• Visiting

    Information about visiting patients on NCH&C wards and inpatient units

During their inpatient stay with us, all patients can have daily visits within normal visiting hours.

Arrangements between different wards can vary, so please check with individual wards for further details before your visit.

Guidance on visiting:

  • Anyone who is feeling unwell should not visit, regardless of the patient’s circumstances.
  • You may be asked to wear a mask at times of high prevalence of respiratory infection when on the ward.
  • If you wish to bring in personal effects for the individual you are visiting, such as clean clothes, toiletries, or items of food, please speak to a member of staff to let them know what they are planning to bring in and when.
  • You will be asked to ensure you wash your hands thoroughly on arrival.
  • You should limit the number of personal belongings you bring with you.

If you have any questions or are struggling with our visiting arrangements and are concerned about how this is affecting your or the individual you are visiting’s mental health and wellbeing, please speak to a member of staff.

If you are unable to visit

There may be periods of time when visits are not able to be facilitated and are either offered at a reduced level or temporarily suspended. Where this is the case, we will communicate openly to you about the reason and will endeavour to reinstate the full visiting capacity as quickly as possible.

We will do all that we can to support you to stay connected via the telephone, video calls or via our Thinking of You messaging service. If you need any support with this, please ask a member of staff.

There are a range of other things you can do to stay connected with each other at this difficult time. 

Use video calling
A video call is a safe way to stay connected and can help to simulate that feeling of being together. The ward has a number of tablets available to enable patients and visitors to make video calls with each other. If you would like to arrange this, please ask a member of staff.

Send pictures, videos or recorded messages
Sending photos, videos, recorded messages or funny pictures over Whatsapp, text or email can add variety and help to add to a person’s sense of being connected with you. Some ideas might include taking and sharing pictures or videos at different moments in your day, having a look through your gallery for photos of happy times together, things to make them laugh or generally lift their spirits. If you or your relative don’t normally use these types of technology, could someone show you how?

Use the post
Sending a hand-written note, postcard or greetings card in the post can create a nice surprise for your relative/friend. If you’d normally spend quite a bit of time together, why not use that time to write a letter? Reading a message in someone’s handwriting – even if it’s a short one - can help create a sense of personal connection and is something that they can keep and read whenever they like. You could include some photos too, ready to be propped up and enjoyed in hard copy form.

Co-ordinate your TV time
Even if you can’t be together, you could agree to watch the latest episode of their favourite programme (whether on live TV or catch-up) at the same time – so you can share your reactions in real time over text or video call.

Share recommendations
Sending on things you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to may help to keep your relative/friend entertained. But it may also help to give you things to talk about when you catch up. You could even do a virtual book club where you compare notes together on a video call or over text.

Ask some questions
Even if you can’t be together in person, you can still learn about someone.  You could write down some questions you’ve always wanted to know the answer to and send them to your relative/friend to consider. You could even create a family tree together. You could ‘interview’ them over the phone, ask them to write back or even make a recording. Either way, they might enjoy the chance to share in this way. And you may learn something about them – or their family – that you never knew.

Be more active on social media
Social media can help us feel connected at the best of times. But if your relative/friend is an active social media user, now may be an even better time to stay engaged with them. That means messaging, replying, responding and having conversations rather than just looking at what they post.

Get everyone involved
Share ideas with friends and family about the things they can do to help and encourage them to get involved. What about getting the children to do some special artwork or a video diary to share with the person so they feel connected with the rest of the family?

Recognise being apart can be hard
It can be hard not to see the people you love and it’s okay to feel sad about it. Try to remember that this is not your fault. It may be the best way to reduce the risk of other people becoming unwell. It may help to talk to family, friends or our staff about how you’re feeling.