Changes to visiting at the RD&E

9 Apr 2021

In line with national guidance, from Monday 12 April, we will be easing visitor restrictions across the RD&E. While visiting restrictions will still be in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, we understand how important visiting is for our patients and their families, and so our careful and COVID-19 secure approach will allow social distancing to be maintained and infection control risks managed.

Please note that maternity restrictions are also being eased across the trust – click here to find out more.

The following changes will be effective from Monday 12 April:

Inpatient visiting

  • For inpatients, every adult inpatient may have one nominated named visitor who may visit for 1 hour between 11am and 7pm. Appointments to visit must be made by contacting the appropriate ward at least one day prior to visiting. This nominated visitor should be the only person who visits through the inpatient stay.
  • Exceptional circumstances for extended inpatient visiting includes:
    • a familiar carer/relative if there are specific reasons of safety – dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly
    • up to four visitors for patients identified as receiving end-of-life care (staggered visiting will be encouraged)
    • for patients under 18 years of age, both parents/guardians from the same bubble can visit
    • a relative/carer for patients who do not meet the above criteria but may require assistance with their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs at the discretion of the nurse in charge

Outpatient appointments, diagnostic testing, ED and admission areas

  • Patients will continue to be advised that wherever possible, they should attend their appointment alone.
  • Exceptions where a patient can be accompanied by one other person are:
    • Children (under 18 years of age) – one parent or guardian
    • Anyone with a learning disability or dementia can be accompanied by one family member/companion/carer
    • Anyone with a disability who would not be able to access information or would require assistance during an examination – one family member/companion/carer
    • Any patient who may need emotional support or help to understand complex information about diagnosis or treatment during an appointment may be accompanied (this should be arranged in advance)
  • For ED and our other admission areas: critically ill patients (at the discretion of the nurse in charge) can also be accompanied by one other person
  • For outpatient appointments and diagnostic testing: if one of the above exceptions is not met but a patient feels it’s essential they’re accompanied, they will be asked to contact the department ahead of their appointment to confirm their request can be accommodated.

Other ways to keep in touch:

Our The Family Liaison Service can:

  • relay personal messages to and from patients who are staying on wards
  • arrange virtual visiting with a video call to family
  • receive essential items for patients

Personal messages

Email your message and/or a photo to: with the patient name and ward. Alternatively, call: 01392 402093 and leave the message you’d like shared with your love one.

Virtual visits

If your loved one does not have a smartphone, it is sometimes possible for us to arrange a virtual visit. To see if you can use this service, please contact the team 8am-8pm, 7 days a week, on:

  • Wonford: 01392 402093 / or email
  • Exmouth: 01395 279684
  • Sidmouth: 01395 512482
  • Tiverton: 01884 235400

Receive essential items

All essential items should be bought in an easy to wipe clean bag which is clearly labelled with the patients name and ward.

For Wonford, the drop off point is situated in the PALS office in the Main Entrance and is available:

  • Monday to Friday: 9.30am – 4pm
  • Saturday to Sunday: 10am – 2pm

For the community hospitals, please contact the relevant hospital prior to dropping off any patient property - see our website for contact details.



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