Information for visitors to NICU

Please refer to the patients and visitors pages for the hospital’s general guide for visitors.

Arrival

At the front of the unit we have a visitors room. Once in this room, visitors need to call the unit to find out if it is a convenient time to visit.

Although we try to be as flexible as possible, we need to respect the privacy of patients, for example if they are being washed, turned or if there is a ward round in progress. 

If it is a convenient time to visit, a member of staff will let you through to the unit. The entrance is kept locked for the security of staff and patients. Once on the unit, nursing staff will greet you at the main door or on arrival at the patient's bed side.

We aim to keep relatives up-to-date and will answer any questions you may have. If you would like to speak to a doctor please let us know and we will arrange for them to meet with you.

Infection prevention

The Trust takes the prevention and control of infection very seriously. We ask that alcohol hand gel is used before entering and leaving the unit as this helps to prevent the spread of infection. In some instances you may be asked to wear gloves and an apron for your own protection, as well as that of your relative.

What to bring

Patients and their family often prefer to use their own toiletries. Please feel free to bring in shower gel, a tooth brush, tooth paste, moisturisers, shaving gel and razor. It is also possible to bring in photos and, if appropriate, music CD’s, soft drinks, books or magazines, glasses and hearing aids. Full information on what to bring into hospital can be found in the your stay in the hospital pages.

Valuables

Please do not bring any valuables in as the Trust cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage.

Flowers

Please do not bring flowers into the hospital.

Camera and mobile phone policy

Patients and visitors are asked to have mobile phones on silent and use kept to a minimum. The use of cameras or the camera function on a mobile phone is strictly forbidden. For further information please see the full policy which is available on the unit.

Visiting times

Visiting times are between 10am and 8pm.

For health and safety and infection control reasons, we prefer the number of visitors at the bedside to be restricted to two at a time.

Families are encouraged to bring in photographs and pictures to be placed beside patients, please liaise with the nurse looking after the patient to arrange this. In some cases we suggest that music is also played to the patient.

Some families find that keeping a diary is useful, especially if the patient is on NICU for a prolonged period. This can help to show changes that are not apparent on a day to day basis.

Confidentiality is very important to us and we want to protect patient’s privacy and dignity at all times. We have a quiet room available so information can be given in private. In certain circumstances we are obliged to liaise with the police. In this instance we use passwords to ensure that we are speaking to authorised persons only.

Phone calls

We will answer phone calls from a patient’s next of kin at any time of the day or night. However, we do ask that phone calls from other relatives and friends are kept to a minimum so that nurses are not pulled away from providing the bedside care that their patients need. It is often useful to nominate a spokesperson that relatives and friends can call.

Catering

The trust has a restaurant for patients, relatives and staff on the same level as NICU. A number of drink and snack dispensers are also available just outside the restaurant and there are a number of shops in the main concourse on C level. The kitchen on NICU is for patient and staff use only.