Who can visit

This page is reviewed regularly and could change due to local or national COVID-19 prevalence or new Government guidance.

If you are thinking about visiting a patient, check the visiting restrictions on this page. Before visiting, please read the attending our hospitals section.

Visiting times are 2pm to 8pm unless otherwise stated. Please see our leaflet Visiting a patient during coronavirus for more detailed information about visiting.

When can I visit a patient?

We are currently very busy and our priority is to protect all patients and visitors from COVID-19.

We will allow visiting in both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 areas in the following circumstances:

Adult inpatients

Adult inpatients may have more than one visitor per day. These visits must be staggered throughout the day and each patient will be allowed a maximum of one visitor per visit. The exception to this is for end-of-life patients (please see below).

Pregnant women and birth partners

  • Birthing people are encouraged to have one birthing partner when they are in labour.
  • One support person is welcome to visit a birthing person on the postnatal ward 24 hours a day. There will be no ability to swap this person and visitors should endeavour to remain at bedsides as much as possible.
  • All women and birthing people will be able to attend hospital-based antenatal clinics (Windsor walk, Community Midwives Centre, Midwives House, Orpington Hospital, Beckenham Beacon and Queen Mary’s – Sidcup) with one other person.
  • In the Neonatal Unit, the birthing person and baby are treated as one, which means the other parent of the baby can visit.
  • We will support breastfeeding people in non-maternity wards to have their baby stay with them where appropriate and to have a visiting partner.

Maternity services are advising all pregnant people and their support person to undertake lateral flow testing twice weekly during the pregnancy, and within 24 hours prior to all planned appointments and attendances.

All visitors should wear a face mask, and comply with social distancing and hand sanitisation rules. See our maternity services during coronavirus section for more information.

Children

Patients on paediatric wards can now receive visits according to the relevant ward guidelines.

End-of-life patients

End-of-life patients are encouraged to have up to four visitors where this can happen safely. This might mean visiting in a single side room or wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Patients with disabilities or specific care needs

  • Patients with specific care needs, including dementia, learning disabilities or mental health needs, where agreed by the relevant Ward Leader, Matron or Head of Nursing for the area.
  • Patients in distress or who are deteriorating due to isolation from visitors, as agreed by the Head of Nursing or designated deputy.

Contact the ward at King's College Hospital or at Princess Royal University or Orpington Hospital to discuss visiting a patient with specific needs.

In some cases, our staff may feel that there is a benefit to a visit taking place, such as:

  • when breaking bad news
  • when a complex conversation is needed about ongoing care
  • if a patient is in distress due to isolation from visitors

There may also be cases where we agree it would be beneficial for a visitor to stay for longer than one hour. The matron and responsible clinician will assess these on a case-by-case basis. We will support visiting where it is thought to be in the best interests of the patient.

If you cannot visit

You may wish to use phone, email, Skype, FaceTime or WhatsApp to keep in touch with relatives or friends in the hospital. All patients at King’s College Hospital have access to free patient Wi-Fi.

If you are unable to visit and would like to pass on items to a patient, please read more about our drop-off and collection service.