Information for visitors to our hospitals

Patients and visitors

More in this section

We welcome and encourage visitors and the involvement of carers. 

This page gives you general information about visiting our hospitals. You may also want to check our wards page which has more specific information about each ward's visiting hours and any restrictions that may apply.

Visitor numbers

Up to two visitors per patient are allowed at any one time. This is to make sure that our patients get the rest they need and other patients are not disturbed. However, if there is an infection on the ward, we may restrict this to one visitor per patient.

Visiting times

  • general visiting hours: 2pm-8pm, every day. This may vary, so please check with the ward you are visiting
  • postnatal ward visiting hours: 3pm-7pm.
  • Why we have visiting hours

    Rest is important for recovery, so please respect these visiting hours. Please also show consideration towards other patients during your visit.

    If your relative or friend has been admitted to hospital in an emergency today or is critically ill, or if you are unable to visit during these hours, we may be able to be more flexible. Please ask a nurse on the ward for more information.

    Please note:

    • most wards also operate a protected mealtimes policy, where you will be asked to leave so that our patients can eat without interruption
    • sometimes we need to shorten visiting times to protect the welfare and privacy of all our patients. If this is the case, we will give you more information.

Contacting your relative or friend

We understand that you may want to find out how your friend or relative is. There are many ways you can keep in contact, such as calling the ward, calling your friend or relative directly or writing a letter.

  • Ways you can keep in touch

    Calling the ward

    You can call the hospital switchboard and ask for the ward they are staying on. If possible, your friend or relative should nominate one person to call the hospital and act as a link for everyone else. This helps our nursing staff care for patients. Also, to protect patient confidentiality, we can only give limited information over the phone.

    Calling your friend or relative directly

    In most cases, you can also call your friend or relative using their bedside phone. However, you will be charged at a premium rate for these calls.

    You may be able to call your friend or relative on their mobile phone. Mobile phones are not allowed in certain areas of the hospital, so please check with the ward staff or your friend or relative.

    Writing a letter

    You can write to your friend or relative in hospital. Please make sure you address the letter or card with their full name, the name of the ward and the correct hospital address.


Preventing the spread of infections

We take cleanliness and infection prevention very seriously, but need your help to keep our infection rates low.

  • How you can help

    • infectious illnesses - if you know, or think, that you may have an infectious condition, please contact the relevant ward or department before visiting. If you have an infectious condition such as chicken pox, measles, diarrhoea or vomiting we may ask you not to come into hospital, as these infections could pose a risk to others
    • to reduce the spread of infections we ask you to avoid sitting on hospital beds
    • hand washing - there are hand rub dispensers at the entrance to every ward. Please use this to clean your hands on entering or leaving a ward. Using the hand rub kills any germs on your hands and reduces the risk of introducing infection to patients within the ward
    • flowers - if you wish to bring or send flowers, please check with ward staff first. Flowers are not allowed in some areas of the hospital as the water in vases can be an infection risk
    • extra infection control measures - from time to time we may need to move patients out of the main ward. This is usually if they have an infectious condition that poses a risk to others or to protect them from infection. If this is the case, you must ask nursing staff about any precautions you need to take and whether there are any restrictions to visiting.

Can relatives and friends stay at the hospital?

We have visitor accommodation at both hospitals. See our accommodation page for details.

Spiritual care

Our spiritual care and chaplaincy service offers you 24-hour spiritual, religious and cultural care.

For more information about our services including how to contact us and details of religious services see the spiritual health care section.

Finding your way around

Restaurants, shops and more

All our hospitals have a range of cafes, shops, restaurants and even a cinema.

Facilities at Guy's

Facilities at St Thomas'