Background Pharmacist-led care services within the hospital pharmacy setting have a significant impact on efficient drug management processes. The work of pharmacists is directly associated with the provision of drugs and medical supplies along with additional clinical, administrative, organizational and educational duties. Depending on the country, these practice roles may differ to a significant extent. Objective The aim of this research was to explore the role of the hospital pharmacist and the provision of both clinical and traditional pharmaceutical services for patients and medical staff in Polish general hospitals. Setting Hospital pharmacies from all general hospitals in Poland. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted, utilizing an anonymous questionnaire as the research instrument. Heads of hospital pharmacies were requested to participate in this study and complete the questionnaire. The survey was initially piloted to improve the research method. Main outcome measure The types of pharmaceutical services performed in Polish general hospitals. Results 166 hospital pharmacies took part in this survey. The overall response rate was 60.8 %. The total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) professionals employed within the surveyed hospital pharmacies was approximately 833. The procurement and distribution of drugs were identified as pharmaceutical services performed by most of the participants. The significant majority of pharmacists were also involved in compounding, adverse drug reaction monitoring and rational drug management services. Eleven (7 %) of the responding pharmacists had direct contact with patients and 7 (4 %) pharmacists took part in ward rounds. More precise legal regulations regarding hospital pharmacy practice were measures indicated by most pharmacists as necessary changes required in the hospital pharmacy system. Conclusion Polish hospital pharmacists provide various pharmaceutical services. Their work is closely related with direct provision of drugs. There is an observed inadequate level of clinical services provided in comparison to clinical settings in other countries.