Visiting and mask guidance

Face masks must be worn at our hospitals in certain areas. Please see information for visitors > for all guidance on visiting.

Information for visitors

*Last updated 18 October 2022

We know how important visiting is to patients and their loved ones. We have reviewed the visiting restrictions at UHDB and made further changes.


Inside our hospitals we care for vulnerable patients so all visitors, patients and colleagues will be required to:

  • Wear a face mask in wards, areas where patients are assessed for admission, such as Combined Triage Assessment Unit and departments such as the Emergency Departments and Combined Day Units, to protect staff, patients and visitors. Masks will still be available at the entrances to our hospitals for those who wish to wear them. If you are unsure whether you need to wear a mask when entering an area, please ask a member of staff who will advise.
     
  • Sanitise their hands
     
  • Follow any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidance as instructed by staff while they are on hospital premises
     

Visitors do not need to provide a negative lateral flow test.


Please do not enter our hospitals if:

  • You have had any of the following symptoms in the last 10 days: A new continuous dry cough, a high temperature, a loss of or change in your normal sense of taste or smell, cold like symptoms (coughing, sneezing, sore throat, runny nose), diarrhoea or vomiting.
     
  • You must not visit if you have been in contact with a known Covid-19, Influenza or diarrhoea or vomiting case in the past 10 days.
     

Adult inpatient wards

  • Two visitors will be able to attend during dedicated visiting hours. Each ward has its own visiting schedule. You can review visiting hours for each ward here >  or speak directly to the ward caring for your loved one.
     
  • Please do not eat or drink whilst in the ward.  
     

Outpatients and diagnostics

  • Patients can bring someone to accompany them.
     

Emergency Department

  • Any patient attending A&E can bring someone for support. Please note, if the department becomes crowded and unsafe, the supporter may be asked to leave.
     

Children and young people

  • CED, PAU and outpatients: Up to two parents or carers per patient. 
     
  • Sunflower (Electives) Up to two parents/carers.
     
  • Paediatric wards: Each patient will be allowed up to two parent/carer visitors during the day with one parent/carer able to remain overnight. 
     
  • Neonatal Unit: Both parents can have open visiting and additional visitors, including other children, can attend with prior permission from the parents. Please note, children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and there can only be two visitors at each cot at any one time.


Maternity

  • Women in labour do not need to wear a face mask.
     
  • Labour ward: two birth partners throughout labour and birth.
     
  • Inpatient antenatal and postnatal ward: one support partner may have open visiting. There can be up to two additional visitors from 2pm - 4pm and from 6pm-8pm daily.
     
  • Postnatal inpatients: one support partner may have open visiting and can stay overnight. There can be up to two additional visitors from 2pm - 4pm and from 6pm-8pm daily.
     
  • Siblings are permitted to visit but children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Any other children under 12 are not permitted on the ward.
     
  • Antenatal Clinics, Fetal Medicine and Ultrasound scan appointments: One support partner.
     
  • Pregnancy Assessment Unit/Maternity Assessment Unit: One support partner.
     
  • Induction of labour: Two support partners are able to attend during induction of labour.
     

Patients with dementia, autism, a learning disability, or mental health issues coming into Emergency Departments and inpatient wards, as well as outpatient departments, may be accompanied by a family member or carer.


Contacting our wards

We understand that it is important to contact your loved ones while they are in hospital. Where possible, we encourage relatives and friends to call the patient directly or have a video call. Our sites have free WiFi which supports web browsing and instant messaging, allowing you stay in touch.

If you want to contact the ward for updates, we would be grateful if one person from the family can be the nominated contact, who then keeps the rest of the family and friends informed. This helps to keep our phone lines as clear as possible for other families who need updates.

We know that it’s important for our patients to see family and friends but please make use of the other options to stay connected with your loved one > during their stay in hospital.

Wards and visiting times

Find ward information such as contact details, visiting hours, and additional information for each of our hospitals:
 

Preventing infections

We are committed to improving patient safety by reducing and preventing infections such as MRSA, Clostridium difficule and novovirus. You can help keep our hospitals clean and reduce the risk of spreading infection.


When not to come into hospital

Please do not visit the hospital (as a visitor or patient) if you are unwell with:

  • cold-like symptoms
  • diarrhoea and vomiting
  • infectious diseases such as chickenpox, shingles, measles etc


Wash your hands

Cleaning your hands is the most effective way of preventing germs being passed from one person to another. Wash you hands with soap and water:

  • after visiting the toilet
  • before and after eating food
  • before and after visiting a patient

Alcohol gel dispensers are by most beds and at the entrances of all wards for staff, patients and visitors to use.


Report an issue

If you see an area that is need of cleaning, please report it to member of staff.

Smoking

Smoking tobacco and cigarettes at any of our hospitals is not allowed.  This applies to all patients, visitors and staff.

Whilst you are here, please do not smoke anywhere inside or outside our hospital buildings. 

If you are a patient at UHDB and you would like support to stop smoking, please speak to your clinical team. We can also talk to you about the options for helping you if you need to stay in hospital.
 

Get free support to quit

Call the free Smokefree National Helpline to speak to a trained adviser:

Telephone0300 123 1044


All lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

You can also find all the information and free resources you need to help you quit on the NHS Smokefree website.

Get information to help you stop smoking (opens in new window) >

Mealtimes

We understand that mealtimes are important. The 'protected mealtime' service is a period over lunch time when all non-urgent activity on the ward, including visiting, stops (all essential and urgent care needs will continue to be met).

This is done to prevent unnecessary interruptions to mealtimes and enable the healthcare team to be available to help serve food and give assistance to patients who require it. It also creates a more relaxed and calm atmosphere, giving patients time to socialise and enjoy their meal with fewer distractions on the ward.

If you normally visit at mealtimes in order to help or encourage your relative/close one to eat, we are happy for you to continue to do this. Please arrange this with the nurse in charge.