Patient visiting restrictions
We know how important visiting is to our patients, and their family and friends. The majority of inpatients are permitted to have two visitors every day, between 11:00 and 19:00 (though this may very on certain wards). This must be arranged in advance with the ward.
Our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19. Therefore, all visitors are required to:
- sanitise their hands
- follow the latest guidelines on mask wearing, unless medically exempt
- follow any personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance, as instructed by staff
Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.
However, please do not enter our hospitals if:
- you have COVID-19 symptoms
- you have tested positive for COVID-19
- you have recently been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
Symptoms of COVID-19
The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a new and continuous cough, anosmia (loss of smell) and ageusia (loss of taste). However, COVID-19 can have other symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, myalgia (muscle ache), sore throat, headache, nasal congestion (stuffy nose), runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting. Please do not visit our hospitals if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
Adult inpatient wards
Visiting hours are between 11:00 and 19:00 every day, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward.
In most cases, two visitors are allowed to visit the patient at a time/per day. However, in certain areas of our hospitals, visiting arrangements may vary, for example reduced number of visitors/length of visit. The ward will advise you if this is the case.
Please speak to the ward to make arrangements to visit.
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 emergency departments (A&E)
One person may accompany a patient in the Emergency Department. However, this does not apply to minor injuries units, where special circumstances will apply, due to restricted space. (See "special circumstances", below.)
Children, including neonates
For paediatric (children's) wards, each child can have two parents/carers visit per 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 are not sure about anything.
Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.
Patients may be accompanied or supported by one person, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)
For further information on attending outpatient appointments, please see our COVID-19 information pages.
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
- 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 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, in exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support.
Collecting a patient on discharge from hospital
Please discuss discharge arrangements with the ward. We aim to discharge patients by 11:00, and appreciate your help in making arrangements to collect them by this time.
We are constantly reviewing our visiting guidance in line with national guidance, cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals and in the local community. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Last reviewed: 06 January 2022