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Patients & Visitors

Updated March 2024

We welcome visitors to the RUH, please take a moment to read through the information below before coming on site.

For information about attending appointments please see here.

Please do not visit a patient in hospital if you feel unwell or have been unwell in the last 48 hours. This includes symptoms of COVID-19, sickness, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat, flu or norovirus.

Who can visit?

Two visitors can attend at a time, this may also include children under the age of 18.

When can I visit?

The majority of our inpatient wards welcome visitors anytime between 11am and 8pm. For information about the exceptions please see the links below:

You do not need to book your visit in advance. All our visitor guidance is applied with flexibility and compassion. Staff will consider each patient needs on an individual basis. Please feel free to speak to the Ward Sister or Matron for more information. Ward contact details are available here.

Please be aware that there may be times during your visit when you are asked to leave the bed space or the bay. There may also be times when it is not possible to visit an area due to infection other than in exceptional circumstance. Please contact the Ward Sister or Matron if you would like to discuss this.

What can I do to help make my visit safe and enjoyable for the person I am visiting?

  • Help us stop the spread of germs: Please do not visit a patient in hospital if you feel unwell or have been unwell in the last 48 hours. This includes symptoms of COVID-19, sickness, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat, flu or norovirus. Please wash your hands with alcohol gel or with soap and warm water as you enter and leave the ward.
  • Face masks: Patients who have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and/or other respiratory symptoms are  required to wear a face mask. People visiting patients who are in a ward bay with positive COVID patients will also be encourage to wear a In other areas of the hospital, you can choose whether to wear a mask or not.
  • Entering the ward: We operate a ‘swipe entrance and exit’ system across all our wards to help keep our patients, visitors and staff safe – just ring the buzzer at the entrance to the ward and let them know who you are visiting and a member of the ward team will let you in - more information can be found here
  • Be patient: Sometimes the patient you are visiting may be receiving treatment or care. If this is happening when you arrive we may ask you to wait outside the ward until the patient is ready to see you.
  • Co-ordinate your visit with other visitors: We only have a limited amount of space on our wards and around each patient’s bed. If there are multiple people who would like to visit please try and co-ordinate your visits with each other before you arrive so you all have the opportunity to visit.
  • Flowers and plants are not permitted on the ward.
  • Smoking: Please be aware we are a smoke free site and smoking is not permitted anywhere on Trust property, including outside on our grounds. E-cigarettes and vapes are only permitted outside, away from our entrances and windows.

Is it okay to visit during meal times?

We set aside time on the wards for lunch and dinner to create a quiet, relaxed atmosphere for patients to enjoy their meals and get the most nutrition and benefit from their food. All non-essential activities on the wards stop. Enjoyable mealtimes are an important part of the wellbeing and recovery of the people we care for.

  • Breakfast is provided between 7 and 8am
  • Lunch is provided between 12 and 1pm
  • Dinner is provided between 5 and 6pm

If you normally visit at mealtimes to help your relative or friend eat, or just to give encouragement, we are happy for you to continue to do this. Please ask the nurse in charge how you can help.

I am a carer for a patient, can I still continue to provide support?

Yes. We recognise that some patients need additional support to meet their communication, health or social care needs and value you knowledge and input into this. If you are in attendance to support the needs of a patient as a carer or support worker, you will be made to feel welcome and will not be counted as a visitor. Where possible, you or the patient should contact the ward or department in advance to discuss, and to make sure that appropriate arrangements can be put in place.

What facilities are provided for visitors?

The RUH has a range of facilities on site including places to eat, a shop and a Spiritual Care Centre. More information is available here

Unfortunately not all wards have toilets for visitors – facilities can be found in the Atrium main entrance and a changing places toilet is available here or check with the ward for the nearest available toilets.

I can’t visit but want to send a message, what can I do?

If you are unable to visit, we can help you to keep in touch by passing on a message to your loved one.

All inpatient areas have an iPhone to support patients with ongoing contact with their family and friends.

We can also help by passing on a message to your loved one in hospital. This service is designed to let patients know that their friends and loved ones are well, thinking of them and sending their best wishes.

  • Email or call 01225 826319 to tell us what your message is. Please provide the patient's name, date of birth, location or ward if known, and your details including your relationship to the patient
  • Your message will be delivered to the patient using our in-house postal service, Monday to Friday

We also offer a Family Liaison Service across our medical wards, which can provide support to patients, their families and friends. More information can be found here.

Visiting Times

Visiting times for most wards throughout the week are:

11.00am – 8.00pm

Please check before you visit as some wards have later visiting hours or protected meal times:

Different visiting arrangements apply to the following wards:

Maternity (including Mary Ward):

  • Partners: Welcome between 9am and 9pm. Overnight stays will be considered on an individual basis depending on clinical need.
  • Others: 2.30pm - 7.00pm - two adults plus patients' own children only

Children's Centre:

  • Parents can visit at any time but please check with the ward first.
  • Any other visitors must be accompanied by the parents.

Pulteney Surgical

On Pulteney ward, there are protected mealtimes between 12 noon and 1pm, then again in the evening, 5pm until 6pm. Please do not visit during these times.

William Budd:

  • 10am - 8pm

Please Note:
No flowers are allowed on the Wards

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