Visiting a patient at the Royal Free London

COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for all visitors

The Royal Free London is putting measures in place for patients, visitors and staff during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Advice for visitors of in-patients

We are asking the public to limit visiting patients where possible and to consider keeping in touch via phone and/or video calls. 

Visitors must be immediate family members or carers and can only visit for one hour per day at our designated times.

Visitors should not visit our hospitals/clinics if they are:

  • unwell, especially if they have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough
  • vulnerable as a result of their medication, a chronic illness or they are over 70 years of age.

Visitors are limited to one per patient unless:

  • the patient is receiving end-of-life care
  • the visitor needs to be accompanied – accompanying visitors should not stay in patient, ward or communal areas, and this applies to inpatient and outpatient settings
  • they are a partner and birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour.

Please be advised no children under 12 should visit without the ward sister or charge nurse’s prior permission.

Slightly different rules apply to paediatrics and neonates – two visitors are allowed and this may include a child under 12. 

In-patients with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and patients awaiting test results for COVID-19 are treated in isolation and not able to receive visitors.

Advice for out-patients

If you are visiting one of our hospital or clinics for an appointment, please come alone and only bring someone to accompany you if absolutely necessary.

Attending our premises

We are also asking members of the public not to attend our premises unless they are attending a consultation, visiting the emergency department or urgent care centre, or visiting a patient in the hospital.

If you or someone you live in the same house as are experiencing coronavirus symptoms please do not visit our premises.

All visitors to our hospitals are asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as soon as they enter the hospital and when they leave. Frequent handwashing is effective at reducing the spread of infection.

Thank you for your help in respecting these changes.

General guidance

Please remember that, as well as visitors, people who are in hospital need rest, calm and quiet. You can help us by:

  • keeping noise levels down on the hospital ward
  • having no more than two visitors at a hospital bed
  • leaving quietly at the end of visiting hours.

Visiting hours vary from ward to ward, so please check by contacting the nursing staff or speaking to them at the hospital before you start your journey. Find a ward.

Visiting hours

Find out how to get to our hospitals.

Smoke-free trust

We are a smoke-free trust and smoking and vaping are not permitted on our grounds. If you smoke and would like some support to stop smoking, please ask your doctor to refer you to our friendly and supportive stop smoking team. Find out more about our stop smoking service.

Information for patients expecting visitors

If you are a patient with us, you may have questions about how your friends and family can get in touch with you.

Can people ring me while I’m in hospital?

At the Royal Free Hospital, your family and friends are welcome to call the hospital ward to find out how you are. They should call 020 7794 0500 and ask for the ward by name.

Please consider asking one member of your family or a friend to co-ordinate enquiries. This reduces the number of calls for our hospital staff.

It is best to call after midday, if possible. Messages for patients can be left with hospital staff on the ward.

Can people write to me on the hospital ward?

Yes. Please ask friends and relatives to use your full name, and the name of the ward where you are receiving your medical treatment.

Find the addresses of the hospitals in our trust.

If you would like to send letters yourself, please hand them to a hospital nurse. At the Royal Free Hospital, you can use the Royal Mail post box next to the cashpoint machine on the ground floor.