The Visitors’ Code applies to all inpatient areas except Maternity and the Children’s Hospital.
To help us to provide the best and safest care for your relative or friend we have introduced a Visitors’ Code which is designed to:
1 Help patients get the vital rest that they need and have uninterrupted time to eat their meals.
• A constant flow and large numbers of visitors can be tiring for patients, interrupt their care and treatment and impact on the privacy of all patients.
2 Help hospital staff to have the time and space to care and to carry out the measures that will help us prevent and control the spread of infections.
• The more people that come onto a ward the greater the risk of infection to patients.
• The more people and clutter there is on a ward the harder it is for staff to clean effectively.
We know family and friends who are concerned about their loved ones want to visit them and for most people who are in hospital, having visitors is the highlight of their day.
Our Visitors’ Code makes some basic requests of you which we believe will help to balance the benefits of your visit, with the benefits of giving hospital staff the ‘time to care and time to clean’.
All visitors are asked to help staff to provide the best and safest care for patients by adhering to these simple rules:
• Visiting times on all adult wards (except Maternity) are 3 to 5pm and 7 to 8.30pm.
• In special circumstances permission to visit outside these times can be given but only by the Sister or Charge Nurse.
• Only two visitors per patient at any one time. If larger groups of visitors arrive, they should take it in turns.
• Please use the alcohol hand gel or wash your hands in warm soapy water before you enter the ward and when you leave the ward.
• Please help ensure patient’s belongings are kept in the locker provided and items, such as suitcases, are taken home. Keeping wards free from clutter reduces the risk of patients falling and makes it easier to clean.
• We understand that you may want to bring a gift for the person you are visiting. We ask that you avoid bringing flowers and pot plants onto the ward as these items make it harder to clean.
• If you bring food onto the ward please ensure it is in a suitable container, with a well fitting lid, which is clearly labelled with the patient’s name and the date. Because ward staff cannot store the food you bring for your relative in the fridge, food which requires refrigeration must be eaten on the same day.
• The hospital does not provide laundry facilities for patients. We ask that you arrange to remove clothing and towels that need washing.
• For their own safety, and to help ward staff maintain a restful environment for all our patients, we ask that you consider not bringing younger children to visit unless it is felt to be in the patient’s best interest.
• Please do not visit if you are unwell. You must be free of symptoms for at least two days before you visit someone in hospital, especially if your symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea, temperature, cold and / or cough.
• To help us control infection, please sit on chairs and not on the bed.
• Please do not use the patients’ toilets. Ask the ward staff where the nearest public toilets are.
• Please do not touch a patient’s wounds or any medical equipment that they are attached to such as drips and catheters. This can cause infections.
• Please do not share property such as toiletries, tissues or items of hospital equipment with other patients.
We encourage carers to continue to be involved in their loved one’s care if they wish to. Please speak with the Sister or Charge Nurse about how you can continue to do this whilst the person you care for is in hospital.
Contacting the ward outside visiting hours
To protect their privacy and maintain a restful environment for all our patients, we ask that patients and visitors do not use mobile phones on the wards. Bedside phones are provided on which family and friends can call patients directly.
Due to patient confidentiality ward staff cannot discuss patient details over the telephone unless this has been agreed by prior arrangement with the patient and the Sister or Charge Nurse.
Privacy and dignity
The Trust is committed to promoting and maximising privacy and dignity for everyone who uses our services. We aim to eliminate caring for male and female patients in the same space, wherever possible. However, there are circumstances in hospital where mixing male and female patients is unavoidable, for example in short stay assessment areas such as AMU and Cardiac units. If you have any concerns please talk to the Sister or Charge Nurse.
Travelling to our hospitals
Wherever possible we urge visitors to use public transport to travel to and from our hospitals as there is limited parking at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital.
For further information about how to get to our hospitals please visit the Trust website
The Trust will not tolerate violence and aggression towards staff, patients or members of the public. Verbal and physical assault or threatening behaviour is illegal. The Trust operates a zero tolerance policy. We will seek the maximum penalties available in law for anyone behaving in this way.
Patient Advice and liaison Service (PALS)
You can contact the PALS team by telephone between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:
01444 448678 (for issues at our Haywards Heath site)
01273 664511 or 01273 664973 (for issues at our Brighton site)
Or by email at [email protected] for either site.
Please do not take any concerns home with you. If you have any questions about the care of the person you are visiting please speak with the Sister or Charge Nurse.