Visiting someone in hospital – latest arrangements

Important visiting restrictions in hospital

To help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, we have changed visiting arrangements for our patients. These are the current visiting arrangements for the Royal Cornwall, St Michael’s and West Cornwall Hospitals.

General visiting for all patients at Royal Cornwall and West Cornwall Hospitals

  • All patients are allowed one named visitor for the duration of their hospital stay whilst on the inpatient wards (admitting areas are not included) unless exceptional circumstances arise (see below).
  • All visits must be approved by the nurse in charge BEFORE coming to hospital.
  • The named visitor is advised to undertake lateral flow testing, which must be recorded on the national testing database. If you are unable to do this, you may need to consider an alternative named person. You may be asked to have a lateral flow test on your arrival.
  • Even if you have had a negative lateral flow test, you must not visit if you have been:
    • in contact with someone who has had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 14 days
    • told to isolate by NHS Track and Trace
    • returned from an amber or red country within the last 10 days
    • experiencing any of the symptoms associated with possible COVID-19.
  • The visitor information form will need to be completed and the visitor must accept that they visit at their own risk.
  • Visits will be for no longer than 1 hour each day, at a time agreed by the ward team.
  • Appropriate PPE, specifically a surgical facemask, must be worn. Consider nominating an alternative visitor if masks cannot be worn. Social distancing guidance must be followed at all times.
  • Visitors must use the appropriate hand hygiene facilities before and after visiting.
  • Visitors must not visit any other patient within the ward / bay / hospital.
  • Visitors must sit on the visitor chair provided and not the patient chair. The visitor chair must be cleaned after use.
  • Visitor details will be recorded on a specific care plan to allow track and trace if required.
  • Where QR codes are displayed visitors are requested to scan.
  • Prior to visiting, please ensure you use the public facilities as these will not be available on the ward.
  • Visiting will be by exception only if a ward is closed as a result of an outbreak or is a designated COVID-19 ward.
  • Please do not arrive early for your visit as you will only be allowed on the ward at your designated time.

Additional visiting for exceptional circumstances including all visits to St Michael’s Hospital – adults

Critical Care, Coronary Care, Higher Care bay on Wellington Ward, HASU Higher Care Bay on Phoenix Ward, and the PICU on Harvest Ward:

One identified visitor per day by prior arrangement with the Ward Leader (this must be one of two identified people).

A person receiving end of life care, regardless of their COVID status:

  • The number of visitors will be limited to 3 close family members. This can be increased at the discretion of the Ward Leader to a maximum of 4 (from within the social bubble).
  • One visitor will be allowed for one hour, but more than one visitor can attend within a 24-hour period.

Exceptional circumstances

These will be referred by the Ward Leader for approval by a member of the Care Group Triumvirate / Senior Leadership Team and approved by one member of the Executive Triumvirate or out of hours Executive on Call.


Two parents are allowed at any time.

Maternity services

From the beginning of pregnancy, all partners or support persons must commence twice weekly COVID-19 testing to enable approved visiting and attendance at appointments.

Pregnant women and people can have one support partner with them at:

  • Early pregnancy unit appointments
  • All maternity scan appointments, including growth scans
  • All antenatal clinic appointments (Community and hospital)
  • All community postnatal appointments
  • Day assessment visits
  • Throughout labour in Delivery Suite and birth centres
  • Wheal Fortune – between 2-5pm every day
  • Wheal Rose – your midwife will discuss with you further on the day or please phone the night before if you have a planned admission booked.

There may be limitations in visiting which differ from day to day and to protect everyone a daily risk assessment will take place on Wheal Rose each day.

To ensure everyone can stay safe:

  • All partners are asked to wear a mask at appointments and while moving around the building (unless exempt).
  • We ask that partners have a COVID-19 lateral flow test prior to visiting on the wards. You can go to a local test site, collect tests from a pharmacy or test site, or order them online. You can find your nearest site on the NHS England website or by calling 119.
    Visitors must report their result before coming to hospital.
  • We will open windows to allow for extra ventilation during visiting times – please ask a staff member for extra blankets for yourself or your baby if required.
  • Partners are asked to wear a surgical mask at all times whilst visiting in a bay.
  • Partners may be asked to wait outside, especially in settings with limited waiting room.
  • Please follow the guidance given by staff on the day of your appointment. The guidance will differ slightly depending on where you are having your appointment.


You must not visit if you have any of these symptoms:
  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Changes to your sense of taste or smell

If you do, you must stay at home and either go online or call 119 to arrange a COVID-19 test.
You must not visit if you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace.

Keeping in touch when you’re unable to visit

Many patients with smartphones and mobile devices are keeping in touch using our free hospital Wi-Fi. However, we know that not all patients have this technology and we are helping them to keep touch with trust devices, telephone and other messaging options.

At the Royal Cornwall, West Cornwall and St Michael’s hospitals there is also a Staying Connected service where family members and close friends can send a message or photograph through volunteer patient ambassadors. They can email leaving the patient’s name, date of birth and the name of the ward they are on (if known), together with the message they want to send, or they can call 01872 253793 and we will call them back.

For community hospitals family and friends can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service team by calling 01208 834620 or by emailing

We will continue to review our visiting policy on a regular basis throughout the pandemic and will do everything we can to help patients and families keep in touch.

Added on 6 May 2021, in News - Patient Experience

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