Visiting in Critical Care

Being a critical care is often a confusing and frightening experience for patients and families and it is helpful when family and friends can visit. We strive to keep visiting as flexible as possible whilst maintaining the safety of all of our patients.

We recognise that visiting is important for both patients and relatives. A visit from someone in your faith community may also usually be possible and where this is not we have a dedicated hospital chaplaincy service.

In order to allow patients to rest and recover and reduce the risk of vulnerable patients exposure to colds and flu we must limit the number of visitors at any one time and there may be set times for visiting

Sometimes, such as during the Coronavirus pandemic, it may not be possible to visit patients in hospitals. However, the Intensive care team will be able to advise you and your family of what we can do to help. If visiting is not possible then voice or video calls can be used to provide updates and support until it is safe to accept visitors once more.

Families should contact each of the units for up to date visiting guidance.

We will try our best to accommodate individual requirements, particularly during critical illness.

It is always good to reassure unconscious patients rather than asking questions which they can not answer. Patients may be able to hear even though they are unable to respond.

What will I need for virtual visiting?

In order to complete a virtual visit you will need:

  • An email account
  • A device with access to a camera and microphone (mobile phone, computer, laptop, tablet)
  • Access to the internet
  • Access to Zoom

How do I arrange a virtual visit?

To arrange a virtual visit call the number below and ask to arrange a virtual visit with your loved one:

BCH ICU 028 9504 1096
RICU 5 South 028 9615 0690
RICU 5 North 028 9615 1018
RICU 6 South 028 9615 0689
RICU 6 North 028 9615 1020

How will the visit happen?

  1. Staff will give you a 15 minute time slot on chosen date to have your virtual visit.
  2. When it’s the time for the virtual visit be sure to have your device near to you.
  3. The staff member facilitating the virtual visit will give you a telephone call to ensure you are ready.
  4. They will send you an email with a link in to connect to the virtual visit (please remember to check your ‘spam’ folder).
  5. Click on the link in the email. This will take you to Zoom.
  6. Allow access to your microphone and camera and choose Computer or Internet Audio / Call over Internet when prompted.
  7. Please be patient, our staff will admit you onto the video call as soon as possible, confirm your identity and details and then you can enjoy the visit with your loved one.

Please note: recording of virtual visiting or screen captures are not permitted and will result in termination of visit.

Following the video call the staff member will ask you if you wish a follow up telephone call.

Tell us what you think

Whether your experience has been good or bad, please tell us!

We want your virtual/ online visit to be as good an experience as it can be.

We would encourage you to give us feedback to assist us in developing and improving this service.