The Royal London is a leading, internationally renowned teaching hospital based in east London.
We offer a full range of local and specialist services, which includes one of the largest children's hospitals in the UK with one of London's busiest paediatric accident and emergency departments.
Home to London's Air Ambulance, The Royal London is also one of the capital's leading trauma and emergency care centres and hyper-acute stroke centres.
The Royal London Dental Hospital is a leading specialist hospital for first-class dental and oral health care.
Visiting and attending The Royal London Hospital with a loved one
Please note this information is relevant as of 31.12.2021 but is subject to change.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff continues to be our top priority. To ensure this, and with the continued spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, we have made the difficult decision to no longer allow visitors to our hospitals, with certain exceptions (see below), to limit the risk of transmission of the virus.
This guidance is expected to be in place until the end of January 2022, but please keep checking this page for the latest visiting guidance.
We are aware of how difficult it is and has been for families to visit their loved ones during the pandemic, and we appreciate your patience. Our staff are working hard to keep everyone safe and so we ask that you treat them with kindness and respect when visiting our hospital.
Your safety when visiting our hospital
Everyone coming to our hospital to visit or attend an appointment with a loved one must:
- Wear a surgical face mask unless you have a medical exemption or are under 11 years old. Other face coverings are not permitted. When you arrive at our hospitals you will be provided with a surgical mask to wear at all times.
- Use the hand gel provided
- Wash your hands regularly
- Maintain social distancing
We are also asking anyone who plans on visiting our hospital to do a lateral flow test before they come, and to only continue with their visit if the test is negative.
You may be asked to provide proof of your negative lateral flow test when you arrive at the hospital, so please be prepared to do so. Items accepted as proof of a negative lateral flow are:
- A picture of your negative lateral flow test, with the day’s date
- An email from gov.uk showing a negative lateral flow test has been registered
- The physical negative lateral flow test cassette itself
Please note, lateral flow tests will not be available at any of our hospitals for visitors do to on arrival. These can be ordered free from the gov.uk website (search for lateral flow on Google), or by calling 119.
What to expect on arrival when visiting or attending with a loved one
When you arrive at our hospital, it is likely you will be asked questions about why you’re visiting the hospital, who you are visiting and if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.
Please note, we are caring for Covid-19 patients in separate areas of our hospitals which will have the right infection prevention and control measures in place for them and to help protect you. You will be expected to follow all infection prevention and control measures outlined in each area of the hospital that you visit.
If you feel unwell or have Covid-19 symptoms
You must not visit our hospital if you have any Covid-19 or cold or flu like symptoms, or if you feel unwell.
Visiting or attending with your loved one
Booking a visit (exceptional circumstances only)
To keep everyone safe, we are unable to welcome you into our hospital without an appointment; please speak with the ward to book a visitor appointment. Visitors will need to book their visit with the ward their loved one is on. Please call The Royal London switchboard on 020 7377 7000 and ask to be transferred to the ward.
The team on the ward will then work with you to arrange a visiting time.
If you have questions or would like to set up a virtual visit instead, then please get in touch with the patient and family contact centre: 020 3594 2040.
Our guidance for visiting inpatients (people staying in hospital)
With the continued spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, we have made the difficult decision to no longer allow visitors to people staying in our hospitals. The only exceptions to this are if the:
patient needs a familiar carer / parent / guardian / supporter / personal assistant (e.g. if the person has dementia or learning difficulties)
patient needs assistance with communication and / or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs (e.g. if the person has dementia or learning difficulties)
the visitor is the parent / guardian of a child (both parents / guardians are allowed)
person is receiving end-of-life care (see below)
person is having a baby at our hospital (see below)
Our guidance for visiting people receiving end-of-life care
We welcome up to four visitors a day for people receiving end-of-life care, with up to two people at the bedside at any one time. So that you remain socially distanced, we ask the other two visitors to wait outside of the ward.
Our guidance for visiting or attending with people using our maternity services
Women giving birth can have one visitor for all antenatal scans (ward 8E), one birthing partner in labour areas and one birthing partner on the postnatal ward (ward 8F). Unfortunately we are unable to welcome children (as visitors) into our maternity department.
Our guidance for attending outpatient appointments with a loved one
People attending for outpatient appointments can only bring a chaperone or carer if they need:
a familiar carer / parent / guardian / supporter / personal assistant (e.g. if they have learning disabilities)
assistance with communication and / or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs (e.g. if they have learning disabilities)
a parent / guardian with them
Bringing someone with you when you come to visit
Unfortunately, we can only allow one visitor per patient per day at our hospital in certain, exceptional circumstances (see above). We are unable to welcome children as visitors.
More information and keeping up to date
If you have questions or would like to set up a virtual visit instead, then please get in touch with the patient and family contact centre on 020 3594 2040.
Information for patients
If you have an appointment at one of our hospitals, please visit this page for information on what you need to do before attending.
Delivering items to your loved one
If you would like to drop off food or personal items such as phone chargers, please visit our main reception off Whitechapel Road. The volunteer team will take your parcels to your relative seven days a week between 10am and 4pm.
Please note that any personal property is brought in at your own risk and we cannot reheat food.
Videos to support you in Bengali, Somali and English
Information in Bengali
Information in Somali
Information in English
Contacting a loved one
Get in touch with the patient and family contact centre
If you know which ward the patient is on, please call them directly.
If you are not sure which ward they are on or can’t get through, you can contact our family contact centre:
- Email the team, providing the patient’s name, date of birth, medical record number (if available) and your contact number
- Phone us on 020 3594 2040
- Drop in by visiting the centre on the ground floor of the hospital
The centre is open 9am-5pm, seven days a week.
The family contact centre can speak with the clinical team about your questions and concerns, help arrange language support, dropping off items and food, spiritual and religious support, booking virtual visits and sending photos and messages to loved ones.
If you require urgent out of hours advice or support, please call our switchboard on 020 7377 7000 and request a transfer to the nurse in charge or site manager. If your issue is not urgent, it will be dealt with the next working day.
For patients on our ITU wards
If you have a relative/ loved one on our ITU wards (the 4th and 15th floor), the phone number is 07710 066 906. They may be busy with patients/ relatives or have poor signal so please do text them and they will contact you as soon as they can. Their operating hours are largely 9-5pm or sometimes 10-7pm if they are supporting families who need out of office hours support.
For patients who are in an urgent/life-threatening condition
If something is urgent or life-threatening, the patient's designated contact person will receive a call from the hospital.
If you need urgent help, please call the ward/department and ask to speak to the Nurse in Charge. If you need further support, call switchboard on 0207 377 7000 and ask for help from the Site Manager.
For non-urgent/ life-threatening patients
If the person is unconscious or is unable to update their designated contact person, the designated contact person will receive a call from the hospital.
Calls to the designated contact person from the hospital will usually happen from 2pm, or whenever ward rounds finish each day but may be as late as 7pm depending on how sick the patient is. Most wards will provide updates from the doctor and/or nurses every 48 hours, unless a patient’s condition significantly changes
Tips on when to call the wards
To increase your chance of your call being answered, please call between the hours of 2-6pm and after 8pm. However please remember that patient care will always be prioritised over answering the phone if the ward has a high number of sick patients.
Travelling to The Royal London Hospital
The Royal London Hospital
Switchboard 020 7377 7000
The Royal London Hospital is located in Whitechapel in east London, within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. You can travel to hospital in a number of ways including on foot, by car, by bike or by public transport. Plan your journey using the Transport for London journey planner or through the travel information below.
TfL can offer advice on planning a journey using an accessible route and can provide a mentor to come with you for your first few journeys to help you gain confidence and become an independent traveller, to find out more complete TfL’s form online.
The following buses stop outside or close to the Royal London Hospital, 25 (24 hour service), 106, 205 and 254 on Whitechapel Road as well as night buses N205 and N253, the D3 on New Road, 15, 115 and 135 as well as night buses N15 and N550 on Commercial Road. Low-floor wheelchair accessible buses run on all routes serving The Royal London Hospital.
The closest underground station is Whitechapel a 6 minute walk from the Royal London Hospital, which is served by the Hammersmith and City line and the District line as well as the London Overground.
Liverpool Street is the nearest National Rail station a 29 minute walk away. Alternatively you can take the Hammersmith and City line from Whitechapel to Liverpool Street Station.
The Freedom Pass for older people allows free travel across London and free local bus journeys nationally.
The travel pass for disabled people allows free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally. You can use your pass on most journeys across London but there are a few exceptions to when and where you can use your card.
A 60+ London Oyster photocard- allows you to travel free on public transport in London from the age of 60 until you qualify for a Freedom Pass. To be eligible for a 60+ London Oyster photocard, you must: Live in a London borough and be aged 60 or over.
To find out more about the above listed Freedom passes visit the London Councils website.
By car or taxi
There is no public parking at the hospital itself so we encourage patients and visitors not to travel by car wherever this is possible. If you do need to drive there is limited metered/phone parking available on streets around The Royal London Hospital. Meters can be found on Turner Street, Ashfield Street, Varden Street and Cavell Street where you can stay for a maximum of 4 hours at a charge of £3.80 per hour.
If you need to be dropped off or picked up, The Royal London Hospital operates a one-way system along Stepney Way road and allows for drop off and pick up in designated laybys, with a maximum stay of 10-minutes. The Stepney Way entrance to the hospital is currently closed, please use the Whitechapel Road entrance, this is the one near Whitechapel Station.
Infopoint help-points allow you to make free calls to taxi companies and public transport information lines to arrange your journey home. There are infopoints located at the main entrance of the Royal London Hospital, Stepney Way entrance, Dental Hospital entrance, A&E entrance, Women's and Children's entrance, Children's A&E entrance and Luckes entrance.
Blue badge holders
There are a small number of parking bays for drivers with Blue Badges, these are accessed via Raven Row. Drivers who are registered disabled and have a blue badge can also check where to park at on the Tower Hamlets website.
Congestion charge zone
The Royal London hospital is situated just outside the congestion charging zone. If you need to drive through the zone to get to hospital, you are required to pay the charge, although there are some exemptions and discounts. These include:
those with disabilities who hold a blue badge
residents living within the congestion charging zone
drivers of alternative fuel vehicles
A full list of categories of drivers/vehicles eligible for exemptions and details of how to pay the charge can be found on the Transport for London congestion charging website. To qualify for an exemption or discount you must register with Transport for London.
Refunds of hospital transport costs
You may be able to claim a refund for the cost of your transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) if you:
are not eligible for patient transport services (PTS)
cannot afford the cost of travelling to hospital
cannot get a friend or relative to take you
Refer to Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) for more information on who is eligible, what the conditions are and how you can access the scheme.
We encourage visitors, staff and patients living nearby to cycle to the hospital if possible. Cycle parking facilities are available around the hospital.
There are several cycle routes in the area surrounding the hospital including Cycle Superhighway route 2 (CS2), which runs along the A11 Whitechapel road from Stratford to Aldgate.
The hospital appears on TfL’s Local Cycling Guide 7. You can order this guide for free by calling 0343 222 1234.
Santander cycle hire docking stations are available to hire and dock bikes near to the Royal London Hospital at:
Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel (on Whitechapel road closest to the main entrance to the hospital)
New Road 1, Whitechapel (closest to the Royal London Dental Hospital)
We can offer overnight accommodation for the relatives of patients being admitted to the hospital or for patients who attend the hospital for regular treatment. We can also provide facilities for patients prior to their appointment who have to travel a long way to attend the hospital for complex investigations or treatment, but who do not need to be readmitted to a ward. Please ask the ward staff or pre-admission staff to see if this accommodation would be suitable for you, or your relatives, at any stage of your treatment.
James Hora Home at The Royal London Hospital provides accommodation for relatives and carers supporting critical care patients and surgical patients.
The home can also offer accommodation to outpatients who would have difficulty getting to the hospitals to attend appointments, to pre-admission
patients prior to their surgery and to some patients prior to their hospital treatment.
The home can accommodate up to 26 guests. Please speak to a member of the ward/clinic staff about a referral to stay in James Hora Home or call
them on 07880 553525.
Stevenson House on Ashfield Street is available for the families of children admitted to The Royal London for long stays. It is a 16 bedded house and includes two fully-equipped kitchens, 10 bathrooms, a large shared living room, a playroom and laundry facilities. Direct phone lines connect the wards to family bedrooms. The Sick Children's Trust provides the 'Home from Home' accommodation in Stevenson House, they are a voluntary organisation that do not charge for the stay and rely entirely on donations.
Enquiries should be made via the house manager on telephone 020 7791 2604.
Multi-faith chaplaincy centre
Chaplains of many faiths are available to speak to all patients, relatives and carers. The chaplaincy team welcomes everyone, whatever your faith or beliefs and whether or not you follow a religion. Information about your religious preference will be passed to the chaplaincy. If you do not wish this to happen, please inform a member of staff.
There are payphones and direct lines to taxi companies on the ground floor of the main hospital building at the Whitechapel entrance.
Restaurant and kiosk
There is a kiosk selling hot and cold beverages, fruit and snacks in the Stepney Way atrium which is open 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
The staff, patient and visitor restaurant is located on the fifth floor of the main building. It is open daily 7.30am to 7pm, including weekends and bank holidays. With impressive views of the surrounding area, the restaurant has 180 seats and serves a varied menu to cater for a range of diets. A selection of hot and cold foods are available in the restaurant.
In the restaurant is a vending machine and water dispenser which are accessible 24 hours a day throughout the week. Find out about disabled access to the restaurant.
Costa Coffee has two cafes on site, one located in the dental hospital on Turner Street and the other at the Whitechapel entrance to the main hospital building.
There is a cash point on the wall of the medical college student union building, opposite the outpatients department in Stepney Way.
A cashier’s office is available on the second floor of the main hospital building, outside of the fracture clinic.
Public male, female and disabled toilets are accessible on all floors of the hospital outside of wards.
Free wifi is available throughout the hospital for patients. There’s no time limit on use, and capacity has been expanded in order to ensure continuous access for as many users as possible.
Please note that the wifi cannot support streaming movies or high-intensity computer games.
The wifi can be accessed by completing the following steps:
- Connect to the NHS Wi-Fi wireless network
- Open your web browser
- From the welcome page, accept the terms and conditions
- Browse the internet and send and receive emails
If you encounter any problems please call the 24/7 helpdesk on 0344 848 9555.
Royal London Hospital Museum
Located in the former crypt of the old Royal London Hospital church of St Philip’s (occupied on the upper floors by the medical school library), the museum celebrates the lives of key figures in the hospital’s history and tells the story of the hospital’s development. Find out more about the museum at The Royal London Hospital.