All inpatients can have up to two visitors each day across all our hospital sites. Some wards / departments may still require appointments to be to booked in advance to manage the flow of visitors on the ward.
Visiting is at the discretion of the ward sister so please check in advance.
You may be asked whether you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you have had COVID-19 in the last 10 days. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 you may be offered a virtual visit.
In summary our visiting arrangements are as follows:
- Two visitors per inpatient at any one time should be allowed wherever possible.
- Visiting should be accommodated for at least one hour per day and ideally for longer.
- Visiting times can be flexible and at the discretion of the ward sister / manager.
- Patients may be accompanied in outpatients and the Emergency Department / Assessment Unit two people can attend with an individual if required, depending on space and capacity ad this can be managed with local discretion.
- Parents of children may visit together, wherever possible, including in non-paediatric settings,
where some children and young people may receive care.
- Siblings may visit at the discretion of the ward sister, or at planned times.
- Separate visiting arrangements are also being put in place for maternity.
Staff and visitors no longer need to wear face masks in all non-clinical areas unless it is their personal preference to do so. The change is in line with national guidance about the mandated use of masks in healthcare settings.
However visitors may still be asked to continue to wear face masks in many ‘higher risk’ clinical areas to help ensure we protect our more vulnerable patients or in wards where patients may be infectious.
Speak to a member of staff if you are unsure if you need to wear a mask. Please ask staff to wear a mask if it makes you feel more comfortable during your visit.
It’s also really important we don’t undo all the hard work of the last two years and ask that visitors continue to wash or gel their hands when entering ward areas for example.
Our guidance on visiting and masks is under constant review should circumstances change.
‘Keep in Touch’ Visiting
Virtual visiting tool
We know how worrying it can be for people unable to visit family and friends in hospital during these worrying times.
We are committed to helping you keep in touch with loved ones whilst in hospitals as well as receiving updates from our staff.
We have a “Keep in touch” virtual visiting tool which allows you to have face to face conversations with either your relative or friend, or their clinical team.
What you’ll need to carry out the video call
You will need one of the following devices to access this service:
- Smart phone on which you can access the internet
- Tablet such as an iPad
- Laptop or computer with a camera, microphone, speakers and / or headphones
If you have difficulties, Google Chrome can be downloaded for free.
Apple Safari and Google Chrome
At the time of the video call
- Select the ward from the list below, several different households can join the visit at the same time
- Please ensure all callers are using the Chrome browser, otherwise there is a risk you may lose sound
- Enter the ‘Waiting Area’ by clicking on the ‘Start video call’ button
- Enter your name and telephone number when prompted and click ‘Continue’ this will allow the ward to know who you are. We do not need your date of birth. If there is more than one visitor joining the call please put in the surname box – “relative of………”. This will help staff know there is more than one visitor involved
- Follow the instructions on the screen
At some points you may be prompted to click ‘Allow’ in order for our video call service to access your device.
When the other person is ready they will join the call. Watch out for any messages sent by our staff which will appear on your video screen.
The ward will start the call with the first person and then add additional callers to the call.
Keep in Touch Ward List
Click here for a list of all the wards at the Newcastle Hospitals
More tips to help keep in touch
Here are some tips and information to help you keep in touch:
- Bring in a mobile device for your relative or friend so that you can talk to them directly
- Remind your relative or friend that they can use their bedside unit Hospedia telephone, free of charge for external telephone calls to 01, 02, 03 and 07 numbers for up to one hour per telephone call
- Send a personal letter or photograph to your relative or friend. Speak to the ward staff who will be able to give you an email address to send a message or photograph to print off and personally deliver for you