Visiting someone in hospital

Please only visit if you are well. Don’t visit if you have any COVID, cold or flu like symptoms – this includes a runny nose, sore throat, cough, temperature headache, loss of smell or taste. Many patients in our hospital are very unwell and vulnerable to infection. What may be a very mild respiratory infection for you, could if passed on to one of our patients, be very serious. Visitors are no longer expected to wear a mask during their visit unless they choose to.

Visiting on adult inpatient wards

Patients on all adult inpatient wards can receive two visitors at any one time between 8am and 8pm. There is no restriction on the amount of time visitors can stay, but they should leave by 8pm. 

If the person you are visiting is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), staff will inform you of current visiting times, how long you will be able to stay and how many people may visit.  Visiting restrictions are still in place in ICU to protect our most vulnerable patients.

Please be aware that if there is a Covid outbreak declared on the ward that your relative is on, then visiting may have to be restricted. The ward or unit will contact you if this is the case.

Visitors are no longer expected to wear a mask during their visit unless they choose to.  Visitors will be asked to wear a mask if they are visiting someone with COVID and may be asked to leave the bay during certain medical procedures.

Staying in touch with your relative in hospital:
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 relatives’ 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.

Mobile phones and other devices are brought into the hospital at your own risk. 

Compassionate and therapeutic visiting

Visiting on compassionate and therapeutic grounds is available in all inpatient areas. Members of the ward team will discuss whether this applies to you. You will need to show your carers passport when you arrive at the ward. 

Compassionate grounds – patients receiving end of life care:
Family members or close friends should be invited to spend time with the patient. This includes children. If family members cannot attend in person, they should be offered a virtual visit – by phone or Attend Anywhere.

Visiting on grounds of therapeutic benefit for patients:

Advocates/visitors who are required to make decisions on behalf of patients who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves – includes people with delirium and/or dementia, a learning disability or autism. 

Patients with delirium and / or dementia or experiencing significant distress in circumstances when presence of a family member provides therapeutic benefit or help at mealtimes for example. 

Patients whose rehabilitation requires the presence of their family member to enable therapeutic outcomes to be progressed. This includes stroke patients and patients recovering from COVID-19 following intensive care.   

Visiting in the Emergency (A&E) Department

The person needing care and treatment can be accompanied into the Emergency (A&E) Department by one person.  Please be aware that if the waiting room becomes overcrowded, people accompanying non-vulnerable patients may be asked to wait outside. 

Visiting in children’s areas

Paediatric Emergency (A&E) Department:
Two parents or carers can accompany the baby, child or young person.  Please be aware that if the waiting areas become overcrowded one of these parents or carers may be asked to wait outside.  Please do not bring other children unless this is absolutely necessary (e.g. a breastfeeding baby).

Sunshine Ward (inpatients):
Families can designate two parents or carers to provide support to the baby, child or young person (paediatric patient) during the day. Both can be at the bedside and one parent or carer can stay overnight.  Please speak to a member to staff about arranging ‘family time’ to enable additional family members including siblings and other close relatives to visit. 

Paediatric Assessment Unit / Dolphin Ward:
Two parents or carers may accompany their child on our Paediatric Assessment Unit or on Dolphin Ward. Please be aware that if the waiting areas become overcrowded, one of these parents or carers may be asked to wait outside.

Maternity department

Birth 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. A second person may also support during labour and birth, and postnatally in hospital. Siblings are now able to visit new arrivals on our postnatal ward, between 3pm and 8pm. Unfortunately, other visitors or children that are not your own, are currently unable to visit. To ensure safety and security for all our families, you will be asked to sign in and out of the maternity unit and will be issued with a birth partner or visitor wristband.  

Virtual Visiting Volunteer Service

What is the service?

  • Video call facilitated by volunteers at patient’s bedside.
  • Connecting patients with their visitors who would otherwise not have been able to come into the hospital.
  • Particularly for patients who do not have the technology such as a smart phone or tablet and therefore are unable to connect with loved ones outside of the hospital

Our volunteers are not medically trained and cannot offer any medical advice or updates on your loved one’s condition. This service is for the purpose of connecting patients with their loved ones who may otherwise not have the opportunity to visit without the benefit of technology and volunteers’ time.

Calls are scheduled to last no more than 20 minutes. Our volunteers will alert both the patient and the virtual visitor after 15 minutes with a reminder that their call is due to end. This is to ensure that everyone who has requested a Virtual Visit has the opportunity to see their loved ones in a timely way.

How to schedule a call:

Visitors: Send an email to with the patient’s name, date of birth, and your contact details. Or speak to a member of the Virtual Visiting team on 020 8934 3053.

A member of the team will then get in contact to arrange the call.

Please note: This is a Monday-Friday service, for calls the same day please send details before 12:00pm.

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. 

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 in 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.

If you would like an update on your relative 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.

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