Patient visiting information
Visitors do not need to book an appointment to visit someone in our hospitals.
Children are not generally permitted to visit. However, consideration will be given to under 18s attending, with appropriate support, in exceptional circumstances.
Wards may sometimes close to visiting due to infectious outbreaks, for example norovirus or COVID-19.
Visiting adult inpatient wards
Visiting hours are 11:00 - 20:00, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward under special circumstances based on the needs of the patient.
Critical care visiting is 11:00 - 19:00.
Visiting is limited to two visitors per patient, at any time within the above hours (does not have to be the same two visitors).
Visiting is not permitted in day case/assessment areas, where the patient will be staying less than 24 hours, except under special circumstances.
Visiting children’s inpatient wards
We encourage a parent to stay with under 18s, at all times, even on an adult ward.
Visiting is limited to two visitors per patient at any time.
Please talk to us about sibling visiting.
On children’s wards, parents are able to visit at all times.
One other adult can visit, but one parent must be present. A maximum of two visitors at a time still applies.
On neonatal units, parents are able to visit at all times.
Two nominated grandparents may visit (or allocated adult, if no grandparent) for a two hour slot within visiting hours (11:00 - 20:00). One parent must be present and maximum of two visitors at a time still applies.
All four adults must be the same throughout the admission.
You can view the guidance for maternity patients and visiting rules elsewhere on our website.
Emergency departments (ED) (also known as A&E)
If you have to come to the emergency department, you can bring someone with you.
In ED majors, patients can be accompanied by two people at any time (24/7).
In ED minors, injuries and assessment areas: patients can be accompanied by one person (24/7).
Staff will be able to tell you which ED area you are in.
Outpatient and diagnostic departments
If you have an outpatient or diagnostic appointment, you can bring someone with you.
Situations where you shouldn't visit
Do not visit if:
- you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19
- you have any respiratory symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or sore throat
- you have been sick or have diarrhoea
Our hospitals care for vulnerable patients, and therefore all visitors must:
- sanitise their hands when entering and leaving the ward/department and before and after contact with a patient, using the hand sanitizer that is available.
- follow staff instructions and signage on mask wearing/personal protective equipment (unless medically exempt).
There may be some circumstances where extended visiting may be beneficial to meet the needs of the patient. This should be discussed with the ward/department staff.
This may include, but is not limited to:
- under 18s
- deteriorating and dying patients
- patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or meet their health, care, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs
- recognised carers (paid or unpaid) providing support where they would usually provide care at home
- supporting reasonable adjustments to meet the individual needs of patients with dementia, learning disability, autism, hearing or sight impairment or loss, or a neurodiverse condition
- supporting mealtimes to encourage a patient to eat – particularly where they would usually have support at home
Collecting a patient on discharge from hospital
Please discuss discharge arrangements directly with the ward. We aim to discharge patients by 11:00 and appreciate your help in making arrangements to collect them by this time.
Our visitor charter
We have created the following visitors’ charter to provide information and to help our patients, visitors and staff get the most out of the visit.
Please note that some of the terms of this charter may be changed due to COVID-19. Please refer to the visitor restrictions above for the most up-to-date guidance.
- be polite and respectful
- listen if there is anything you would like to discuss
- work hard to create a restful environment
- identify people who the patient has a significant or longstanding relationship with (this may or may not be the next of kin) and keep them well informed (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
- support you if you wish to help with your friend or relative's care or meal times. Talk to us about how you can best assist
- put patient care first. This may mean discussing the best time for you to visit
- do all we can to protect patients from infection
- arrange for you to speak to a member of the medical team or other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care
We ask you to:
- be polite and respectful
- talk to us if you have any concerns
- keep noise levels to a minimum and turn off mobile phones or switch them to silent
- nominate one main point of contact for staff to pass information on to (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
- limit the number of visitors to two at any one time
- talk to us about children visiting the ward
- not disturb nursing staff when they are administering medications; other staff will be available if you need anything
- be aware that we may ask you to leave if a patient requires privacy or if a medical emergency occurs
- respect the confidentiality and privacy of others by not filming or photographing other patients, visitors or staff without consent
Last reviewed: 08 June 2023