Coronavirus guidance for visitors

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, NHS Trusts like ourselves have sadly been required to limit their visiting times. However, as we are seeing other restrictions lift across the country, we have taken the decision to review our visiting arrangements for certain types of patients.

Coronavirus guidance for visitors – updated 10 June 2020

In order to best protect our patients, staff and visitors from COVID-19, we have further restricted our visiting and we are now only permitting visitors for very specific patient groups (see details below).

Thank you for your understanding and compliance during this difficult time.

Before you visit:

  • Handwashing: When visiting someone in hospital, please clean your hands using soap and water. Sinks are available at all entrances to our hospitals and most wards, to enable you to do this. Where there is not a sink, you should be able to use alcohol hand rub instead.
  • Illnesses: If you have a cough, cold, diarrhoea, vomiting or a temperature, you could have an infection and may risk passing this on to our patients. Please do not visit the hospital if you have these symptoms.
  • Face covering: Following the Government’s announcement on Friday (5 June), we are asking all visitors to the Trust to wear an appropriate face covering

Visiting guidance:

Adult inpatient wards: 

  • Visitors are now only permitted for patients who are receiving end-of-life care or for vulnerable patients such as those with learning disabilities or those living with dementia.
  • Visitors to these patients must be an immediate family member or carer and is limited to one visitor per patient per day between the hours of 6pm and 7pm and is at the lead nurses discretion.

Neonatal units: 

  • One parent will be the designated visitor and they would be the only parent who could be resident on the unit.
  • The second parent can visit for one period of time per day, however only one parent can be in the nursery with the baby at one time to maintain social distancing measures.
  • If the designated parent is not resident they must leave the unit while the second parent is visiting. We encourage you to return home and avoid remaining in the hospital during this time.
  • If the designated parent is resident then both parents can spend time in the resident room together, but can still only visit their baby in the nursery one parent at a time. If your baby is stable enough to be in the resident room with you then the baby must be brought out of the room for any nursing intervention unless both parents are wearing face masks.
  • Please maintain social distancing in communal areas such as the kitchen or sitting rooms and continue to use masks, aprons and gloves when in the nursery due to the environment not allowing for social distancing.
  • There will not be set visiting times for the second parent as this will allow for staggering of visitors.
  • As per normal visiting restrictions for this vulnerable group of babies, no visitors who have any illness symptoms will be allowed to visit (including designated visitor).

Labour ward and Cesarean births:

  • One named birthing partner only. For C-sections, partners can be present in theatre for the birth who have no symptoms, but will need to leave once their partner goes to the ward. Any designated birth partner who is self-isolating because a member of their household is symptomatic, or they are symptomatic themselves, must not attend theatre, please consider an alternative person to attend.

Maternity wards:

  • No visitors permitted.

Antenatal: 

  • No visitors permitted on the antenatal ward and women should attend scans alone.

Children’s Wards and Observation Units:

  • Visiting will be restricted to one parent only. ​

Emergency Department:

  • One named person may accompany, only in urgent circumstances.

Patients at End of Life:

  • Will be allowed open visiting. This means that a maximum of two visitors can stay with the patient.

Patients with a Learning Disability:

  • Will be assessed individually, depending on their needs. Visiting will then be discussed with the family.

Patients with Dementia:

  • Will be assessed individually, depending on their needs. Visiting will then be discussed with the family.

Long stay patients:

  • Some patients have been apart from their family for a long time and have had little-to-no communication with them. In these instances, a visiting time could be allocated for up to one hour, with the understanding that it just one visitor.

Visitors should not come to the hospital if they are:

  • Unwell, especially if they have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough
  • Vulnerable as a result of their medication, a chronic illness or they are over 70 years of age.

Who cannot have visitors?

A󠆰ll other inpatients: Unfortunately, due to infection control and social distancing reasons, visiting for all other patients remains suspended at this time. We trust you understand why we need to keep this in place.

Virtual visiting: 

As a Trust, we have introduced ‘Virtual visiting’ using a simple video conference app called Starleaf, which is very similar to Facetime or Skype. It is easy to use, its secure and is free.

You just need to have access to a either a smart phone, ipad, tablet or PC (with sound and camera).

If you are interested in using virtual visiting  please contact the appropriate ward where your relative is and the staff there will try and arrange this for you.

The ward will need your email address and a time to schedule the virtual visit. Or you can email the Butterfly volunteer email address who will support you with this: dbth.butterflyvolunteer@nhs.net

Here are also some written instructions on how to have a virtual visit as well as a short video below.


We aim to make your visit to hospital as easy as possible. In this section you will find details of how to find and get around our various hospital sites, patient information and leaflets and other useful items.

Our staff are more than happy to help, so if you do have any questions regarding your visit that we haven’t answered, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like information regarding a ward or department, you can find out more on our services page.  All hospitals are required to publish information about the actual and planned staffing levels on all our nursing and midwifery wards on a shift by shift basis, to view our most recent report please click here.

If you’ve been a patient at our hospitals recently, we would like to know your views on the care you received. We’re asking everyone who has stayed overnight in hospital or visited Accident & Emergency or the minor injuries unit to tell us how likely they are to recommend us to their friends and family. This ‘Friends & Family Test’ (FFT) is a good way for hospitals to measure patient satisfaction with the care they are provided and the results will be published nationally. Please ask a member of staff for the FFT questionnaire.

If you would like to send a special ‘thank you’ to a member of our staff for their efforts, kindness and compassion, or alternatively to raise a concern, contact the team here.