Note to visitors - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visiting a patient

(Updated 20 November 2020)

In line with the government announcement, we have taken the difficult decision to restrict visiting as below in order to protect our patients and staff.  Visiting will only be permitted in the following circumstances and PPE must be worn.

General areas

  • Patients in the final days of life will be able to receive visitors on compassionate grounds
  • If the patient’s carer needs to be in attendance to support the patient for physical or mental health reasons


Maternity visiting update: 18 December 2020

From Saturday 19 December we are pleased to be able to welcome one support partner (wearing a mask unless medically exempt) to attend the following:

- 12 and 20 week scans

- Any appointment in antenatal care following a scan for which the support partner is already present

- When attending triage (this means a partner can be present during labour and birth from the point of attendance to the hospital or midwifery unit)

- For the commencement of induction of labour

- At all times on labour ward

- For a two hour time slot on the postnatal wards

This is in line with new guidance released on Monday to support pregnant women at all times during their maternity journey while keeping the risk of transmission of the virus within NHS maternity services (including to pregnant women, other service users and staff) as low as possible. The guidance acknowledges that there may be some challenges and that some trusts will need to make changes to the way we use our facilities to enable support people to accompany women to access their maternity care safely. Unfortunately testing partners is not an option yet due to the national unavailability of tests. However, we are reviewing each area of the service which will take time to fully roll out to pre-Covid status, particularly in the community and where waiting areas are smaller than required for the footfall. Please check our website and Maternity Services Facebook page for any further updates.

Paediatrics areas

Paediatrics areas

To enable social distancing in our Neonatal Units and on our Paediatric Wards, only one parent or guardian will be able to attend at any given time. Again, it is essential we support families to stay safe, but also protect staff to ensure there is always a workforce available to provide the care local families should be able to expect from their local hospital when they attend for assessment because they are possibly in labour

Visitors' Charter for Adult Inpatients

Our #letsbeopen campaign logo As part of our #letsbeopen campaign from Monday 1 August 2016, all of our adult inpatient wards, with the exception of critical care and maternity, extended their opening hours to between the hours of 07:30 and 22:00. 

We also launched our Visitors' Charter for Adult Inpatients on the same day. 

The Visitors’ Charter outlines what we will do as staff and what we ask our visitors to do too. It includes standards that we ask all of our visitors to respect, such as ensuring that no more than two people visit at any one time, supporting and encouraging the patient during mealtimes, observing quiet times or being asked to leave for a short period of time, such as during doctors’ rounds, etc.

This initiative has multiple benefits, including enhanced recovery, a reduction of anxiety for both the patient and their relative and many more and was influenced by the John’s Campaign, which aims to give the carers of those living with dementia the right to stay with them in hospital.

Please click here to download our Visitors' Charter.

We recognise the invaluable role and contribution that families and carers can provide to their loved ones whilst they are in hospital. Visits not only help patient wellbeing but they also play a vital part in recovery. Our priority is providing quality care for our patients but we want to be as flexible as possible to ensure you can spend time with your loved ones and, if you wish, be more involved in their care. Our visiting times for adult inpatient areas* are between 07:30 and 22:00.

Our Visitors' Charter for Adult Inpatients




We will:


We ask that you will:

  • Be polite and courteous at all times.
  • Help and support you if you want to be involved in your loved one’s care, including supporting you to assist at mealtimes or with washing.
  • Politely ask you to leave if there are more than two visitors at the bedside.
  • Let you know when it is the doctors’ rounds as it may be necessary for us to ask you to leave for a short period to ensure confidentiality for all patients is maintained. We may also ask you to leave for a short time during care or treatment to your relative or another patient in their bay. 
  • Create a calm and restful environment to help our patients’ recovery.
  • Follow our Carers Policy, which details how we will support carers.
  • Use our skills to prioritise the planning of care to our patients and communicate our decisions.
  • Keep you informed, with the patient’s permission. If agreed by the patient, we will arrange for you to speak to a member of the medical team.
  • We will wash our hands and protect our patients from infection. Please note, on occasion this might mean that we need to restrict visiting times or to move patients to an allocated side room.
  • Work hard to provide a clean hospital.


  • Be polite and courteous to our staff, other patients and visitors.
  • Let a member of staff know if you would like to assist with providing any care (with the patient’s permission) and inform staff of any specific needs the patient has. If appropriate, please support and encourage your relative to eat and drink as this is important for their recovery.
  • Help your relative by bringing in their medication, toiletries, dentures, glasses and suitable clothing and footwear.
  • Ensure that no more than two people visit a patient bedside at any one time and please use the chairs provided. Discuss with the Ward Manager if you wish to bring children in to visit.
  • Understand if you are asked to leave the ward for a short period so care or treatment can be provided to your loved one or during the doctors’ rounds. This is to ensure confidentiality for all patients is maintained.
  • Please avoid disturbing the nursing staff when they are administering medications.
  • Please be respectful. Our patients are ill and need to rest, so keep noise to a minimum and switch your phone to silent.
  • Remember that rest is important; please allow your relative the opportunity to rest for periods throughout the day. Please be respectful of other patients’ rest times too.
  • Arrange for one family member to act as liaison between the ward staff, family and friends. Please understand and respect that information cannot be given out unless the patient has given their permission.
  • Please wash your hands on entering and leaving the ward by using the alcohol gel provided and use the public facilities available rather than those for our patients.
  • Please do not visit if you are unwell yourself and please do not visit for at least 48 hours after your last episode of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Understand and respect the decision to restrict visiting or to move your relative into an allocated side room.
  • Assist your relative to keep their bed space tidy to enable our staff to be able to clean effectively.

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