Visiting a friend or relative in hospital can play a vital part in their recovery. We encourage you to come and spend time with them during visiting hours.

Visiting hours vary depending on which ward or hospital your friend or relative is at. You can find visiting times on our Locations pages.

Patients can get tired very quickly and need plenty of rest while they’re in hospital. For this reason, we ask that no more than 2 people visit at any one time.

Please do not to visit if you’re suffering or recovering from:

  • a cold
  • a cough
  • flu
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting
     

Presents for patients

To prevent infection, we do not allow flowers on the wards or in clinical areas. If you’d like to bring a present for your friend or relative, here are a few suggestions:

  • small healthy snacks
  • fruit
  • magazines
  • books
     

Hand hygiene

When you visit someone in hospital, always clean your hands using soap and water before you enter and leave the room or ward. We also ask that you use the alcohol hand rubs whenever you enter or leave a different area of the hospital.
 

Meal times

Please do not visit at meal times, as patients should be able to enjoy their meal in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere without interruptions. If you wish to help your relative or friend at meal times please arrange this with us.
 

Noise

We try to create a calm and restful environment to help our patients recover. Please help us to keep noise levels as low as possible and do not disturb other patients. Supervise children at all times and do not allow them to run around or climb on to beds. If you’re planning to bring young children, it would be helpful to speak to the nurse in charge first.
 

Talking to staff

We’ll keep family members and next of kin informed about any information the patient would like them to know. We ask that you respect that no information can be given without the patient’s consent. If you feel that you have not been given enough information, or are unsure about anything, we’ll be happy to talk things through with you.

We might ask you to leave for a short time during your visit while we care for your friend or relative. We’ll tell you when you can return to the bedside.

Violence and aggression towards staff, patients or members of the public will not be tolerated in any of our hospitals. Assault is a crime, and we’ll seek the maximum legal penalties for anyone behaving in this way.
 

What not to do when visiting someone in hospital:

  • do not sit on the patient's bed, as this can spread germs
  • do not put your feet on the patient's bed
  • do not touch the patient's wounds or any medical equipment they're attached to
  • do not use the patients' toilets, use the hospital's public toilets
  • do not share a patient's toiletries, tissues or hospital equipment with other patients
     

Smoking

All our hospitals are smoke free sites. This means there’s no smoking allowed anywhere on the property. This includes outside entrances and in our car parks and grounds.

You can use e-cigarettes and vapes outside the hospital, if you stand 10 metres away from the building. If you’d like help to quit smoking, support is available. Visit nhs.uk/smokefree to find out more.