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What to do when you visit

Patients and visitors

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To reduce the spread of infection, we have made changes to visiting times and the number of visitors.

This guidance is for all people visiting our hospitals and community sites. It includes what we expect you to do to help us keep our patients, other visitors and staff safe.

Do not visit if you have:

  • any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • recently tested positive for COVID-19, or are waiting for a test result
  • been in close contact with a confirmed case
  • respiratory symptoms, diarrhoea or vomiting 

If you think you have an infectious condition, contact the ward or department before visiting.

When you visit our hospitals or community sites

All visitors must:

  • use hand gel when entering any clinical area or wash their hands
  • wear a fluid repellent surgical mask (not a cloth face covering). These will be provided at our hospital entrances
  • keep your mask on at all times during the visit and while you are in the hospital
  • wear more personal protective equipment (PPE) for the clinical area you are visiting if you are asked to
  • follow the one-way system in our hospitals
  • only visit the unit where the patient is being cared for

Please listen to and follow the instructions of our staff. They are trying to keep you, other visitors and patients safe.

While you are with a patient

You'll be given clear instructions about what to expect while in a clinical area.

This will include remaining near the patient's bed space and maintaining physical distancing where possible.

Most wards have protected mealtimes. You'll 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'll give you more information.

While visiting a patient, please remember to:

  • keep physical distancing and avoid sitting on hospital beds
  • do not bring real flowers into the unit, for infection control
  • do not eat or drink at the bedside, for infection control
  • make sure mobile phones are on silent before visiting the unit. Mobiles can be used in the visitors' rooms
  • allow members of clinical teams to escort you in and out of the area, if asked

If patients have an infectious condition, or we need to protect them from infection, we may move them out of the main ward. If this is the case, you must ask nursing staff about any more precautions you need to take and whether there are any restrictions to visiting.

Why we have these rules

We know this is a difficult time for patients and visitors. We thank you for your help and understanding in keeping our hospitals and staff safe. 

Many of our patients will be vulnerable, so our rules help to protect people from the risk of infection. 

We know that a combination of measures including social distancing and mask-wearing help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

While it might not be mandatory to follow these behaviours in other settings, you must abide by these rules while in our hospitals and community sites. This will help us to provide the safest possible environment.

Read more about what we're doing to keep you safe.

Stay safe, keep apart campaign poster

Staying safe

Read more about the steps we've taken to keep you safe in our hospitals and community sites.

We're here to keep you safe.

Visiting times and visitor numbers

To reduce the spread of infection, we have made changes to visiting times and the number of visitors.