Visiting Patients in Hospital

Patient Leaflets Team

  • Reference Number: HEY-1271/2022
  • Departments: Corporate
  • Last Updated: 16 September 2022

Visiting patients in hospital

Having a family member or loved one in hospital can be a difficult time. We understand the worry this causes to both parties, and we fully appreciate the contribution which family and friends can make towards a patient’s general health, wellbeing and recovery from illness.

At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect our staff and patients from infection which could potentially be brought into hospital by visitors and members of the public.

This leaflet sets out the current visiting guidance across our wards, services and clinics. For the most up to date information, we would always recommend checking our website:

Know before you go…

We ask all visitors to our hospitals and clinics:

  • To wear a face covering when at a patient’s bedside or in a high risk area such as oncology, The Queen’s Centre, ward 50, or the dialysis unit (unless clinically exempt). Face coverings are no longer required on hospital corridors or in other circulating areas, or outdoors on hospital grounds.
  • To wash hands upon arrival and exit and sanitise regularly.
  • Not to attend if showing signs of illness such as diarrhoea, vomiting, cold, flu or Covid-19 symptoms
  • Not to sit on beds – please use the seats provided
  • Not to bring children under 12 years of age for infection control reasons. Any potential exceptions must be discussed and agreed with the nurse in charge.
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times
  • Carry out a lateral flow test and generate a negative test result if at all possible before coming to hospital

Please note that patients with confirmed Covid-19 or who are suspected to have the virus will not be allowed visitors, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

General rules for ward visiting

  • Ward visiting slots of up to two hours can be booked for up to two visitors at a time.
  • Visits can be arranged anytime between 11am and 7pm but must not exceed 2 hours per patient per day.
  • Visits must be booked in advance with the ward
  • The two visitors do not have to be the same two visitors throughout the duration of the patient’s hospital stay, but friends and family are encouraged to coordinate between themselves before visiting or contacting the ward to lessen the burden on staff.
  • A visiting child counts as one of the two permitted visitors per patient
  • Flexibility or special arrangements may be agreed in certain circumstances e.g. for patients on end of life care pathways, those who are seriously ill, and those with learning disabilities or dementia. This should always follow discussion with the charge nurse or sister.
  • Visits can be made over meal times to help loved ones with feeding if required; where feeding a patient is necessary, please check with the nurse in charge that this is safe to do.
  • The two hour visiting period can be taken as 1 x two-hour block or in smaller chunks, e.g. 2 x one-hour visits if preferred.


Queen’s Centre (Oncology & Haematology)

Ward visiting is as stated above, with the exception of transplant patients where we ask that a maximum of two named visitors are nominated for the duration of the patient’s stay, and those visitors should expect to have their temperature checked prior to admission to the unit.

Emergency Department (ED)

Patients requiring treatment in ED are allowed one visitor, friend, carer or family member to accompany them.

The same arrangement is in place in Children’s ED, where we ask for just one parent, carer or guardian to accompany each child in need of treatment, and no siblings should be brought to hospital.  This may be extended to two adults in exceptional circumstances, but this must always be agreed with the charge nurse or sister on duty.

Intensive Care

Visiting arrangements should be made directly with the nurse in charge of ICU at Hull Royal Infirmary or Castle Hill Hospital as appropriate. Every effort will be made to safely accommodate visiting for critically ill patients.

Outpatient Clinics

Patients attending an Outpatients appointment may be accompanied by a maximum of one visitor, friend or family member.

Maternity, Neonatal Care and Paediatrics

Appointments and scans

Women attending antenatal clinics, scans and community midwifery appointments may be accompanied by one adult. 

Fatima Allam Birth Centre and Labour Ward

A maximum of two birth partners may attend for the duration of a woman’s labour and birth.

Antenatal and postnatal wards

Visiting by a single birth partner is permitted between 9am and 9pm, with no restrictions on length of stay within that 12hr period.  A second birth partner may also attend between the hours of 3 – 4pm and 6 – 7pm.

Visiting by children is permitted between the hours of 3 – 4pm and 6 – 7pm only. A child counts as one of a woman’s two permitted visitors during these hours.

Neonatal care

Babies in receipt of Neonatal Intensive Care are allowed a maximum of two parents/main carers at any time of day or night.

Siblings and grandparents are permitted to visit between 2pm and 7pm with no restrictions on length of stay within these hours.

Given the seriously ill nature of the babies on NICU, all visitors to the unit (aged 12 years and over) are expected to conduct a lateral flow test before they attend and be able to provide evidence of a negative test result.

Paediatric High Dependency Unit and Ward 130

A maximum of two adult visitors per child are permitted at any time. Visits by siblings must be arranged with the ward in advance.

Paediatric Assessment Unit

A maximum of two parents/main carers may attend with the child for assessment. Siblings are not permitted.

Acorn Ward

Each child is permitted a maximum of one adult visitor at any time of day/night. A second parent or main carer can swap with that person to allow for respite etc.

Exceptions can be made for babies transferred to the ward from NICU.

Siblings may only visit by prior arrangement/agreement with the ward sister.

Preventing the spread of infection

Patients with confirmed Covid-19 or who are suspected to have the virus will not be allowed visitors, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

We reserve the right to further restrict or put a temporary halt on visiting at times when there is considered to be a significant risk of infection spreading among patients or visitors e.g. if a ward is affected by a Covid-19 or Norovirus outbreak. Such a decision may be made at short notice and where possible, we will attempt to notify any pre-booked visitors in advance.

We also reserve the right to decline a request to visit if the number of visitors/people on a ward reaches a level which is felt to pose a potential infection control risk or not allow for sufficient social distancing.

Essential Care Givers

Extended visiting or visiting outside of the hours stated above can be arranged for those defined as ‘Essential Care Givers’ to those patients who require additional support.

Contacting the wards

A full list of ward contact numbers can be found on our website:

Friends and family members are asked to liaise/coordinate with each other before visiting or contacting the ward to book a visiting slot to lessen the burden on staff.

Friends and family are also asked to nominate just one individual to call for telephone updates on a particular patient, and then to share information between the wider group as appropriate.

What should I bring?

Patients in hospital may benefit from:

  • Toiletries such as deodorant, soap/shower gel and toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Change of nightwear/clothing
  • Items to keep them occupied e.g. books or puzzles
  • A small amount of money e.g. to buy a drink or newspaper
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Snacks

Please do not bring:

  • Valuable items or items of significant sentimental value
  • Flowers


Getting to our hospitals

Patient and visitor parking is available at both Hull Royal Infirmary (HRI) and Castle Hill Hospital.

HRI is also served by a regular Park & Ride (no. 20) bus service from Priory Park, Hessle, operated by Stagecoach.

More information and maps of our hospital sites can be found at


Changes to this guidance

We will endeavour to make visitors aware of any changes to the above guidance as soon as possible, either directly if already booked to visit a ward or more generally via our website and social media channels – @hullhospitals

General Advice and Consent

Most of your questions should have been answered by this leaflet, but remember that this is only a starting point for discussion with the healthcare team.

Consent to treatment

Before any doctor, nurse or therapist examines or treats you, they must seek your consent or permission. In order to make a decision, you need to have information from health professionals about the treatment or investigation which is being offered to you. You should always ask them more questions if you do not understand or if you want more information.

The information you receive should be about your condition, the alternatives available to you, and whether it carries risks as well as the benefits. What is important is that your consent is genuine or valid. That means:

  • you must be able to give your consent
  • you must be given enough information to enable you to make a decision
  • you must be acting under your own free will and not under the strong influence of another person

Information about you

We collect and use your information to provide you with care and treatment. As part of your care, information about you will be shared between members of a healthcare team, some of whom you may not meet. Your information may also be used to help train staff, to check the quality of our care, to manage and plan the health service, and to help with research. Wherever possible we use anonymous data.

We may pass on relevant information to other health organisations that provide you with care. All information is treated as strictly confidential and is not given to anyone who does not need it. If you have any concerns please ask your doctor, or the person caring for you.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and wellbeing and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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