Patients and visitors
We know visiting hospital can sometimes be daunting, so we want to reassure you that as a patient of ours, we'll ask what you think, and give you all the information you need to help you play an active part in any decision making. You'll be treated in an environment where your comfort and privacy and dignity are respected.
We achieve some of the best clinical outcomes anywhere in the NHS, and we trust that you'll receive great care from our team of dedicated staff. If you’d like to give feedback or think there is something we can improve, please let us know.
Contacting a loved one in our hospitals
Send a message to a loved one
We know that having a loved on admitted to hospital is distressing under normal circumstances, but it can be even more so when visiting is restricted.
You can send messages and photos to your loved ones using our online form. All responses will be printed off and shared each day.
Visitors are an important part of supporting our patients' wellbeing and rehabilitation. However, with the current restrictions in place, we've had to explore alternatives. We encourage the use of digital devices to help stay in contact with your loved ones and encourage our patients to have one available for the duration of their stay.
As not all patients will have access to technology, we have a number of iPads which allow patients to communicate with their loved ones, using the StarLeaf app.
Virtual visiting: frequently asked questions
How does it work?
A patient or visitor can request a virtual visit by speaking to ward staff, or at the Royal London Hospital site, by emailing email@example.com. The ward teams will ask for the virtual visitor’s email and a time to set up the visit. The visitor will receive a video call from the iPad which will be with the patient. Alternatively, relatives/ loved ones can send recordings to the device that can be played to patients.
How many virtual visits can one patient have a day?
In order to be fair on all patients and staff we have set a maximum of two virtual visits per 24 hour period per patient.
Can relatives virtually visit at any time?
Yes, as long as there is a staff member and a device available, a close relative can visit virtually at the most appropriate time.
How long does the virtual visit last for?
If the patient is unconscious, we would generally allow ten minutes for this. If the patient is conscious, we allow 20 minutes. Staff will use discretion around these timings.
What happens if the virtual call gets cut off prematurely?
We will try and reconnect but may ring you directly.
Family Contact Centre
Please note that the family contact is being piloted at The Royal London Hospital site.
We know It can sometimes be challenging to work out who to ask about your loved one's condition and treatment, and it is also difficult for ward staff to answer the phones to family members when they are caring for their patients. To help with this challenge, we have created the family contact centre to help to further facilitate the interaction between a patient and their family. This team is dedicated to being a contact point for you and finding the right person to answer your questions at the right time.
How does it work?
When a patient first arrives, we ask them who they want their contact person to be and update this on their records. We give the patient and contact person (if present on arrival) the family contact centre email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The patient's contact person can email the family contact centre to ask questions, request updates and share any other information. The email should include:
- the patient’s name
- the patient's DOB
- MRN if available
- the contact number they should be contacted on
Other things you might want to tell us:
- If we need a translator or BSL interpreter to communicate with you
- Practical needs a patient may have, e.g. they are vegetarian
- Medical needs a patient may have e.g. they are allergic to a certain medication
- What really matters to the patient – any religious beliefs, any difficulties they may be experiencing that we may not know about e.g. they are a carer
The service operates seven days a week. They liaise with ward teams between 9am to 2pm and patient’s contacts will receive phone calls from 2pm to 7pm (updates to patients in A&E could be at any time).