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Visitors information

Visiting times

For most wards, visiting times are:

  • 2.30pm to 4.30pm
  • 6.30pm to 8.15pm

Visiting times are displayed at the entrance to the wards. If a ward has unusual visiting times, patients and their carers or relatives will be informed.

To check visiting times, please call the ward or department before you visit. Contact details are available here.

Visiting at mealtimes is restricted. There are exceptions for seriously ill patients and those visitors helping out with meals. If a patient is seriously ill, close family and friends may visit out of hours, but this should be agreed with the ward manager.

Virtual Visiting

We understand the current restrictions on visiting means that not all friends and families are able to visit their loved ones. Therefore, we invite you to use our Virtual Visiting service. We can connect you with your loved one in hospital via a video call on our hospital iPads so that you can see and talk to each other. This is the safest way to connect with people in hospital and patients can communicate with friends and family all across the world.

To book a virtual visit, please call:

Belfast Trust Switchboard on 028 9024 0503
between 9am-5pm.

Virtual visits start each day at 9.50am and the last starts at 4.25pm. Each video call can last up to 30 minutes.

This service will initially commence in the Royal Victoria Hospital Site, with a view to extending to other Trust Sites.

Who can visit

Visiting is normally limited to two people at any one time, with some exceptions. Children aged under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult. Children aged under five years are only allowed to visit in exceptional circumstances.

Your responsibilities as a visitor

Please help us fight infection by following these four simple rules when you visit the hospital:

  • clean your hands before and after visiting a ward
  • do not visit if you feel unwell
  • do not bring perishable foods into a hospital
  • stick to the visiting times and the numbers of visitors allowed

The Trust has a zero tolerance policy on violence. Staff or visitors behaving in a threatening or abusive way will be required to leave.

Visitors with mobile phones, cameras or camcorders should ensure they are turned off while in the hospital.

Bringing food into hospital

Please do not bring perishable foods or foods containing allergens into hospital. If you are unsure whether a food contains allergens, please ask nursing staff for advice.

Perishable foods include:

  • meats
  • poultry
  • dairy products
  • sandwiches
  • takeaway food

Foods with allergens include, but are not limited to:

  • nuts
  • eggs
  • fish

Foods that may be brought into a hospital include:

  • sweets
  • fruit
  • foods that can be safely stored at room temperature
  • non-alcoholic drinks

In exceptional circumstances, perishable foods may be brought into hospital with the permission of the ward manager. All foods brought into hospital should be given to nursing staff for correct labelling and storage.

Gifts for patients

Gifts of alcohol or cigarettes are strictly forbidden. You can ask a nurse for advice on appropriate gifts for patients.

Books, magazines, crosswords, puzzles and small games are ideal gifts as they help pass the time.

Flowers and pot plants are not permitted in wards as an infection control measure.

Postal arrangements

Please ensure you clearly address any mail to a patient as follows:

Patient’s full name
Ward number
The Royal Hospitals
274 Grosvenor Road
BT12 6BA

We also collect outgoing mail from the wards. Please ensure you have added the correct postage stamps to your mail.