Visiting a patient

Restricted visiting will be permitted on most wards. Please follow our guidance below, as some areas do still have restrictions.

A patient is in bed with a monitor strapped to his arm, a nurse is by his bedside holding his hand.

Non-Covid inpatient wards

To arrange a visit, please call the ward where your loved one or friend is staying to find out which slots are available. One person should be identified as the designated visitor per patient, so that we minimise the potential spread of the virus.

Patients in the non-Covid inpatient wards will be allowed a visit from their designated visitor, for two hours per day

We understand families often want to visit people as a group, but we can’t allow that under the present circumstances.

A carer will be classed as the visitor due to social distancing rules. Should a family member wish to visit, the carer may swap out of the clinical area in order to support the family visiting.

If you are unable to arrange a visit, or feel uncomfortable about doing so, you can still use our Letters from Loved Ones service.

You are able to bring items to the hospital on weekdays (Monday to Friday) between 8am and 6pm only. We are unable to accept food which perishes quickly, as there may be a delay of several hours before the items can be delivered. We understand that personal possessions and treats are important for patients’ wellbeing, but please be considerate and limit items to those which are most important to the patient.

Health screening on the telephone must occur prior to visiting as visitors will still not be permitted to visit the hospital if:

  • you have symptoms of coronavirus, or have been asked to isolate for 14 days due to exposure to someone else who has them
  • you are feeling unwell in any way
  • you have been sent guidance to ‘shield’ or are within a ‘high risk group’, or
  • you are under the age of 16 (children should not accompany adults to the site, unless it is for treatment or clinic appointments.)

Covid wards

Visiting is still not allowed on wards where we are treating patients with Covid. This is to minimise the risk of transmission and to protect our patients, visitors and staff.

Elective Surgery Ward

Visitors for our patients who have been asked to ‘shield’ for 14 days prior to surgery should be someone from their social bubble, ideally from the same household, and must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by the ward team. This is to ensure these patients are protected as much as possible from the transmission of coronavirus.

Intensive Care Unit (D3 ICU), Intermediate Dependency Area (IDA D4) and Neurosciences Critical Care Unit (NCCU A2 and A3):

  • Visitors will need to book to visit a patient by calling the ward, and visit between the hours of 4 and 7pm (7 days a week).
  • One relative only (ideally the same person) to visit for one hour weekly. They will be offered a visit in the first 48 hours after the patient’s admission.
  • Maximum two visitors per ward at a time (and not in the same POD area)
  • On booking, our staff will confirm the visitor is free of Covid-19 symptoms and explain the rules and risks.
  • The visitor will be met the ward door and must be wearing a surgical facemask and confirm they are free of Covid-19 symptoms before coming into the unit for hand washing.

There will be a need to wear additional PPE, depending on the area the patient is located:

  • Green patients will wear an additional visor and apron
  • Amber or red patients will wear an additional visor and gown

The visitor will be asked to remove apron/gown and visor and wash their hands when at the patient’s bed space. Then wash hands and change surgical mask as they leave the unit.

If for any reason the patient requires clinical care during the visit, we would unfortunately need to cut the visit short, and book another time.

End of life care

When patients are at, or near, the end of life, we will review whether we can allow two visitors to provide support. However, this will be undertaken on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that social distancing can be maintained for the safety of other patients, relatives and staff.

Maternity services


In antenatal inpatient areas from a single (the same) birth partner will be able to attend during a pre-booked 2 hour daily time slot. Time slots will be organised on admission to the area and then daily thereafter. This is to ensure we are able to offer equitable access to visiting and ensure safety in line with current social distancing recommendations. 

Labour, birth and postnatal

A woman, or birthing person, may be accompanied by a single (the same) birthing partner during labour and birth on the Rosie Birth Centre, Delivery Unit and Theatres and may now remain for a longer duration post birth, wherever immediate post birth care is provided; up to 6 hours or until the woman or birthing person is transferred to a postnatal ward or they are discharged home, whichever occurs soonest. 

For homebirths, one named birthing partner may be present throughout the time you are being attended by your midwife. No other adult should be in any rooms used for labouring and birthing. If there are children in the household then it is the responsibility of the birth partner to care for them, or alternate arrangements should be made. 

In postnatal inpatient areas one named birth partner will be able to attend during a pre- booked 2 hour daily time slot. Time slots will be organised on admission to the area and then daily thereafter. This is to ensure we are able to offer equitable access to visiting and ensure safety in line with current social distancing recommendations.


We are delighted to welcome birth partners back into Rosie ultrasound and maternal and foetal medicine.

We will now be stopping the provision of free pictures and providing a video clip of the baby.

No additional adults or children are able to attend. 

After the scan we ask partners to leave and wait outside of the Rosie building whilst patients collect notes or have any blood tests etc. 

In circumstances where immediate counselling is required as a result of the scan outcome, the partner will be invited to stay for this.

Emergency department / A&E

Patients attending our Emergency Department are also expected to be unaccompanied unless there are exceptional circumstances (for example a child or an individual who needs a carer).

Children’s services

Only one parent will be allowed to be with a child (under 18) at any one time. 

Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

One parent will be allowed to be with a child (under 18) at any one time. 

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

In the ITU/HDU rooms, both parents from the same household can access the unit together for four hours from 11am each day.

In the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) rooms, both parents can now stay for up to six hours to help establish feeding and planning for home. The time can be split into two visits per day

Time slots must be booked via telephone with the nurse caring for your baby on the day

To book a video call with the medical and nursing team, or to see your baby by video link, please speak with the nurse caring for your baby.

CUH patients based at Nuffield Hospital

Nuffield Hospital operates one person visiting, per patient, per day, and this visiting is open. The patient receives details of visiting and shares this with their visitors.

Specific caring roles

Where carers are needed to ensure the safe care of a patient on the ward (such as patients who have dementia, delirium or learning disabilities) the decision to admit one carer will be authorised by the nurse in charge/ ward leader. A local agreement will be reached on the length of time that carers will stay and support the patient. Anyone who falls into this category must wear their carer’s passport (ID badge) which is available on the wards.  

Visitor accommodation

We know it can be a stressful time for families who need to visit their loved ones when they are staying in our hospitals.

Short term and overnight accommodation is available on the campus for our visitors. This is a cheaper, more convenient alternative to searching for hotels near to the hospitals.