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We’re piloting reintroducing visiting safely to some of our inpatient wards in hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Working with relatives, we’re putting in place an appointment system to enable people to visit loved ones on wards at Alnwick Infirmary, Berwick Infirmary, Blyth Community Hospital, Haltwhistle War Memorial Hospital and medicine, care of the elderly and mental health wards at Wansbeck, Hexham and North Tyneside general hospitals.

The relatives of patients in these pilot areas will be contacted to make arrangements to visit if they wish. If anyone has any questions about the pilot, or are unsure whether the ward on which their loved one is staying is part of it, they should contact the ward directly.

Reintroducing visiting at The Northumbria hospital and surgical wards, day units, endoscopy, x-ray and oncology areas at general hospitals are currently NOT included in the pilot. However, a review is ongoing and we aim to expand it to more inpatient areas in due course should it prove safe and workable.

We suspended visiting in mid-March to protect our patients and staff and help reduce the spread of coronavirus except in the following circumstances which remain unchanged:

  • For patients who are receiving end-of-life care (this will be restricted to only one relative or nominated next of kin. If this person is frail or infirm they can be supported by another)
  • For birthing partners in maternity units
  • For parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit
  • At the discretion of the nurse in charge for long-stay patients and those with dementia

For more info on this, see here.

You can reach our hospitals by car or public transport, please go to the page of the hospital you’re visiting for more information. If you’re visiting from outside the area you can find information on hotels, bed and breakfast, self catering accommodation and more on the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative website.

Car parking

Car parking is available at all hospitals.

For more information please look at the page of the hospital you’re visiting.

Helping with mealtimes

Nutrition plays an important part in patient care and our wards have protected mealtimes to ensure patients are not interrupted during their meal.

Visitors are generally not allowed during this time, however if a patient needs help with their meal we do encourage relatives or carers to come in and help out if they wish – please talk to the ward staff.


We do ask that visitors don’t bring flowers into the hospitals. Although flowers look lovely they do collect dust and can harbour germs in the water and soil.

Please help us keep the wards as clean as possible.


Children are welcome to visit patients on most wards if accompanied by a responsible adult. However please speak to ward staff before bringing very young children in.

Infection control

The infection control team and all staff are responsible for helping reduce and prevent the spread of infections, but everyone can help, including visitors.

Please help us and our vulnerable patients by following our simple advice:

  • Wash your hands and use alcohol gel before entering and leaving the ward
  • Do not sit on patients’ beds
  • Do not use patient toilets
  • Do not visit if you are unwell or have an infection, for example a heavy cold or diarrhoea


All of our sites are now completely smokefree. This means that smoking is not permitted on any of our sites including all buildings, grounds and vehicles. E-cigarettes are permitted on our grounds but not inside of our buildings. For the comfort of others we ask that you please use e-cigarettes away from our main entrances. For more information please click here.


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