Before your hospital stay you need to arrange a few things:

  • someone who can bring things you might need, such as a change of clothes, as well as do your laundry
  • someone who can let your friends and family know how you are
  • if you live on your own, someone to check your house and look after any pets
  • accommodation for whānau or family who want to be close to you while you are in hospital
  • someone to take you home when you are discharged


What to pack: Checklist for you and whānau and friends

If you are planning a hospital stay, this checklist might be helpful. If you are helping a whānau member or friend during their stay, please see that they have these things: 

  • light, fitting clothes for a couple of days and a bag for laundry
  • good-fitting shoes, sandals, or slippers to help avoid a fall
  • daily toiletries, moisturiser and lip balm
  • glasses or other reading aids
  • hearing aids (and the case) with spare batteries.
  • medicines packed into a container with your current medicines card (yellow card) 
  • health aids such as a CPAP machine, inhaler or walking aid
  • reading material
  • personal devices: tablet computer, laptop or mobile phone and chargers for each. There is free wi-fi available. 
  • ear buds or headphones for personal devices so that noise from them doesn't bother other patients
  • documents such as power of attorney or an advance care plan so people know what your wishes are if you can’t communicate them easily

Please also:

  • keep jewellery and valuables at home (a wedding ring or pounamu are okay to wear)
  • bring a small amount of cash only
  • be aware that there is limited storage space around a hospital bed.

The hospital cannot accept responsibility for the security of personal items. Please ask ward staff to lock away any items that are valuable to you.


Get up, get dressed, get active, return home

We encourage patients to get up and dressed during their stay in hospital.

Getting patients out of bed, dressed in their own clothes and walking helps them feel stronger, recover more quickly and less likely to fall.

Research has shown that patients who stay in their pyjamas or hospital gowns for longer than they need lose fitness and muscle strength quickly, have a higher risk of infection, and ultimately stay in hospital longer.

Help your loved one feel better, more independent and mobile by bringing in a change of clothes, well-fitting walking shoes, sandals or slippers (which are easy to put on) and encourage them to get up, get dressed and, with support, back walking.


This advice, and a copy of the packing list, is available to download and print as the Managing an unexpected hospital stay pamphlet.