Covid-19: guide for visitors

To keep our patients and staff safe, all visitors to our hospitals or clinics are required to wear a face covering unless clinically exempt. Visitors without a face covering will not be allowed to visit Covid areas and our intensive care units. These are high risk areas where we have restricted visiting arrangements to prevent the spread of infection.

Inpatient wards

  • Adult inpatients on wards are allowed two named visitors (one at a time)

  • Patients nearing the end of life are allowed four named visitors (two at a time)

  • Women during labour or a caesarean section may be accompanied by one birthing partner

  • Women on the maternity wards can be visited by their partner or one named visitor between the hours of 10am and 10pm

  • Children under 16 on our inpatient wards can be visited by two named adults (usually parents), although not at the same time

  • Babies in the Neonatal Unit can be visited by both parents at any time

Each visitor should pre-book their visit with the ward and come at a different time to other named visitors. Visits will be limited to one hour, although exceptions will be made for patients who have dementia, a learning disability or autism. 

Contact details for wards at University Hospital Lewisham

Contact details for wards at Queen Elizabeth Hospital


Testing for Covid-19

We strongly encourage visitors to perform a lateral flow device (LFD) test at home or at a rapid test centre, report the results on the government website and bring along the email or text confirming a negative result. You can obtain a free test kit through the government website.

If you're visiting Queen Elizabeth Hospital and cannot get your test outside of the Trust, there is a testing centre at the Meridian Car Park, open Monday to Sunday, 9am - 4pm. To book a test, call 020 8836 6886


Emergency Department and outpatients

  • Adult patients should attend the emergency departments, cancer services and outpatient appointments alone where possible.

  • Vulnerable patients – such as those with dementia or who have a learning disability – will be supported to attend with a carer

  • One adult may accompany children to the emergency department, cancer services and outpatient appointments.


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 the any of the following symptoms:

  • High temperature of over 37.8 degrees – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. (If you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual.)

  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Check the latest guidance at:


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.

Personal belongings: Please bring as few personal belongings with you as possible eg bags, electronic devices, gifts.

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.