Visitor guidelines

We will do everything possible to maintain the safety and well-being of your friend or family member while they are in hospital. Reducing infections is a top priority and long-term commitment of the Trust and we will continue to take every step possible to keep healthcare associated infections to a minimum.

While we are making progress, the single most important measure in helping to prevent the spread of infection is good hand hygiene and that is where patients, staff and visitors can help us. Please see our information leaflet for visitors and patients for further information.

The Trust is highlighting to visitors their important role in keeping hospitals infection free, by following some simple guidelines:

  • Refrain from visiting patients if you have any illnesses such as vomiting and/or diarrhoea, coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms and any infectious conditions e.g. chicken pox, mumps etc.
  • All visitors should wash their hands/use the hand sanitizer/gels before and after visiting. Even if hands look clean, they can still carry harmful germs. So cleaning your hands properly helps to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Limit your visit to two people for each patient at any one time. If a patient is being nursed in an isolation unit or ward please DO NOT visit any other patients. Speak to a nurse for advice.
  • Do not sit on beds or lie on beds or touch the patients’ wounds, drips or drains as this can spread infection.
  • Do not bring children to hospital in all but exceptional circumstances especially babies and young children under 13 years of age.
  • Keep the bedside locker tidy and clutter free and around the bed clear. Patients’ personal property should be stored inside the locker. Relatives should take dirty laundry home as soon as possible.
  • Friends and relatives will be requested not to send or bring in unnecessary items, e.g. cuddly toys, multiple bottles or outdoor clothing.
  • Fresh flowers and potted plants are not permitted in hospital as these pose an infection risk to patients.
  • Visitors are not permitted to bring high risk foods for example, meats, poultry, takeaway food, sandwiches or dairy products into the hospital.
  • Visitors may bring in low risk foods for example, sweets, foods which can be safely stored at room temperature e.g ‘long-life products’, juices and biscuits. Individual requests can be provided by advising the Nursing Team who will in turn contact the local Catering Dept.
  • Restrictions to visiting may be put in place for infection prevention and control purposes on the recommendation of the Clinical or Infection Prevention and Control Team.
  • Please refer to our Visiting Policy for further information.

Please speak to the ward sister or charge nurse if you have any concerns or questions.

If you have any queries regarding infection control in the Northern Trust please contact 028 9442 4000.

We are confident that if everyone coming into a hospital follows these simple guidelines, together with the measures taken by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, we can further improve the prevention and control of infection.

Page last updated:13 June 2014