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Patient and visitor information

Visiting arrangements

Visiting someone in hospital plays a vital part in helping them to recover. We encourage you to visit your family and friends but ask you to follow some simple rules to reduce the infection risks to patients and aid their recovery.

To help us minimise the spread of infection, we ask that a maximum of two people visit a patient at any one time. If for any reason you would like more than two people to visit at a time, you must arrange this in advance with the Nurse in Charge of the ward or unit.

Please arrange with friends and family to take turns if necessary. Do not feel that you must stay for all of the visiting time. Sometimes a quick visit and chat is all that is needed and it ensures that the patient can have enough time to rest and recover.

Children are welcome but must be supervised by an adult at all times within the hospital.

Visiting times

All wards Monday to Friday between    2.00pm - 4.00pm and 6.00pm - 8.00pm

Saturday and Sunday between              2:00pm - 8:00pm

Wards with special visiting times are:

Children's Wards

One parent or carer can stay with their child all the time. With parents' permission other family and friends, including brothers and sisters, can visit throughout the day.

Maternity Unit

Partners may visit between 8.00am - 12midday then 2.00pm - 8:30pm

Other visitors are welcome between 2.00pm - 3:30pm and 6.00pm - 7:30pm.

Critical Care and Coronary Care Units

Visiting is by arrangement with the Sister/Charge Nurse of the Unit. 

Patients have a sleep period in the afternoon where visitors are requested not to visit.

Children under the age of 16 years need special permission to visit from the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse.

In all areas we will try to be flexible in difficult or unusual circumstances. Please speak to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse.

Visitor dos and don'ts

  • Do keep your hands clean. Use alcohol gel on entering and leaving the ward. The gel dispenser is on the wall inside the main doors into the ward and also at the patient's bedside (adult wards only).

    If you are suffering from a skin condition or are unable to use the alcohol gel for religious or medical reasons, please wash your hands very carefully with soap and water at the sinks provided, then dry them thoroughly.

    In children's wards you will need to wash your hands very carefully with soap and water, then dry them thoroughly when you arrive and as you leave.

    Wash your hands throroughly with soap and water, then dry them thoroughly after using the toilet.
  • Do ask advice from the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse before going into an isolation room.
  • Do leave if we ask. We may need to give care or treatment to your relative or friend, or to another patient. To ensure privacy and dignity we may ask you to wait outside for a few minutes.
  • Do respect hospital property and ensure you leave all areas clean and tidy.
  • Do check with ward staff before you bring in flowers or plants. Certain wards cannot allow plants or flowers due to the risk of infection.
  • Do tell us if you have any concerns about patient care or cleanliness, or if you have any suggestions for improvement. Please speak to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse. If you wish to speak to the Matron please ask a member of staff or reception to contact the Matron for you.
  • Don't visit if you are suffering from any infection, such as cold, flu, sore throat, diarrhoea, vomiting or a chest infection. If you have been in contact with an infectious illness, such as chicken pox, do not visit - telephone and ask for advice from the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse.
  • Don't use ward toilets - these are for patients only. Please use the nearest public toilets. Ask a member of staff to direct you.
  • Don't share patient toiletries, tissues, towels and other personal items with other patients.
  • Don't sit or lie on the patient's bed.
  • Don't touch wounds, dressings or any other medical equipment such as drips or catheters.
  • Don't visit in work clothing which may be dirty.
  • Don't bring cooked or uncooked meals into the hospital. If you are concerned about special dietary needs for medical, religious or cultural beliefs, please talk to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse so an appropriate meal plan can be arranged.

Other useful things for visitors to know

Carers: If you are involved in giving care to a patient please speak to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse about how you can continue to do this, if you wish to, while they are in hospital.

Medical information: All enquiries about the patient's medical condition and treatment should be made to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse. Arrangements can be made to see a member of the medical staff on request.

Telephone enquiries: Please try to arrange for only one family member to telephone the ward and then share information with other members of the family and friends. Remember, we are unable to give detailed medical information over the telephone.

Mobile phones: The use of mobile phones in ward areas, by patients and visitors, is not permitted.

Smoking: To protect patients and staff, smoking is not allowed in any area of our hospitals or grounds.

Violence and aggression: Newcastle Hospitals has a zero tolerance policy towards violence and aggression. Violent and aggressive behaviour towards other patients, visitors or staff will not be tolerated. Anyone who is violent or aggressive, or who behaves in an inappropriate way, will be asked to leave and may not be allowed to visit again.

Drinks and snacks: Please do not take food or drinks onto the ward. There are restaurant and cafe facilities at the Freeman Hospital and Royal Victoria Infirmary. The opening hours of restaurants are available from reception.

Property: Please look after your own valuables and property during your visit. The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage.

Parking: There are designated parking places for disabled people at all hospitals. Parking charges are displayed on each site. You can find out more about parking at our hospitals. There is:

  • 'Pay and Display' at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Campus for Ageing and Vitality.
  • 'Pay on Foot' at Freeman Hospital  - after leaving the building pay at the pay station to obtain your exit ticket before returning to your car.
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