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Patient visiting restrictions

We know how important visiting is to patients and their loved ones. The majority of inpatients are permitted to have one visitor every day between 11:00 and 19:00. (This must be arranged in advance with the ward.)

As our hospitals care for vulnerable patients and continue to be high-risk locations for COVID-19, all visitors will be required to:

  • sanitise their hands
  • wear a hospital-supply surgical face mask (unless they are medically exempt)
  • follow any personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance as instructed by staff while they are on hospital premises

Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.

However, please do not enter our hospitals if:

  • you have COVID-19 symptoms or your lateral flow test is positive
  • you've recently been in close contact with someone who's tested positive for COVID-19
  • you have any respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing or a sore throat
  • you've been sick or have diarrhoea

We are constantly reviewing our visiting guidance in light of national guidance, cases of COVID-19 in our hospitals and community rates of the virus.

Adult inpatient wards

Visiting hours are between 11:00 and 19:00 every day, unless there are other agreements in place with the ward.

One visitor is allowed to visit the patient at a time. A different visitor is allowed each day.

Patients in critical care can have two visitors.

Please speak to the ward to make arrangements to visit your friend/relative.

No children should visit adult wards unless agreed in special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

Visiting is not permitted in day case/assessment areas with less than 24 hours stay, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you’re not sure about anything.

In our A&E departments

One person may accompany a patient in the Emergency department. However, this does not apply to Minor Injuries, where special circumstances will apply, due to restricted space. (See "special circumstances", below.)

Children, including neonates

For paediatric wards, each child can have two parents/carers visit a day (one at a time) with one parent/carer able to remain overnight.

In the Neonatal Unit, both parents/named carers are able to visit.

You should always follow directions from ward staff. Please ask them if you’re not sure about anything.

Maternity patients

Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.

Outpatient appointments

Patients who require support coming to the hospital due to a health issue may be accompanied to their appointment by one other person, except under special circumstances. (See "special circumstances", below.)

For further information on attending outpatient appointments while restrictions are in place, please see our COVID-19 information pages.

Special circumstances

Under the following circumstances, visitors may be able to extend visits or visit outside of the 11:00 - 19:00 visiting times. This must be agreed with ward staff in advance.

  • Patients under 18 – two parents or guardians may visit, but only one of these visitors may be in the hospital at any one time (local rules apply for neonatal units – see "children, including neonates", above)
  • Deteriorating and dying patients
  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism
  • Visits from recognised carers (paid or unpaid), providing support where they would usually provide care at home
  • Patients with specific communication needs
  • Supporting meal times to encourage a patient to eat
  • Patients requiring spiritual/religious support – all requests will go via the relevant hospital's Chaplaincy team

For patients with COVID-19, ward staff will perform a risk assessment and advise visitors whether they may attend.

Children are not generally permitted to visit. However, consideration will be given to under-18s attending with appropriate support in exceptional circumstances.

Our visitor charter

We have created the following visitors’ charter to provide information and to help our patients, visitors and staff get the most out of the visit.

Please note that some of the terms of this charter may be changed due to COVID-19. Please refer to the visitor restrictions above for the most up-to-date guidance.

Staff pledge

We will:

  • be polite and respectful
  • listen if there is anything you would like to discuss
  • work hard to create a restful environment
  • identify people who the patient has a significant or longstanding relationship with (this may or may not be the next of kin) and keep them well informed (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
  • support you if you wish to help with your friend or relative's care or meal times. Talk to us about how you can best assist
  • put patient care first. This may mean discussing the best time for you to visit
  • do all we can to protect patients from infection
  • arrange for you to speak to a member of the medical team or other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care


We ask you to:

  • be polite and respectful
  • talk to us if you have any concerns
  • keep noise levels to a minimum and turn off mobile phones or switch them to silent
  • nominate one main point of contact for staff to pass information on to (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
  • limit the number of visitors to two at any one time
  • talk to us about children visiting the ward. Children are welcome with the supervision of an adult, but there are some situations where this would not be appropriate
  • not disturb nursing staff when they are administering medications; other staff will be available if you need anything
  • be aware that we may ask you to leave if a patient requires privacy or if a medical emergency occurs
  • respect the confidentiality and privacy of others by not filming or photographing other patients, visitors or staff without consent

Last reviewed: 01 November 2021