Covid-19: guide for visitors

General information

All visitors will need to wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines. In certain areas of the hospital where there are vulnerable patients - for example, maternity, neonatal and haematology-oncology wards - we will advise visitors to carry out a lateral flow device (LFD) test, which will be provided by the ward. 

Adult inpatients

All adult inpatients, including those having a planned procedure or surgery, can have two named visitors. Visitors should book their visit by calling the ward. Only one named visitor can be at the bedside at any one time. Visits should be limited to one hour.

Emergency Departments (A&Es)

We ask that you please attend our Emergency Departments (otherwise known as A&Es) alone wherever possible, unless you are under 16 or otherwise require assistance with your visit. In the latter cases, you should only have one visitor in attendence with you.

Pregnant women and birthing partners

  • Those giving birth will still be able to bring two birthing partners with them when in labour and on the maternity ward (including the postnatal ward)
  • You will be able to attend hospital-based antenatal clinics with one other person
  • Babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care wards can still be visited by both parents (or by the mother and their chosen partner) at any time

Children’s wards

  • Both parents are permitted to visit children who are inpatients on our paediatric wards.

End-of-life care

  • Patients nearing the end of their lives are permitted to have up to four visitors where arrangements can be made safely. This also applies to end-of-life care patients who are being treated in critical care. You must speak to the ward manager in advance to agree how many visitors are permitted, and when the visits can take place. All visitors will need to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provided by the ward team. A maximum of two visitors can be at the bedside at any one time.

Critical Care Intensive Care Units

  • Patients in critical care will be permitted visitors in exceptional circumstances, and at the discretion of the clinical teams caring for them. You must speak to staff in Critical Care in advance to agree the number of visitors and when visits can take place.

Patients with disabilities or specific care needs

Please speak in advance to the relevant Ward Manager, Matron or Head of Nursing to agree visiting arrangements for patients with specific care needs. This includes arranging visits for:

  • Patients with dementia, learning disabilities or mental health needs
  • Patients who are in distress or who require an interpreter
  • Patients whose health is deteriorating due to isolation

Protecting patients and staff

Our priority continues to be to protect our patients and staff so we it is very important that you do not come to hospital if you have any symptoms of coronavirus

Check the latest guidance at: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

What to do when you visit

Face covering/masks: When entering all hospitals you must now wear a face covering and/or mask. If you haven’t brought one with you, our security guards at our main entrances can give you a single use mask. If you are unable to do this, unfortunately you will not be able to visit the patient and will be asked to leave. 

Handwashing: When visiting someone in hospital, please wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water when entering and leaving the bay or use the alcohol gel provided.

Social distancing: Please keep a safe distance from other patients, visitors and staff where possible. You may need to follow one-way systems to help us all stay apart. If social distancing cannot be maintained in our ward areas, you may be asked to visit at another time.

Outer clothing: Please remove your outer clothing eg coat or jacket and roll up your sleeves before coming onto the ward.

We understand how difficult it is for our patients, relatives and carers at this time. Thank you for working with us to prioritise the safety of our patients, visitors and staff.

Video/phone calls

You can also keep in touch with loved ones by video/phone call rather than coming to visit. Our inpatient wards have access to phones and iPads to support this. Please call the nurse in charge to arrange making contact. You can also send a free patient postcard greeting.