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Your Stay at Canterbury

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Preparing for your admission or surgery

It is important you follow your doctor’s advice for what to eat and drink prior to your procedure, surgery and admission. 

Check with your doctor whether you should take your regular medication on the morning or week prior to your procedure, surgery or admission. Please contact your doctor immediately if you are too unwell to have your procedure or surgery. 

To assist you getting to and from the hospital you may wish to arrange a family member or support person to help you on the day of your procedure or hospital admission. 

Following your procedure or hospital admission you may wish to arrange with a family member or support person to stay with you, or regularly check in with you for a few days after you go home.

If you are having General Surgery:

The Day Surgery Unit will phone you the day before surgery. If your surgery is on a Monday you will receive a call on the Friday. The call will be from a private number.

If you have not been contacted by 3pm please call the hospital on 02 9153 2195. 

If you are having Paediatric Surgery:

For children under 16 having surgery, please call Gumnut Ward the day before surgery, between 2pm - 3pm on 02 9153 2291 or 02 9153 2292. 

If you are having a Caesarean:

If you are booked in for a caesarean birth, please call the Waratah ward between 2pm - 3pm the day before on 02 9153 2552 or 02 9153 2551.

Checking in 

Arrive at the time you were given. If the main entrance is closed, enter through the Emergency Department and tell our staff you are here for surgery.

General Surgery go to Day Surgery Unit on Level 2.

If you are unwell on your day of surgery, please call the Day Surgery Unit on 02 9153 2195 and your operation will be rescheduled.

Occasionally because of an emergency or surgery that took longer than expected, your surgery may not go ahead on the planned date. If this happens you will be given priority for a new date for surgery.

Paediatric Surgery go to the Gumnut ward on level 2.

Caesarean Surgery go to the Waratah ward on level 2.

Eating and Drinking

You must not eat any food six hours before your surgery.  Before most operations you can drink clear fluids up until two hours before your surgery. If you have been told you can drink fluids, one small cup per hour is permitted (up to 200 ml) until two hours before your surgery. 

Clear fluids are:

  • water
  • black coffee or tea (milk is NOT allowed)
  • Clear apple juice or cordial (with no pulp)

When you arrive, our staff will confirm:

Your contact details, medical history, medication history, your next of kin contact details, your GP contact details and check to make sure you have signed a consent form.

What should I bring with me?

If you are staying overnight, we suggest you bring a small bag with comfortable clothing, sleepwear and personal toiletries.

Please also bring:

  • All medications you are currently taking and the dosage information
  • Copies of your x-rays and pathology tests relevant to your procedure 
  • Any forms, notes, reports, or letters from your doctor 
  • Your Medicare card, Pension card, DVA or concessional card if relevant 
  • Private Health Insurance card (if you have one) 
  • General Practitioner (GP) contact details 
  • Comfortable loose clothing and footwear (with non-clip soles) 

Please do not bring your valuables with you. The hospital is not responsible and cannot reimburse you for lost property.

During Your Stay

We want you and your support person to be involved in decisions about your care.  We encourage you and your support person to ask questions. You can request to speak with your medical, nursing, or allied health teams at any time during your stay.


Most wards at Canterbury have four- bed bays. There are a limited number of single rooms. Single rooms are prioritised based on clinical need. Any remaining single rooms are allocated to private patients. 


You can hire a television during your stay with us. Please ask our staff to assist in arranging this service for you. 

Mobile phone and other personal electronic devices 

As mobile phones may interfere with electronic medical equipment, we ask you and your visitors please keep your use of these to a minimum in the hospital. Please observe signs and staff instructions when using your mobile phone and other personal electronic devices.

Free Wi-Fi 

We offer free guest Wi-Fi internet to all patients and visitors. 

To connect, go to the Wi-Fi settings of your device and select "SLHD-Guest" 

Agree to the terms and conditions in your browser. You will be automatically connected. 

Please note, limits and usage conditions apply.

Interpreter Services

We provide free and professional face to face and telephone interpreting services within our hospital. These services are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Interpreters are available in most community languages, as well as Auslan. Please let our staff know if you require an interpreter.Find out more


During your hospital stay you will be offered a variety of meal choices based on your dietary needs and medical condition. 

We ask that you do not eat food if you are “nil by mouth” for a test or procedure. If you are not sure, please check with your nurse. 

Sometimes friends or family may like to bring food or drinks in for you. 

Going Home 

Going home, or planning your discharge should start on the day you are admitted to hospital or in the Pre-Admission Unit. In some cases, you may require continuous care in another hospital such as recovery care or rehabilitation. 

To ensure there are no delays to your discharge, please talk to your care team looking after you about what day they think you will be discharged. Knowing this date will allow you to organise transport as well as any extra help you might need when you go home. We anticipate that you will be leaving the hospital by 10am. 

Make sure any follow up appointments you need have been booked and you have been given a date and time for them. 

On your day of discharge, you may be transferred to the Discharge Lounge while we prepare your discharge paperwork and any medications you might require. Here you can also wait in a comfortable place for your private transport home.