Visiting Patients in Hospital

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY-1271/2023
  • Departments: Corporate
  • Last Updated: 16 June 2023

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.

Our aim is to ensure patients in hospital can benefit from visits from friends and family in a safe and supportive way.

We very much welcome essential caregivers to visit their relatives and offer the kinds of support they would usually offer, such as help at mealtimes and with personal care.

We will also look to flex our approach to visiting if required in exceptional circumstances, for example if a patient is extremely ill or dying, or for those with learning disabilities or dementia who need extra support.

Please feel free to discuss any specific requirements you and your loved one may have with the ward sister, charge nurse or nurse in charge at any time.

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

Know before you go…

When planning to visit a loved in hospital, please be aware of the following rules which apply to all wards and departments, unless stated otherwise:

  • Face masks are no longer essential when visiting loved ones in hospital, including at the patient’s bedside, on hospital corridors or in other public areas/areas of high footfall. There are a small number of exceptions in high risk areas such as the Queen’s Centre, Ward 50 and the Dialysis Unit, where we ask that visitors continue to wear a face covering at the bedside unless clinically exempt.
  • Visitors must wash their hands thoroughly on arrival and on leaving the ward/dept.
  • Patients with confirmed Covid-19 or other infections will not be allowed visitors, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Should there be a rise in infections or an outbreak on a ward, we will temporarily close the ward to visitors and all non-essential staff to minimise the risk of spreading infection.
  • Children under the age of 12 should not visit for infection control reasons, due to the risks posed to both child and patient(s). Any exceptions must be agreed by the nurse or midwife in charge. All children must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible
  • Visitors must refrain from sitting on beds and use the chairs provided.
  • Please do not visit if you have signs of illness such as diarrhoea, vomiting, cold or flu like symptoms, to avoid passing on any infections.

General rules for ward visiting

  • Visiting hours are between 11am and 7pm with a maximum of two visitors per patient at any one time.
  • The two visitors do not have to be the same two visitors throughout the patient’s hospital stay, but friends and family are encouraged to coordinate visiting between themselves before arriving at hospital.
  • We encourage visiting at mealtimes in order that you may help loved ones with eating and drinking.
  • Please be patient; sometimes you may be asked to step away from your relative if they need assessment or treatment.
  • On occasions, we may need to close a ward for infection control reasons. If this is the case, visiting will still be allowed in certain circumstances, so please discuss how this might affect your loved one and any specific needs they may have with the ward sister, charge nurse or nurse in charge.

Emergency Department (ED)

A maximum of one visitor per patient is permitted in ED unless there are exceptional circumstances and subject to agreement with the charge nurse or sister.

In Children’s ED, both parents/guardians may attend but if the waiting room becomes crowded, we may ask one of you to wait elsewhere.

Outpatient Clinics

A maximum of one visitor may accompany a patient to their Outpatients appointment, unless there are exceptional circumstances and subject to agreement with the charge nurse or sister.

Intensive Care

Please contact ICU to make visiting arrangements for your relative or loved one. Each unit will make every effort to safely accommodate visiting for critically ill patients, though this may be subject to restrictions on numbers of visitors at any given time.

Maternity, Neonatal Care and Paediatrics

  • Appointments and scans – Women attending the Antenatal Day Unit for growth scans and any antenatal appointments are able to bring one adult with them.
  • 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 9am-9pm.
    • 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.  Please note that 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.  All efforts are made to give parents the chance to be together with critically ill babies.
    • Siblings and grandparents are permitted to visit between 2pm and 7pm; children must be supervised.
  • Paediatric High Dependency Unit, Woodland Ward and Acorn Ward – Two parents/guardians are permitted at any time.  Visits by siblings must be arranged with the ward in advance.  For children staying in hospital more than 48 hrs, other visitors are permitted for one hour on arrangement with the ward.
  • Paediatric Assessment Unit – Two parents/main carers may attend with the child for assessment, no siblings please.

Ward 33, Queens Centre

Due to the clinical vulnerability of this patient group, we ask that visitors to the high dependency area of Ward 33 take a lateral flow test which produces a negative rest result before visiting the hospital.

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.

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

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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