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When can I visit?

Visiting times are normally flexible for family and close friends. For safety reasons we usually restrict the number of visitors around a patient to two at the bedside at any one time.

The best time for routine visiting is often the afternoon or early evening. We recommend routine visiting between 14:30-19:30. Doctors' rounds and procedures such as X-rays are often carried out in the morning so you may be asked to leave your relative's bedside temporarily. We have a patient rest period from 12.00 - 14.30 as too many visitors can be tiring for critically ill patients.

Visiting in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is permitted from 1pm, with a recommended two hour slot (this is flexible). Please contact the unit to agree visiting as appropriate.



In the past, many hospitals felt that an ICU was an unsuitable place for children to visit. We now think that it might be more upsetting for a child not to be allowed in. It is best to talk to the ICU staff to decide what is best for children in your care.


Telephoning the ICU

Naturally, relatives and friends will want to know your relative’s progress. It is helpful if only one person telephones the ICU for a daily update and then informs those concerned. This may not be possible in every situation but it does assist staff by saving them time which could otherwise be devoted to patient care. Detailed medical information is not normally given over the telephone.

Flowers and plants are not allowed in our ICU as they can be a hazard to patients and electrical equipment and are an infection risk.


Car parking

There is Pay and Display parking for the public and patients (If required, weekly tickets are available from the ticket machine)

In front of the Outpatient Department (two areas) Next to the Duchess of Kent Wing Alongside the Accident Centre Next to Abbey Wing


What kind of facilities will the hospital have for visitors?

Please ask the ICU staff about toilets, telephones and refreshment facilities. This is a non-smoking hospital. It may be useful to have some change for a payphone. Please do not use mobile phones inside the ICU, these may be used in the designated areas signposted around the hospital.

The nearest cafeteria to the ICU is located in the main foyer of the hospital and has restricted opening times. If you are spending long periods of time at the hospital you may want to have some refreshments with you. Perhaps a friend can bring something in for you, such as sandwiches or a flask of soup. It is important to keep up your strength.


Aspects restaurant Serving hot meals, sandwiches, a selection of salads, snacks and confectionery
Open daily 7.00 am to 7.45 pm
Retreat Cafe Situated in the main foyer, serving tea, coffee, sandwiches and a range of hot snacks
Mon to Fri 7.30 am to 7.00 pm
W.H. Smith Situated in the main foyer, selling cold drinks, sandwiches, snacks, confectionery, newspapers and other essential items.
Mon to Fri 08.00 am to 7.00 pm
Saturday & Sunday 1.00 pm to 4.00 pm
(Except Bank Holidays)


Does a patient need any personal items in ICU?

Although space for personal items is very limited, you may be asked to bring in some basic toiletries for your relative. A nurse will tell you what is required but items may include toothpaste and toothbrush, shaving kit, liquid soap and hairbrush/comb. You may wish to include some aftershave or scent to dab on their skin. Items such as a CD of their favourite music, MP3 player or photos of their loved ones may be a comfort to them. Awake patients may require personal items such as reading glasses, dentures or hearing aids.


Talking to others

Fear of the unknown can cause worry. Do not be afraid to ask the staff questions if something is bothering you. They may be busy but they will always find time to talk to you. It can be helpful to have someone to talk to about what you are going through. Friends and family can be a valuable source of support at this time. The hospital Chaplain can visit you if you wish or you may prefer to talk to a representative of another faith. The hospital Chaplain can provide support to people of any faith or no faith.


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