Visiting guidance

Update on visiting restrictions.

We have lifted our temporary visiting restrictions for inpatient visits. However, we are continuing with our restriction on those accompanying people attending our Emergency Departments – please come alone if you can unless there are compassionate circumstances, such as patients who have significant additional needs (such as those with autism or dementia) or it is a life-threatening condition.


Visiting is welcomed and encouraged in a careful and managed way to meet patient need while maintaining a safe environment for all.

Every effort will be made to facilitate visiting, this means:

Anyone with symptoms of respiratory infection (like COVID or flu) or generally feeling unwell should not visit

​Visitors will need to wear a surgical face mask within all clinical settings to maintain patient and staff safety. This includes consulting rooms, outpatient departments and when moving within hospital wards.

It is important that visitors sanitise their hands on entry to a ward or department and again as they are leaving. If you require assistance, please ask a member of staff.

Visiting is by appointment only and visitors should contact the senior nurse or midwife on the ward to arrange a time to visit.

Visiting may be restricted an outbreak of infection is confirmed or under investigation to protect visitors and patients from exposure. In the event of an outbreak compassionate visiting will be facilitated following risk assessment with the visitor and patient.

Due to an increase in the numbers of respiratory infections within our hospitals we may, on occasion, have to limit visiting in affected areas. Please ring the ward prior to visiting and the ward staff can advise of the current situation, in some circumstances they may limit visiting to essential visits only.

If you would like to bring flowers for a relative or friend in hospital, please check with staff on the ward first. Where flowers are permitted, we would prefer them to be displayed in Oasis, the foam used in flower arranging.

Visiting specific areas

All visiting must be pre-booked in advance with the ward – please telephone the ward to book (see hospital ward information for telephone numbers or Tel: 0300 131 4500)

In a six bedded bay, no more than three patients receiving visitors at a time in a bay – up to three patients can have two visitors at the same time for up to two hours per day, visiting times to be planned to avoid overcrowding and allow staff to continue to provide clinical care

The person must be agreed by the patient

Visitors will be triaged and asked to postpone their visit if they feel unwell or have respiratory symptoms. Visitors will be advised if the person they are visiting or those in close proximity have active respiratory virus infections such as COVID or seasonal Influenza

If visiting a patient where the COVID-19 risk is higher, visitors will be required to wear an apron and fluid repellent surgical face mask and to wash their hands. Visitors should consider their own health risks when deciding to visit in such instances

A patient may be accompanied by one person. However, in the case of overcrowding or recommendation by the nurse in charge the visitor may be requested to wait outside the area

Patients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for emergency treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated, or offered one on arrival

Once a pregnant person is in established labour, two birth supporters will continue to have access to the Conquest Delivery Suite or Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU)

One birth supporter per pregnant person between 7am and 11pm. Please be aware that there may be a delay in answering the door during our handover periods at 7.15am and 7.15 pm. We respectfully ask that you are as quiet as possible when entering and leaving the ward during the early morning and late at night

If any birth supporter has symptoms of a cold/flu/COVID-19 that they do not attend

We ask that no children are brought to the ward or outpatient appointments

For further information and advice please speak to the midwifery team on your admission

A patient may be accompanied by one person. However, in the case of overcrowding or recommendation by the nurse in charge the visitor may be requested to wait outside the area

Patients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for urgent treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated

Further information

Carers of adult patients

We recognise the importance of extended visiting for carers of adult patients, who are supporting an adult with additional vulnerabilities. Where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed, visiting is supported on a patient by patient basis

Children and Young people

Parents/Siblings/Grandparents/Guardians are welcome to visit by appointment as agreed with the nurse in charge

Only one parent/carer resident can stay overnight due to limited space and the need to access emergency equipment by the bed space

Oncology or extremely vulnerable patients

Visitors need to wear a face mask when visiting oncology and extremely vulnerable patients as part of protective measures

End of life care

We recognise the importance of extended visiting during end of life care. Visits will be agreed by the nurse in charge and accommodated whenever possible

Spiritual, emotional, and religious support can be assessed and where appropriate provided by the healthcare chaplain or an external faith leader