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Your visit

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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Visiting cancelled

Due to the increasing number of cases of coronavirus across the UK, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has made the decision to cancel all visiting to all its hospital sites in order to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

There are three exemptions to the ruling which are for one parent of a sick child under 18, for the partner of a woman giving birth and end of life patients at the discretion of the ward sister.

We would ask people to respect this decision and to treat our staff, who will be enforcing the visiting restrictions, with courtesy and respect.  For more information visit our website.


Outpatient appointments

We know that NHS services will come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads, and as a Trust we need to redirect staff, free up staff for refresher training and carry out any works as necessary, so we are able to maximise capacity for patients for when the number of infections peak.  We also need to reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to protect our patients, as well as keeping our staff safe, well and able to come into work.

To do this, with effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020, along with other trusts in the Humber Coast and Vale partnerships, we have made the collective decision to suspend all non-urgent routine outpatient appointments for at least three months.  Urgent and emergency cases and cancer appointments will be carrying on as normal.

These are unprecedented times and we thank you for your understanding.  We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried but please not contact the hospital as we will be contacting everyone directly affected in the coming days and weeks.

If you do not receive a letter or a phone call from the hospital, please turn up for your scheduled appointment as normal unless you have symptoms of coronavirus, a cold, flu or norovirus in which case you should contact us to cancel your appointment by clicking here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have symptoms associated with coronavirus including a new continuous cough and a high temperature, you are advised to stay at home for 7 days.

Please do not book a GP appointment or attend your GP practice.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home.  After 14 days, anyone you live with who does not have symptoms can return to their normal routine.

But, if anyone in your home gets symptoms, they should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms start. Even if it means they're at home for longer than 14 days. The most up-to-date public guidance is always online at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.  Only call 111 direct if you are advised to do so by the online service or you cannot go online.