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Visiting people in hospital

Visitors are welcome at 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.

You can download a copy of our visitors' code here.


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.


Bringing children to visit

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.


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 and keeping the environment 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.

We know that bringing gifts is something that many people like to do, and we know that this can make a patient's stay more pleasant. Here are some suggestions as to what can be brought in, as an alternative to flowers:

  • Books, newspapers and magazines
  • Puzzle and crossword books
  • Gift balloons
  • Hospedia vouchers so that patients can make phone calls or watch TV
  • Hand-held gaming devices (Nintendo DS)
  • Portable DVD player

Present Issue is a company that can send single issues of magazines to people in hospital. They are delivered direct to the ward, and do not involve taking out a subscription. You can find out more information from their website.

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Please do not arrange for food to be delivered to friends or relatives in hospital, such deliveries cannot be accepted.

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We are currently working with reduced staffing levels within the Contact Centre.  This may mean that some of our patients encounter extended wait times when calling the Contact Centre.  This is not the level of service we wish to offer our patients and we are working hard to improve the situation.  If you wish to request to reschedule or cancel your appointment, you can complete our online form

We apologise for the inconvenience caused.