Visiting our wards


Visiting our wards

Some visiting restrictions still apply in all ESNEFT hospitals to keep everyone – patients, visitors, and staff – safe. This is our top priority.

The following rules remain in place:

General wards

  • Patients may have one visitor for one hour a day after they have been in hospital for 24 hours
  • Visits must be pre-booked with our ward teams in advance
  • A patient’s visitor must be the same for each visit for the duration of a patient’s stay (unless the visitor is a contact of a positive case of COVID-19, in which case an alternative visitor can be nominated)
  • Visiting times will continue to be staggered to keep footfall to a minimum in our hospitals
  • Under current COVID-19 guidelines, children are not able to visit our wards, apart from in exceptional / compassionate circumstances
  • Unfortunately, visits to COVID-19 wards and any bays on wards that are closed due to COVID-19 cannot be supported at this time


We are strongly recommending all visitors to our hospitals:

  • Have received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Take a rapid test for COVID-19 before they visit and show the evidence of a negative test result to ward teams, either through a photo of the test strip or via the NHS app. Tests can be ordered on the website.
  • Do not visit a patient and stay at home if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19, they feel generally unwell (even if it’s just a cold) or they have diarrhoea and vomiting symptoms


Children’s Services

  • Two parents / carers may visit a child on our children’s wards. As always, one parent may remain resident with their child throughout their stay. Parents / carers who are not in the same household may continue to substitute each other as needed, but this will be limited to one person at a time. Under current COVID-19 guidelines, children are not able to visit our wards, apart from in exceptional/compassionate circumstances
  • If you have any questions, please call the children’s department caring for your child


Critical Care

  • Visiting to the unit will be at the discretion of the nurse in charge



  • Different arrangements are in place for visiting the Trust’s maternity wards. Read more here.

Visitors and PPE

  • All visitors must wear a surgical face mask – we will be able to supply you with one so personal, fabric face coverings are not worn on our wards
  • All visitors must also wear gloves and an apron if they are within 2 metres of a patient when visiting our wards


Staying in contact with loved ones in hospital
The Trust’s Letters to Loved Ones service is still running and teams will continue to use iPads and mobile phones to help people keep in touch if there are occasions when face-to-face visiting is not possible.


Visiting and attendance at appointments in exceptional / compassionate circumstances is supported across the Trust, as well as carer responsibilities. Specific visiting guidance is here for carers.


Help us stop the spread
ESNEFT is asking everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Washing and sanitising your hands regularly, especially before and after your visit
  • Wearing a surgical face mask covering your nose and mouth at all times
  • Following social distancing guidance


Our hospitals
ESNEFT’s visiting policy applies at Colchester Hospital, Ipswich Hospital, Aldeburgh Hospital, Felixstowe Hospital, Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich, Clacton Hospital and Fryatt Hospital in Harwich.

Back to top
Translate »