From Monday 1 April, friends and family can visit their loved ones at our hospitals any time between 8am-8pm, any day of the week.

The extension of visiting hours at both St George’s Hospital in Tooting and Queen Mary’s Hospital in Roehampton is designed to improve the experience of patients, and is a decision we have taken following feedback from patients, their friends and relatives.

Our staff do their very best to make patients feel comfortable and enjoy their stay, but we also know that being in hospital can be a very stressful time, both for patients and their families.

Visits from friends and relatives can really help boost morale and aid patients’ recovery – and this is particularly true for patients with certain conditions, such as dementia.

By adopting open visiting hours, we want to involve families more in the care their loved ones receive, and we are confident the decision we are announcing today will be welcomed by our patients, staff, and the communities we serve.

As part of this change, the Trust is also launching a Visitors’ Charter, which has been co-designed with our staff and patients. The Visitors’ Charter will ensure that the new visiting hours are beneficial to everyone, and is standardised across the Trust.

Avey Bhatia, our Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said:

“This is really exciting news, and a big part of our effort to provide outstanding care, every time for our patients, and their loved ones.”

“Some of our patients spend a long time in hospital, but even a short stay can be stressful – and we believe that today’s decision will make it easier for people to recover quickly, with the additional support of friends and family.”

There is a limit of two relatives visiting any patient at the same time. Protected mealtimes will continue on many wards, although we welcome visitors from friends and family who are able to encourage and support their loved ones with feeding.

The visiting times of our neonatal unit at St George’s are unaffected by today’s decision.