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Visiting hours

We are pleased to be able to reintroduce limited visiting across our inpatient wards at our hospitals. Although COVID-19 infection is still present in our communities, we understand how important visits are as a source of emotional support and wellbeing for our patients. So that we can safely reintroduce visiting, visits will be pre-booked with an allocated appointment slot that facilitates the ‘Rule of One’ approach.

This means that patients may receive up to one visitor per day for up to an hour - unless there are exceptional circumstances where additional visiting is needed. This is to maintain social distancing, particularly in bay areas.

When it has been agreed with a patient that they would like a visitor, the ward will contact the named visitor and arrange a slot for them to attend the ward. The visitor’s name and contact details will be recorded by the ward to aid with relevant contact tracing requirements if needed. If you are contacted by the ward to arrange a visit, please let our staff know if you require any reasonable adjustments, such as if you need to be accompanied by a carer.

Additional visiting can be arranged in the following exceptional circumstances. Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements:

  • A maximum of two visitors for patients who are in their last hours / days and receiving end of life care.
  • One carer who is supporting someone with a mental health issue, cognitive impairment such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Please note that visiting arrangements may be restricted at short notice if required to maintain the safety of patients, visitors and staff. 

To maintain the safety of patients, families and visitors, current visiting restrictions must remain in place in:

  • Emergency Departments
  • Acute Medical Units
  • Observation and Assessment Units (including Emergency Surgical Assessment Unit)
  • Ambulatory Care Units
  • Outpatient Departments
  • Wards/bays designated for patients with COVID-19 

Read more about visiting and how appointments are booked here.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time. We will review these arrangements on a regular basis.

Wearing of face coverings – patients and visitors

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times, unless you are exempt under current government guidelines. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you please plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, we will provide you with a face mask from a designated face mask station.

Visitors entering clinical areas should continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate to that clinical area and will be advised by staff.

Please remember that face masks and face coverings are only effective if you use them correctly, and in combination with social distancing and other measures, such as:

  • Good hand hygiene
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Catch it, bin it, kill it (respiratory hygiene)
  • Regular cleaning of surfaces

We understand many visitors and outpatients may be anxious about coming to hospital. Please be reassured that we have additional hand gel dispensers placed around each site, and would advise against the wearing of gloves to prevent any potential spread of germs. Thank you for your co-operation.