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Inpatient Stay - Visitor Information

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Your visitors are very welcome during your stay with us but please tell them not to visit if they are unwell. In particular, if they have had diarrhoea or vomiting they should not visit until they have been well for 48 hours. Please remind them to clean their hands prior to visiting.


Please read our Visitors' Charter for more details about what you can expect when visiting a patient in hospital.


Visiting times

Patient welfare and recovery is at the heart of new ward visiting times at the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital. Matrons asked for the visiting period to be reviewed in response to feedback from patients, visitors and staff.


Coming into hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic

The use of face coverings when coming to RD&E NHS Foundation Trust sites

In line with recent recommendations from the UK Government, we are introducing new measures to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe. From Monday 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital or care setting as a visitor or outpatient. More details are available here.


Visiting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

From Saturday 4 July 2020, we are pleased to announce we will be reducing some of the visiting restrictions that have been in place during the COVID-19 outbreak.


Wherever possible, we would still encourage that loved ones avoid face-to-face visits, and instead use the family liaison and remote visiting services we have in place. We know how important contact is for patients and their families and friends, but we do still need to be as careful as we can that COVID-19 does not spread in hospitals.


However, we are now able to permit one visitor per patient for a maximum of one hour per day, between 1600-1900 (4pm-7pm), as long as an appointment is made in advance with the ward staff.


Please telephone to make an appointment with the ward staff between 0900-1100 (9am-11am) in the morning of the day you wish to visit, at the latest. Please make appointments for weekend visits during the week if possible.


Remember, you will need to wear a face covering in the hospital, and maintain social distancing rules of 2 metres throughout any visit.


These new arrangements apply to Maternity visits as well.


The existing restrictions on visitors will continue to apply in the Emergency Department, where we are unable to accommodate visitors while maintaining social distancing.


Existing arrangements permitting visits for children, patients with dementia or delirium, learning difficulties, or for those receiving end-of-life care, remain unchanged.


Contacting patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

Do you have a relative or friend at the RD&E? During this time of restricted visiting we understand the impact it has when you are not able to communicate with family and friends.


One of the ways we can help to bring you closer is to enable you to share a message with your loved ones. Details are available here.


Please note, some wards or clinical areas have different visiting arrangements and Intensive Care and the children’s wards operate a more flexible system. Please see individual ward pages for details:

If a relative wants to visit outside the general ward visiting times they should discuss this with the matron or nurse in charge of the ward and agree an arrangement. See the ward page for a list of the wards within the hospital.


Ward visiting may be restricted further as part of our infection control management, for example, when patients on a ward have norovirus (diarrhoea & vomiting) bug or a flu virus. These measures are necessary to prevent a spread of the illness to other patients and visitors. If you wish to send flowers to a patient, please be advised that they are not permitted to be kept on certain wards. Please check with the patient's ward before arranging delivery of flowers or bringing flowers into the hospital.


If the ward’s visiting arrangements don’t suit your family and friends please speak with a member of the ward team about this.


Please keep the number of visitors to two at a time so as not to disturb other patients.

In certain circumstances, we can arrange for members of your family to stay in the hospital. Please talk to a member of the ward team.


Men and women are usually cared for separately. Sometimes there may be wards for both sexes, but men and women will be cared for in separate areas. However, men and women may be nursed together in areas like Intensive Care where special facilities are needed. If you have any concerns or questions about this please talk to a member of the ward team.


If you wish to be cared for by a member of staff of the same sex as you, please talk to a member of the ward team. We will try to take full account of your religious and spiritual needs.