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Visiting someone in hospital – latest arrangements

25 April 2022 | By |

We know staying in touch with family and friends while they are in hospital is important.

Hospital visiting

All patients will be allowed one visit per day for a maximum of 1 hour, and no more than 2 visitors at a time, with the exception of admitting areas unless exceptional circumstances arise.

  • Visitors should contact the clinical area the day before if possible to arrange the visit so that this is approved before coming to the hospital.
  • Visitors must not visit if they have been:
    • in contact with someone who has had confirmed COVID-19 in the last 10 days
    • or experiencing any of the symptoms associated with possible COVID-19
  • Visits will be for a maximum of 1 hour each day, at a time agreed by the ward team. There should be no more than 2 patients receiving visitors in a bay at the same time. We have allocated visiting times for each bed space.
  • If the visitor is late for their allotted time, the visiting hour will still finish at the allocated time and not extended.
  • Visitors must be directed to use the appropriate hand hygiene facilities before and after visiting.
  • Appropriate PPE, specifically a surgical facemask, must be worn (face coverings are not acceptable).
  • If visitors do not comply with infection, prevention, and control guidance they will be politely asked to leave the site.
  • Prior to visiting visitors will be expected to use the public toilet facilities within the hospital as these will not be available on the ward.

Exceptional circumstances

Patients at end of life

The patient is not required to be on end of life care plan (blue book) to allow visiting.

There may be many situations where it is suspected the patient may be dying, and therefore they can have an end of life visiting plan.
The blue book should not be commenced solely to facilitate visiting, nor should visiting be restricted because the blue book is not in place.

  • Patients who are at the end of their life may have increased visiting with no restriction on the number of visitors or length of time of visit.
  • Only 2 visitors to be allowed at the bedside at a time if in a bay.
Additional exceptional circumstances
  • Exceptional circumstances may arise where patients who require extra support with care, cognition etc. These cases must be assessed by a member of the senior leadership team and approved by one member of the executive triumvirate or out of hours executive on call.
  • Compassionate visiting where it is important to the emotional wellbeing of the patient, including receiving difficult or complex news. These cases must be assessed by a member of the senior leadership team and approved by one member of the executive triumvirate or out of hours executive on call.

In all situations there should only be 2 patients receiving visitors in a bay or communal area at any one time.

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.

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