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COVID-19 Archives - Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

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

Adult inpatient areas

All patients will be allowed 1 nominated visitor only, for an hour each day, pre-arranged prior to the visit.
Visitors must not visit if they have been:

  • Experiencing any of the symptoms associated with possible COVID-19;
  • Feeling unwell;
  • Visitors must be directed to use the appropriate hand hygiene facilities before and after visiting;
  • Appropriate PPE, specifically a surgical facemask, should be worn in areas where staff are required to wear a mask;
  • 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;
  • Visiting is to be between 14:00 and 20:00. Outside of these hours it is to be at the discretion of the Ward Leader / Unit Manager, for example: in order that a relative can be present for the breaking of bad news or where the patient has complex needs and support is being provided.

Exceptional Circumstances

Patients at End of Life

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

There may be many situations where it is suspected the patient may be dying, and therefore they are able to have the end of life visiting plan enacted. 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 at the discretion of the Ward Leader / Unit Manager.


Patients attending for an adult outpatient appointment can be accompanied by 1 person.

Emergency Department

Can be accompanied by 1 person (both adults and children). In exceptional circumstances the Unit Manager can approve more.

Critical Care

  • There will be a maximum of 2 nominated visitors only for regular visiting;
  • Exceptional circumstances for end of life, 4 visitors allowed ideally in pairs – for review by Clinical Matron / Head of Nursing / Care Group Senior Team;
  • Each visit will be a maximum of 1 hour, once a day, ideally pre-booked and documented on the visitor logs present at the north and south side;
  • There is a limit to the number of visitors at any one time – 1 set of visitors each for the 6-bedded areas and 4-bedded areas. 2 sets of visitors permitted on the north side in view of cubicles;
  • Visitors are not to use the previous visiting room / red staff room;
  • All visits will be logged on the patients Carevue.

All patients on critical care are either receiving life-sustaining treatments or are recovering from a serious illness or high-risk major surgery. They therefore all meet the criteria for ‘exceptional circumstances,’ in terms of receiving visitors outside of the End-of-Life setting. All patients will be reviewed daily and if exceptional circumstances for visiting apply the decision will be documented on the whiteboard and the decision communicated to the family.


Inpatient wards:

  • Both parents are allowed open visiting;

Gwithian outpatient unit

  • Child can be accompanied by both parents to outpatients’ appointments.


Delivery Suite and Birth Centre

2 partners at any one time. (No children without prior agreement with matron or maternity manager on-call)

Wheal Rose

1 partner at any time and 1 other visitor at any one time, between 10:00 – 22:00; (No children without prior agreement with matron or maternity manager on-call)

Wheal Fortune

1 partner between 08:00 and 20:00 and 1 other visitor between 14:00 and 20:00 (No children without prior agreement with matron or maternity manager on-call)

All visitors to be asked to wash their hands on entry and exit from the wards

Visitors must not visit if they have been:

  • Experiencing any of the symptoms associated with possible COVID-19;
  • Feeling unwell, tummy upset or any other infection where it may be passed on to parent or baby.

For outpatient appointments, including scans, the patient can be accompanied by 1 other person.

Neonatal Unit

  • Visitors of the parents’ choice are welcome to visit between 2pm to 7pm daily, accompanied by a parent;
  • Limit the number of people at the cot side to 2 people at a time; that is, one parent and one visitor;
  • Explain to your family and friends that they may only visit with you and that we are unable to give them any information about your baby’s condition;
  • Brothers and sisters of babies are very welcome to visit and should be encouraged to gently touch their new baby;
  • Do not bring children into the nursery if they have a cough, cold, tummy upset or other infections due to the risk of passing it on to babies in the nursery and same rules applies to you and your visitors.

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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