Contact with family and friends

It can be important to keep in touch with your family and friends while you are in hospital.


We know how important it can be to see your friends and family regularly when you’re staying in hospital. Although we do have set visiting times and other periods where visiting is kept to a minimum, we try to keep it as flexible as possible.

Visiting times vary from ward to ward. All wards have a rest period when visiting is limited. Please speak to staff on your ward to confirm visiting times.

We may need to restrict visiting times when a patient is particularly unwell and needs to rest. It may also be necessary to restrict the number of visitors around a bed at any one time. We ask that you and your visitors are sensitive to the needs of other patients and respond to any requests made to you by ward staff.

Please ask a member of staff about other areas in the hospital where you can take your visitors.


To make sure that post reaches you, please ask your family and friends to include the following details on any letters or cards they send to you:

If you wish to send letters, there are postboxes on the ground floor of each hospital. If you are unable to take letters to the postbox yourself, a member of staff will be happy to post them for you.

Stamps are available from the hospital shops.

Bedside telephones

To help you keep in touch by phone, we operate a system called Patient Call. There is a phone by every bed for outgoing and incoming calls.

To make outgoing calls you will need a smart card. These can be bought from dispensers that you will see around the hospital. Outgoing calls are charged at less than BT’s standard public payphone charge.

There is a small charge for incoming calls to cover the cost of the service. This is less than mobile or premium rates.

We provide a leaflet with information about how to use Patient Call, including up-to-date information about charges. These are widely available throughout the hospital. Charges are also itemised in detail on labels attached to all bedside phones.


We are in the process of introducing wireless internet access throughout our hospitals. To check whether you have access in the area you are attending, ask a member of staff.

Although you can bring laptops and other web-browsing devices to the hospital, we are not liable for any loss or damage to your computer equipment while it is on the premises. Find out more about money and valuables.