Information on visiting someone in hospital

Outpatient appointments

Please do not bring anyone into the hospital with you for your outpatient appointment. The following exceptions apply:

  • Oncology
  • Paediatrics
  • People with dementia, learning disability or physical disability meaning the patient requires the support of a carer / advocate

You are welcome to have a relative or friend join you in your appointment virtually, by phone or video. Please use your device (phone or tablet) to do this at the start of your appointment. 

Visiting on adult inpatient wards

Routine visiting is currently suspended on adult inpatient wards. 

High levels of COVID transmission in the community means we have had to make changes to visiting and reduce the footfall across the hospital site to keep patients and staff safe. 

We understand how difficult this is for patients and their families and further information will be posted once the situation has been reviewed.  We hope to reinstate regular visiting soon if the situation in the hospital and wider community allows this. 

Dropping off belongings:

If you would like to drop off belongings for a family member or friend in hospital, these can be taken to the PALS office between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. The PALS office can be found at the junction of the link corridor and Bernard Meade Wing, close to the hospital’s main entrance. Please ask a member of staff to show you the way. Outside of these hours, belongings can be dropped off at main reception.

Staying in touch with your relative in hospital:

Please do keep in touch with friends and family during their hospital stay by phone and video, using mobile devices.

If your family member or friend doesn’t have their own device or needs support in communicating with relatives and friends, we are able to help.

  • Each ward has a mobile phone that patients can use to call friends or relatives. We can also arrange for patients to receive calls from family and friends on this phone.  Please call the ward to arrange this.  A member of staff will stay with the patient during the call if assistance is needed.
  • If you have FaceTime on your apple device, we can arrange for you to have a video call with your relative or friend though the ward iPad.  Please call the ward to discuss this and to book a date and time for your call.  

Compassionate and Therapeutic visiting

Visiting on compassionate and therapeutic grounds is available across the hospital’s adult inpatient wards. Members of the ward team will discuss whether this applies to you. You will need to show your carers passport when you enter hospital’s Esher Wing visitor gate. 

Compassionate / therapeutic visits can be allowed in the following circumstances:

  • Patients receiving end of life care – in the difficult and upsetting circumstances where patients are at the end of their life, family members or carers may spend time with their loved one.  This includes children.  Relatives should be advised to contact the nurse in charge for a discussion about this.
  • Advocates/visitors who are required to make decisions on behalf of patients who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves. This includes people with delirium and/or dementia, a learning disability or autism. 
  • People with delirium and / or dementia in circumstances when presence of a close family member enables them to access care. 
  • In specific circumstances, patients whose rehabilitation requires the presence of their close family member to enable therapeutic outcomes to be progressed. This includes stroke patients and patients recovering from COVID-19 following intensive care.   
  • Only visit if you are well – don’t come if you have any COVID-19, cold or flu like symptoms – this includes a runny nose, sore throat, cough, temperature, headache, loss of smell or taste.
  • Be safe and take a Lateral Flow Test before you come – you can pick up a test pack at your local pharmacy, or from a community collection point. Go online and google ‘order rapid lateral flow test’ to find your nearest point.
  • Wear a mask, keep your distance and wash or sanitise your hands regularly  – COVID-19 spreads very easily between people. These simple measures make a big difference.
  • Visitors that are mask exempt will be asked to wear a face shield.

Sign that you’ve read our Visitor Agreement

Visitors will need to enter the hospital via the Esher Wing visitor gate (see map).   

Visitors will be asked to follow infection control measures.

Send a message to a loved one at Kingston Hospital

Our ‘message to a loved one’ service enables relatives and close friends to send messages of love and support to patients. Please click here for more information about the ‘message to a loved one’ service.

When we will call you

If there is a significant change in your relative’s condition, a doctor or senior nurse will call the Next of Kin or named relative to explain what has happened.

We give every patient a full update about their condition every day.  If the patient is unable to pass this update on to their family member,  a health professional involved delivering care to the patient will contact the Next of Kin.  This could be a nurse, doctor, or other health professional, such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist.   

Updates for families of inpatients on adult wards

How you can help us to keep you up to date

Please nominate one person to receive family updates and tell us who this is and their phone number when you speak to the ward. 

It’s really helpful if this person then passes on the update to other family members because it’s difficult for ward staff to keep multiple family members updated on a regular basis. 

Please stay in touch with your relative or friend in hospital by phone or video call.  More information about how we can help you do to this is on the virtual visiting page. 

If you would like an update on your relative because call after 11am –  senior nurses and doctors will be able to give you a fuller picture of your relative’s condition following the morning ward rounds. 

Please avoid calling the wards at lunch and dinner time.  These are generally 12.30 – 1.30pm and 5.30 – 6.30pm.

Visiting on children wards

Sunshine Ward (inpatients)
Families should designate two parents or carers to provide support to the baby, child or young person (paediatric patient) during their hospital stay. Only one person at a time can be at the bedside. The designated parents or carers should swap outside the ward and not on the ward.  Please enter the hospital via the outpatients entrance. Babies under 12 months old can have both designated parents / carers with them at the bedside during the day. 

Paediatric Assessment Unit / Dolphin Ward
One parent may accompany their child on our Paediatric Assessment Unit or on Dolphin Ward.

Visiting in the Emergency (A&E) Department 

Only the person needing care and treatment is allowed in our Emergency (A&E) but once the person has been assessed and is in a cubicle they can ask a family member or friend to join them.  Staff will help contact this person if needed.

Relatives and friends are not allowed in the waiting rooms unless they are accompanying a vulnerable person. 

If the person is admitted into the hospital’s Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) one family member or friend may accompany the person to help them settle in.  This short visit can last around an hour.   

Maternity department

Partners are welcome during women’s maternity care at Kingston Hospital.  Women are encouraged to nominate a birth partner that will support them during their antenatal care, labour and birth. Unfortunately siblings are currently unable to visit.   Find more information about changes to our maternity services here.  


There is a cashpoint located at the main entrance of the hospital which is now the exit. A one way system is currently in place at the hospital so you will need to enter the hospital via main outpatients.

Tell us how we are doing we'd love to have your opinion