We welcome visitors. They improve a patient’s recovery and the communication between patients, families and staff.
Our visiting hours policy has been developed using feedback from our patients, their families and visitors about what is important to them.
Visiting hours are from 10am to 8pm
The rest period is between 1.30pm and 2.30pm
Two visitors are allowed at the bedside during general visiting hours
Which wards does the policy apply to?
The policy applies to all wards except:
- Intensive Care Unit
- Cardiothoracic High Dependency Unit
- NorthWestern Mental Health services
For these areas, please ask staff about visiting hours and rest periods.
Why we have a policy
The visiting hours policy supports family participation in care, which has been shown to improve the patient’s recovery and improve the communication between patients, families and staff.
The policy applies to The Royal Melbourne Hospital City and Royal Park Campuses, with the exception of the Intensive Care Unit, the Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Unit - 6 South East and the NorthWestern Mental Health services located in the John Cade building. These units have their own visiting hours and rest periods that meet the special needs of their patients.
What are the visiting hours?
General visiting hours are between 10am and 8pm.
There is a rest period between 1.30pm and 2.30pm.
How many visitors can I have?
To stop the wards from getting overcrowded and too noisy, two visitors are allowed at the bedside during the general visiting hours. We understand there will be times when there may be more than two people wanting to visit patients. We work with patients and their visitors to make sure other patients are not disturbed and that staff can continue to provide safe care.
There may be times when visitors are asked to leave the bedside to enable our staff to attend a patient’s care and provide appropriate privacy; we ask that all visitors work with our staff to respect this request.
In the Emergency Department visitors are welcome at any time. All visitors are issued with a Visitor sticker on arrival to ensure they are clearly identifiable to our staff. The priority in the Emergency Department is to provide prompt assessment and treatment, and there will be times when visitors are asked to leave the bedside to enable our staff to attend to patient care. To ensure our staff can easily access patients we generally restrict visitors to two people per patient.
Who are designated visitors?
When patients are admitted to hospital, they will be asked to identify two visitors who may play a key role in their care. These designated visitors may help during mealtimes, be present when the doctor visits or stay with the patient outside general visiting hours (10am – 8pm), if needed.
Why is there a rest period?
Between 1.30pm and 2.30pm the ward lights are dimmed and curtains are drawn.
Our staff aim to keep the noise level to a minimum and reduce the number of people moving about the ward. This allows patients some quiet time to rest. Designated visitors are welcome to stay during the rest period if patients need them, but other visitors are encouraged to leave the ward to allow patients to rest.
What are protected mealtimes?
Some of our wards have protected mealtimes, where visitors are asked to leave for a while so that patients can relax and take their time to enjoy a meal without distraction.
Designated visitors are welcome to stay during protected mealtimes to help with meals if patients would like them to do so. This is especially important for our older patients, or those who have trouble eating.
Visitors and security after hours
When general visiting hours finish at 8pm, most wards will close and lock their doors to provide additional security.
Designated visitors may arrange with the Nurse in Charge to stay outside general visiting hours. The designated visitors may be asked to wear a green Visitor sticker to help staff identify them.