Coronavirus guidance

Restrictions remain in place and inside all of our hospitals you still need to wear a mask, wash your hands and follow social distancing. Please see information for visitors > before you plan on visiting.

Information for visitors

Face coverings must be worn

Summary of visiting restrictions in our hospitals (updated Thursday 6 January 2022)

Due to continued high levels of Covid-19 positive inpatients within our wards and intensive care units across our hospitals, visiting needs to be managed carefully. People who are unwell in hospital are vulnerable and at a higher risk of Covid-19 than those who are well.

We have been operating a compassionate visiting policy for some time now. We know that it’s important for our patients to see family and friends, but we ask for you to please work with us and consider if your visit is essential, to help prevent the spread of infection. Please read the changes made to visiting restrictions below.

If a family member, carer or friend is unable to visit, please speak to the ward staff who can arrange to pass on a message or arrange a 'virtual visiting' service appointment >.

  • Inpatients - patients on a ward can have one visitor for up to one hour per day.
  • Outpatients - please come alone.
  • Children's - can be accompanied by one adult to their appointment.

Guidance to all visitors

  • You must not visit 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, or if you or any member of your household is self-isolating.
  • Prior to each visit, visitors will be expected, wherever possible, to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test, which has been entered onto the NHS Covid-19 app.
  • The ward will be organising a booking system so please phone the ward to agree a designated time.
  • You must always wear a face mask on entrance to the hospitals. If you don't have access to one, we will offer you a surgical facemask to wear. Please keep the mask on for the duration of your time in the hospital and avoid touching your face or adjusting the mask once you’ve put it on. Please ensure this covers both your nose and mouth at all times. Please do not take off your PPE, if you feel uncomfortable, please talk to a member of staff.
  • Wash or sanitise your hands as soon as you enter a ward or unit. Please ask the ward team about the additional protective equipment you will need on the ward.
  • Follow the additional measures that will be requested by our staff if you are visiting a patient with an infection.
  • Once on the ward do not leave until your visit is complete as you will not be able to return.
  • The Trust follows government two meter social distancing guidance wherever possible in the hospital. You are asked to adhere to this during your visit, including all communal areas and lifts. You will witness that this is not possible for staff when caring for patients.
  • You should follow signs to leave the department. Please do not visit any other part of the hospital. You should dispose of your mask at the bin by the department exit and put on your face covering.

Clean your hands using the hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where this is available;

  • on arrival to the hospital and on entering the ward/department.
  • when putting on or taking off any Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or face coverings.
  • on leaving the patients bed space.
  • on leaving the ward or department.
  • on leaving the hospital building.
  • as soon as you get home.

Adult inpatient wards in the Trust

  • Each patient will be allowed one visitor of their choice for a maximum period of one hour per day. Ideally this must be the same visitor or a visitor from the same household. Contact the ward staff to arrange a visit >.
  • Do not eat or drink whilst in the ward.
  • Do not arrive too early for your visit and leave the ward as soon as your visit has finished. You should not visit any other part of the hospital. Visits should last no longer than one hour and you should not leave the ward area at any time with the person you are visiting.

Visiting outpatients and diagnostics

  • Please come alone unless it is essential that you have someone with you or have an accompanying carer. Please let the clinic know on arrival if you need to be accompanied and everything will be done to support and reduce risk.
  • We acknowledge that patients attending these departments may sometimes be receiving sensitive news and test results and we will ensure that we support a compassionate approach to enable patients to be accompanied during these circumstances.
  • We may also ask that relatives or carers wait outside the clinic/department. It is preferable for them to wait outside the hospital building in their vehicle if possible to limit risk of transmission in our outpatient areas.
  • Face masks must always be worn unless removed as part of your consultation.

Emergency Department

  • Restricted to one person per patient however this will be reviewed if the department is crowded.

Children and Young People (CYP) Services

  • CED, PAU and outpatients one person per patient.
  • Sunflower (Electives) have one parent/carer (this has to be the person who has isolated with the CYP).
  • Paediatric ward high risk patients in isolation (Covid-19 and RSV). The parent who attends with the CYP stays with the CYP through their stay unless extenuating circumstances.
  • Paediatric wards medium risk patient. Parent/carer can change over every 24 hours unless extenuating circumstances.
  • Neonatal Unit open visiting for both parents.

Maternity services

  • Labour ward: two birth partners when in active labour.
  • Inpatient antenatal and postnatal ward: one visitor for up to four hours a day.
  • Antenatal and USS appointments: one partner.
  • Home births: Due to current pressures affecting all areas within maternity services, we’ve made the difficult decision to suspend our home birthing service across Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Access further information about the temporary change to our home birth service >.


All vulnerable persons specifically those with learning disability, dementia, mental health or complex needs and those who are unable to make decisions for themselves, may be accompanied by their carers or advocate. If this cannot be accommodated within the visiting restrictions above, carers are encouraged to speak to the ward/department team, who can contact the LD specialist nurses/Dementia specialist team about reasonable adjustments that may be required and provided according to their circumstances.

In cases, such as where patients are critically ill or nearing the end of their life, we will work with families to ensure that we make a risk assessed decision to allow as many close family members as possible to visit their relative through a compassionate visiting approach.

Organisations can exercise discretion where Covid-19 rates are higher within the local communities and or within the hospitals including where outbreaks are occurring. The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff remain the priority.

We would like to thank you for your co-operation and support in limiting the spread of coronavirus and in keeping our patients, staff and visitors safe. If you have any questions about these restrictions, please speak to a member of staff on the ward or department.

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 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) >


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.