Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
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Visiting Times


Keeping in contact with friends and family is important to patients. It is recognised that a balance is needed between maintaining that contact and allowing for rest and recuperation. Wards and departments have local guidelines about visiting times based on the needs of their patients which should be available at the entrances to wards and departments.


Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to the active involvement of family carers during a hospital stay of the person they care for and enabling patients to keep in contact with friends and family. Family carers and visitors play an important role in supporting patients during an episode of ill health. Patients have told us a more flexible and inclusive approach to visiting would improve the overall experience of patients and there is a need to better recognise the valuable contribution that family carers make. Our visiting guidance has been written using the principles of John’s Campaign and promotes the right to stay with someone in hospital to support them as often as they are able.



The following are some key principles that apply to all visitors

  • Visiting is most beneficial to patients for short periods of time. Many will need a significant amount of rest and the presence of visitors may disrupt that rest. The duration of visits or numbers of visitors may be limited by the nursing staff if it is felt to be in the best interest of the patient.
  • Visitors should be encouraged to use the hand hygiene products provided, e,g, hand gel before entering the ward.
  • People should not visit within 48 hours of having diarrhoea and/or vomiting or any obvious signs of infection. If a visitor is in doubt they should telephone the ward staff for advice.
  • Only visitors requested by the patient or carer can remain present for clinical procedures or ward rounds and that must be with the consent of the patient.
  • Visitors should use the chairs provided and not sit on the patients bed. It would also be helpful if any chairs moved around could be returned to their original place when visitors leave.
  • No more than 2 visitors per patient are recommended at any one time in multiple bays. This is to ensure that the comfort needs of other patients are met . If the number exceeds this, the nursing staff may ask some visitors to leave.
  • Visitors should not use mobile phones, cameras or other image and sound recording devices. Areas for exemptions, such as maternity would need to be agreed with the Nurse/Midwife in charge.
  • Visitors will inform staff of any perishable food or drink which they bring in for patients.
  • Refreshments will not routinely be provided to visitors. They will be advised of facilities available. This does not include resident carers who are entitled to food and drink.
  • It is expected that visitors will behave in an acceptable manner, recognizing the needs of the patient and others.
  • Gifts can do a lot to cheer up a patient. Stuffed toys, books and games are terrific items to give a patient. Balloons, of course, can brighten a room but for safety reasons, we would only allow mylar balloons into the hospital. All latex balloons are prohibited due to allergies. We would also strongly advise against visitors bringing flowers into the hospital due to infection control reasons.
  • Visitors are politely reminded not to smoke while in the grounds of the hospital. There are smoking shelters that can be used.


Arrangements for family/friend carers

Arrangements can be made between the ward staff and family or friend carers on admission to hospital which ensures we all understand the role they will wish to have in the participation of caring for their loved one or friend. All carers are offered a referral to the QA Carers Team, details of which can be found below.

We actively promote the rights of carers to stay with the cared for while they are in hospital if they wish to do so. While Carers are in our care, there are a number of principles we aim to meet to support them;


  • Family carers are welcomed during the hospital stay of the person they care for.

  • They will be supported to participate in care to the extent they, and the person they care for, wishes.

  • If Carers have made the decision to stay, we will provide facilities for them to eat, drink, wash and rest while they are here. Please note, this applies to family or friend carers who are providing a level of care to the patient. We are unable to provide facilities to visitors.
  • Carers will be offered a carer’s assessment and a referral to the QA Carers Team to ensure appropriate support during hospital stay and in preparation for discharge.

  • Carers will be actively involved in care and discharge planning to ensure the safe, effective and timely discharge of patients.

  • Visitors are encouraged to help patients maintain contact with their friends and family.

  • Wards and departments will provide local visiting times based on the needs of their patients.

  • Out of hours visiting may be agreed with the ward team.

Carers also told us they would like to have a document that they could keep with them that would support any agreements made with the ward staff. We wrote the 'This Is Us' carers passport to do just that.







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Last updated - 27 September 2017
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