Visiting patients


Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping patients and our staff safe is our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage patients and visitors to continue to use digital services such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones during their hospital stay. iPads are available on wards for use by patients who do not have a smartphone or other mobile device.

Hospital visiting has been altered to protect the safety of everyone in the hospital, and to support staff to deliver the best possible care to patients.

Visiting is now allowed in inpatient settings in a very careful and COVID-secure way, subject to a number of health and safety measures in place.

The current rules for visiting are as follows:

  • One visitor can come in for a maximum of one hour each day – visiting times will be staggered to accommodate visiting for all patients
  • To limit the number of people in the hospitals, visits must be pre-booked by phoning the ward, at least a day in advance. You will be asked to leave your contact details for Test and Trace
  • All visitors must wear a face covering (or mask) at all times. It is now a requirement for all visitors to the hospital to wear a face covering. We ask that you bring your own face covering, but a mask will be provided if you don’t have one. You will not be allowed to enter the ward without a face covering.See face coverings, masks and other personal protective equipment section for more information
  • You must clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided when entering and leaving the hospital and the ward
  • Keep personal belongings to a minimum. Please bring as few bags, coats and other loose belongings with you as possible – ideally just a mobile phone and keys placed in a plastic bag you can throw away as you leave
  • You must maintain a safe distance from other people at all times
  • You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home

Who is not permitted:

  • You should not come into hospital if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are waiting for a COVID-19 test result
  • You should not visit the hospital if you are self-isolating or in quarantine following a visit abroad
  • If you are in an at-risk group (anyone over 70, who has an underlying health condition, is pregnant or shielding) you are advised not to visit and do so at your own risk
  • Children under 16 are not allowed to visit, except in exceptional circumstances, which you should discuss with the nurse in charge
  • If you need the help of a carer to visit, please discuss this when you call to book
  • Carers with a Carer’s Passport can continue visiting at any time
  • You may be asked to leave the ward during your visit. This may because your relative or another patient requires treatment or if an emergency occurs

Face coverings, masks and other personal protective equipment:

  • If a face mask cannot be worn, we will support virtual visiting of patients through use of technology (ipads/mobile phones). in exceptional circumstances such as if the patient is end of life, a case by case exemption may apply. Please contact the ward.
  • Visitors must wear a mask or face covering on arrival at the hospital and for the duration of the visit, including when walking through corridors. For the safety of yourself and others, you will not be allowed into the ward without a face covering
  • Wearing a face mask can make you feel very hot so we advise that you are not over-dressed during your visit and have had plenty to drink before you come in
  • If you are visiting a high risk area or a person known to be COVID-19 positive, you will be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment, such as a surgical face mask or a hood. You will be informed in advance and staff will help you with this if needed
  • You must put your face mask in the bin provided as you leave the hospital

This guidance is for adult wards only, alternative arrangements are in place for the children’s hospital, some maternity wards, the Neonatal Unit and also for patients who are at the end of life (where up to 4 visitors may be enabled to visit) please speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge in this circumstance.