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Visiting people in hospital

Visiting our hospitals

We have introduced a visitors' code, making it clearer for visitors what they should do if friends and family are admitted to hospital.

The code outlines ten simple steps, aimed at keeping us all safe and helping patients rest and recover when in hospital.  These guidelines have been introduced in response to patient comments, local audit and national initiatives. Please follow this simple code when visiting friends or relatives, to help us make the hospital safer for us all.

We will always try to be flexible in difficult or unusual circumstances. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you have any problems or questions.


Visiting times

You can view the visiting times for each of our hospitals here.

On many of our wards there are protected meal times.  The aim of these is to make sure that patients can enjoy their meals undisturbed and to encourage patients to eat enough food to help with their recovery.

If visitors feel that they have a valid reason to visit outside of normal visiting hours then they should discuss this with the nurse in charge, giving prior notice whenever possible.  For example, if a relative or carer is assisting a patient with their meal, then they will normally be welcome to stay.

Children under the age of 12 will be discouraged from visiting unless they are the child or the grandchild of the patient.  When children visit it is recommended their visits are limited to 30 minutes.  They must remain under direct supervision from family members at all times. However, it is recognised that children might be in the position of being a young carer for a relative. In these circumstances they may visit unsupervised and stay for the length of normal visiting.


Bringing food into hospital

We have an obligation to ensure that any foods brought into the hospitals are suitable and do not include any illicit or unauthorised items.  This helps us to prevent or reduce the risk of infection, food poisoning and food borne illnesses and unwanted interaction with prescribed medication.  We also have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and well-being of the patients who are allergy sufferers, are not comprised by people bringing in allergenic items onto the ward.

Guidelines to reduce the risk associated with food brought into the hospitals are below:

Permitted foods

Where a patient is not on a therapeutic diet

Prohibited foods

These foods CANNOT be brought in as they are high risk allergens or support the growth of pathogenic bacteria

Individual cartons / plastic bottles of fresh fruit juice and squashes

Peanuts, nuts, cereals and cereal bars

Pre-wrapped fresh & dried fruit

Cooked meat, raw meat and meat products.

Pre-wrapped chocolates or sweets

Fish paste and fish products eg sushi

Pre-wrapped biscuits, crackers and cakes (no fresh or artificial cream)

Fresh or synthetic cream or cream products e.g. mousse custards, yoghurts, cakes and ice cream

Individual packets of crisps, popcorn, pretzels

Pre-wrapped sandwiches (all fillings)

Preserves e.g. jam, marmalade, honey, marmite and bovril

Alcohol and all foods containing alcohol

Take-away meals

High risk food requiring refrigeration

Food requiring re-heating


All food is to be consumed within 24 hours.

For full details on information about bringing food into hospitals click here.


Flowers and gifts

We do not allow flowers on our wards or other clinical areas.  This has been introduced in line with other hospitals, and helps play a part in de-cluttering the ward areas helps play a part in keeping ward environments clean and safe for patients.

Patients now spend a much shorter time in hospital, and we ask that visitors and local florists arrange for flowers to be delivered to people's homes to be enjoyed after patients are discharged.

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