Patients and visitors

Everything you need to know when visiting the Trust

Coronavirus guidance for visitors – updated 16 October

Until further notice, visiting will only be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • For patients who are receiving end-of-life care or are terminally ill and in the late stages of their illness.
  • For birthing partners in maternity units.
  • For birthing partners can accompany mothers to 18-21 week anomaly scans.
  • For parents or legal guardians within our Paediatric and Neonatal services.
  • For long-stay patients and those with dementia or where best interest decisions or exceptional clinical/social matters are being discussed, at the discretion of the nurse or midwife in charge.

For those permitted to visit, please read this guidance before and during your visit.

Virtual visiting

As a Trust, since the start of the pandemic we have 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, it is secure and it is free.

To start a virtual visit with a friend or loved ones, 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 this service, 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. Alternatively, you can email dbth.butterflyvolunteer@nhs.net, who will support you with this.

Letter writing

If you have elderly friends or family with us who are struggling to use technology to keep in touch, we have an established service to send in letters so you can communicate beyond structured visiting times.

Introduced by our Palliative Care team, relatives and friends can email in a letter for their loved one and it will then be printed out in a hand writing style font and delivered to the patient. In these current times, we are working towards bringing comfort in whatever way we can and this would mean the patient has something they can treasure, re-read and focus on when upset or lonely.

The email address is dbth.butterflyvolunteer@nhs.net. Please note, this is specifically for elderly patients who are struggling to communicate via other means (for instance Facetime and so on).

If you are sending a letter in, you will need to add the patient’s name, ward and the words ‘letters to loved ones’ in the subject box.


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.


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