Visiting a friend or relative

Our wards are currently closed to visitors except in exceptional circumstances. We know you want to keep in touch with your friends and family, so we're working on different ways to help you connect.

If you both have access to the ways you’d usually use to keep in touch, like a phone or tablet, keep going. It’s always nice to see a friendly face.

We can also arrange for your friend or relative to call you – all they need to do is ask a member of the ward team.

Otherwise, here are some ways we can keep you chatting:

Arrange a virtual visit

Call the ward your friend or relative is staying on to arrange your virtual visit. You can use any computer or device with a microphone and webcam.

Once you’ve booked a date and time, you’ll receive two text messages:

  1. A reminder of when your virtual visit will start
  2. A link to start your visit just before the scheduled start time

When you’re ready, click the link and we'll connect you to your friend or relative for a chat. You can even share the link with other people so they can join the virtual visit.

Unfortunately we’re limiting the time you can spend on call so we can make sure all our patients can have contact with the people they love.

If your friend or relative is staying with us at, Ealing, Northwick Park or St. Mark's Hospitals you can use Healthy Vibes to pass on messages too.

Staying in touch with Healthy Vibes

It’s important you can keep in touch with your loved ones who are staying with us. Healthy Vibes can help.

If you’re finding it difficult to stay in contact with your friend or family member, email with a photo, a message, or even a short video. Healthy Vibes will deliver the message, and you can receive a reply from the same email address too

Remember to include the patient’s full name and date of birth in the subject line.

Healthy Vibes is open from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. We can only accept emails that are less than 20mb in size.

We run this service at our Ealing, Northwick Park and St. Mark's hospitals. 

Visiting in person

Visits are arranged in advance with the ward sister or the doctor looking after your friend or relative.

You can visit in person if you are:

  • the next of kin (or nominated person) of patient who is at the end of their life (we will call you to arrange a visit if we think your friend or relative’s condition is deteriorating)
  • a parent of a child in hospital
  • a birthing partner for a mum in labour
  • a carer for a patient with a disability or dementia.

You must:

  • wear a face covering throughout your visit, from when you first enter the hospital to when you leave
  • take the shortest route to the ward: we’ll tell you the best way to get to there when we arrange the visit
  • wear additional personal protective equipment such as a mask, apron, and gloves: we’ll show you how to put them on

If you’re visiting someone who is staying in an intensive care area, or who is at the end of their life, you may find it very emotional. We’ll do our best to help you through your visit.

We will not let you in into our wards if:

  • you do not have an arranged visiting time
  • you’re showing symptoms or signs of COVID-19, or have underlying health conditions that increase your vulnerability to infection.

Wear a face covering to protect yourself, our patients, and our staff

Please wear a face covering throughout your visit. Your face covering must cover your mouth and nose.

You can buy face coverings from various places online, or you can make one at home by following the government’s instructions.

Remember, face coverings are just one way to protect ourselves, our friends and family, other patients, and staff. They only work if everyone uses them.

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