The safety of patients, visitors and staff is our priority, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. To help prevent the spread of infection, we have put a range of measures in place.

While most Covid-19 restrictions ended on 19 July, NHS safety measures remain in place. As patients and healthcare staff are more at risk from Covid-19, we need to do more to keep everyone safe.  

Please continue to follow all of the infection prevention and control measures in place across our hospitals. This includes, for everyone: 

  • do not come into hospital if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 (unless emergency attention is needed) 
  • use hand sanitiser or wash your hands as you enter the hospital and when entering or leaving wards, clinics and units 
  • wear a face mask at all times within the hospital unless you are exempt 
  • keep two metres apart from others 
  • follow any one-way route signs  

You must continue to follow these measures even if you have had a Covid-19 vaccine.  

Inpatient wards

All inpatients can have one named visitor for one hour once a day, providing they book their visit in advance. Please contact the ward to agree when you can visit.  

Visiting children

Two parents/guardians are able to visit children on our inpatient wards at the same time. Visiting times and length of visits must be discussed and agreed with the care team and will reflect individual circumstances.

Patients at the end of their life

Patients at the end of their life can have separate visits from up to three named visitors; this must be discussed and agreed with the care team in advance. Visiting times and length of visits must also be discussed and agreed with the care team and will reflect individual circumstances.

Exceptions to these guidelines

Maternity

  • One named support person can attend the 12-week and 20-week ultrasound scans
  • A support person can attend for the duration of labour, including induction
  • A support person can attend appointments at our maternity day units if essential – space is limited and it can get very busy

A&E and outpatient services

Restrictions on visiting or having someone accompany you inside the hospital remain in place. Exceptions are for children who need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian or for a regular carer who needs to support a patient’s health and social needs, particularly where a patient has dementia, learning disabilities and/or autism. 

Outpatients

  • Please attend your appointment alone, unless they are exceptional circumstances. Carers can attend to support a patient’s health and social needs, particularly where a patient has dementia, learning disabilities and/or autism.  
  • Anyone under 16 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  
  • Please do not bring children with you to your appointment unless they are a patient.  
  • Arrive for your appointment no more than five minutes early, to maintain physical distancing in the waiting room from other patients and staff.   

Lateral flow testing for visitors

About 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still spread the virus. You should do a lateral flow test (also known as a rapid test) twice a week to check if you have the virus.

Watch this video (with BSL) explaining how to do a lateral flow test. For instructions in different formats and languages please click here

Please continue to test twice a week even if you’ve had your Covid-19 vaccine.

How to get a lateral flow test
You can order a free supply of lateral flow tests from the government website or call 119.

You can also:

  • collect tests from a test site
  • collect tests from a pharmacy (in England only)
  • get a test at a test site

Click here to find out more.

Face masks for visitors

All members of the public have to wear a face mask when in hospital – whether they are visiting a patient or going to an outpatient appointment. This is to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others.

If you are visiting a patient in hospital, you must wear a face mask while inside the hospital building– even if you’ve had the Covid-19 vaccine. When you reach the ward, we will give you a surgical mask to wear and we may also ask you to wear additional PPE.

On leaving the ward we will help you to remove your PPE and put your face mask back on to leave the hospital building. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, please speak to a member of staff.

Exemption badges for those unable to wear face mask

If you are unable to wear a face mask while in a public place, or need assistance due to your age, health or disability, you can print off a badge to let other people know. You can also print off a badge if you need people to take off their mask so you can better understand what they say.

If wearing a face mask is difficult for you, or if you are deaf or hearing impaired, please contact the number on your clinic letter before you come into hospital.

Information for relatives and carers

We want to involve you as much as possible in the assessment, treatment and recovery of the person you care for. We understand relatives and carers play a central role in our patients’ lives and we encourage you to share information about the person you are supporting with our staff as this will help us to look after them better.

Carers coming to hospital

Carers are welcome to come to hospital to support patients' health and social needs. Although there are restrictions on visitors coming to hospitals, a familiar carer or supporter is not considered a visitor. We recognise carers play a vital role in supporting patients’ communications needs – particularly where a patient has dementia, learning disabilities and/or autism. We can provide carers with a ‘carers passport’ so that each patient’s main carer can be identified easily. Ask your care team for more information.

Please continue to follow all of the infection prevention and control measures in place across our hospitals. This includes, for everyone: 

  • do not come into hospital if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 (unless emergency attention is needed) 
  • use hand sanitiser or wash your hands as you enter the hospital and when entering or leaving wards, clinics and units
  • wear a face mask at all times within the hospital unless you are exempt 
  • keep two metres apart from others 
  • follow any one-way route signs 

You must continue to follow these measures even if you have had a Covid-19 vaccine.  

Please speak to a member of the ward team for further information about how we can work with you and support you to support our patients.

Keeping in touch

We have introduced several initiatives to help you keep in touch with family and friends during your stay in hospital.

Learn more about keeping in touch. This leaflet will help guide our patients through some of the changes we've made for inpatients in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Interpreting services

We can arrange interpreting services for patients who speak little or no English, who are deaf, hard of hearing, or need support when communicating.

Patient information