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Visiting times

Patient visiting restrictions

We know how important visiting is to patients and their loved ones. The majority of inpatients are permitted to have one visitor every day between 11:00 and 19:00. (This must be arranged in advance with the ward.)

As our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19, all visitors will be required to:

  • sanitise their hands
  • wear a hospital-supply surgical face mask (unless they are medically exempt)
  • follow any personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance as instructed by staff while they are on hospital premises

Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.

However, please do not enter our hospitals if:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms or your lateral flow test is positive
  • you've recently been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
  • you have any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing or a sore throat
  • you've been sick or have diarrhoea

We are constantly reviewing our visiting guidance in light of national guidance, cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals and community rates of the virus.

Adult inpatient wards

Visiting hours are between 11:00 and 19:00 every day, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward.

One visitor is allowed to visit the patient at a time. A different visitor is allowed each day.

Patients in critical care can have two visitors.

Please speak to the ward to make arrangements to visit your friend/relative.

No children should visit adult wards unless agreed in special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

Visiting is not permitted in day case/assessment areas with less than 24 hours stay, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you’re not sure about anything.

In our A&E departments

One person may accompany a patient in the Emergency department. However, this does not apply to Minor Injuries, where special circumstances will apply, due to restricted space. (See "special circumstances", below.)

Children, including neonates

For paediatric wards, each child can have two parents/carers visit a day (one at a time) with one parent/carer able to remain overnight.

In the Neonatal Unit, both parents/named carers are able to visit.

You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you’re not sure about anything.

Maternity patients

Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.

Outpatient appointments

Patients who require support coming to the hospital due to a health issue may be accompanied to their appointment by one other person, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

For further information on attending outpatient appointments while restrictions are in place, please see our COVID-19 information pages.

Special circumstances

Under the following circumstances, visitors may be able to extend visits or visit outside of the 11:00 - 19:00 visiting times. This must be agreed with ward staff in advance.

  • Patients under 18 – two parents or guardians may visit, but only one of these visitors may be in the hospital at any one time (local rules apply for neonatal units – see "children, including neonates", above)
  • Deteriorating and dying patients
  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism
  • Visits from recognised carers (paid or unpaid), providing support where they would usually provide care at home
  • Patients with specific communication needs
  • Supporting meal times to encourage a patient to eat
  • Patients requiring spiritual/religious support – all requests will go via the relevant hospital's Chaplaincy team

For patients with COVID-19, ward staff will perform a risk assessment and advise visitors whether they may attend.

Children are not generally permitted to visit. However, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support in exceptional circumstances.

Last reviewed: 06 January 2022