Visiting guidance

Latest visiting information

Open visiting on all wards is between 10am and 8pm, 7 days a week unless stated otherwise on the ward’s page. Please check the ward’s page before visiting.

Visiting outside these times can be discussed with the nurse or midwife in charge. See our Visiting Policy.

Changing levels of cases of COVID-19 in Cornwall means that we must review and restrict visiting at times. We know how hard this is for patients and relatives, and exceptional circumstances for visiting will be considered when necessary.

Visiting arrangements from 24 August 2022

All patients will be allowed a maximum of 2 visitors, reduced to 1 visitor or carer in admitting areas. Visits will be for a maximum of an hour per day. The two visitors can be different people each day but they will need to come together. All visits should be arranged in advance.

Visitors must not visit if they have:

All visitors must:

  • use the hand hygiene facilities before and after visiting
  • wear appropriate PPE. For example, wear a surgical facemask in areas where staff are required to wear a mask

Before visiting, visitors should use the public toilet facilities within the hospital as these will not be available on the ward.

Arrangements are specific to different areas but follow the same basic principles. Visiting outside the specified hours should be made with the ward manager. For example, to allow a relative to be present to break bad news or provide support if the patient has complex needs.

It may be necessary to amend visiting arrangements on any ward at short notice if there are cases of covid or any other infection outbreak. We will advise you when you call to arrange your visit.

Exceptional circumstances

End of life care

Patients may have increased visiting with no restriction on the number of visitors or length of visit. This is at the discretion of the ward or unit manager. The patient does not need to have an end of life care plan (blue book) in place for these criteria to apply.


Adults attending an outpatient appointment may be accompanied by 1 person.

Emergency department and minor injury units

Children and adults may be accompanied by 1 person. The department manager can approve more in exceptional circumstances.

Critical care

Face masks must be worn.

There will be a maximum of 2 nominated visitors who may visit for 1 hour per day. This can be increased to 4 visitors (who will ideally attend in pairs).

All patients will be reviewed daily and if increased visiting is permitted this will be recorded and communicated to the family.

Visits will be booked in advance and recorded in the visitor log and on the patient’s Carevue.

Staff will restrict the number of visitors to 1 set per 4 and 6 bed units. 2 sets of visitors will be permitted on the north side.

The red staff room or former visiting room should not be used.

Inpatient paediatric wards

Both parents, and brothers and sisters, may visit without restriction between 10am and 8pm. Grandparents may also visit with the parent’s consent. Other visitors can be agreed with the nurse in charge.

The number of visitors at the bedside should not exceed 2 people.


Both parents may accompany a child to an outpatient appointment.
Visitors will not be permitted if they have a cough, cold, gastrointestinal illness, or other infection which could be passed on to the children.

Maternity services

For visiting guidance for the following services:

  • Maternity
  • Delivery suite and birth centre
  • Wheal Rose
  • Wheal Fortune

Speaking to a doctor or nurse about your family member or friend’s treatment

You are welcome to speak to a doctor about your family member or friend’s care or treatment as long as they have agreed. They will need to ask a nurse to arrange an appointment for you.

Visiting if you are unwell

We take infection prevention very seriously so if you have a cold, cough, stomach upset or any other infectious condition, we ask you not to because of the risk of infecting other people.

Help prevent the spread of infection

There are plenty of things you can do to help us, these include:

  • Wash or clean your hands before and after visiting the hospital and always after using the toilet.
  • Use soap and water to wash your hands and make sure you wash and dry them thoroughly. There are handwash sinks at the entrance to all of our wards.
  • There are also hand-gel stations at the entrances to our hospitals.
  • Please don’t sit on your friend/family member’s bed, or on other patients’ beds.
  • If you have symptoms such as flu, diarrhoea or vomiting or infections such as chicken pox, please do not visit because you could easily infect someone else.
  • We don’t recommend that young children visit, please talk to the nurse in charge beforehand if you’d like them to.

If anything to do with infection prevention is worrying you, feel free to challenge staff, they won’t mind. You can also always speak to a senior member of staff. Our infection prevention team also provides a 24-hour advice and guidance service.

Find out more about how we work to prevent infection on our quality and safety standards page.

For some top tips on washing your hands well see this BBC video.

Can I bring in flowers, gifts or food?

To help keep patient areas clean and clear we would prefer you not to bring in flowers, large gifts or hot food. We also need to consider other patients allergies and tastes, so please check with the nurses on the ward before you bring in any items.

Where to borrow a wheelchair for your visit

  • Royal Cornwall Hospital – Trelawny Entrance, Tower Entrance, Link Corridor Entrance (by Lowen Ward) and Maternity Entrance
  • St Michaels Hospital – Main Entrance
  • West Cornwall Hospital – Main Entrance

The chairs are operated by a £1 coin and they do not accept cards; however there is a cashpoint and a shop in the foyer there – there is also a receptionist there who can usually let a wheelchair out for you.

These wheelchairs are push only and are not able to be self-operated. Porters are available to push patients to their appointments.

Other useful pages

You can use the below navigation to find other useful information, helping you plan your visit:

Page last reviewed: 27 April 2023

Alert: Essential maintenance

This site will be unavailable for a period of 15-30 minutes on Monday 12th June 2023, between the hours of 7.30PM to 11.30PM

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