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Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

For visitors

Welcome to Northampton General Hospital

Important:  Facemasks are no longer required to be worn routinely. Please check on admission to hospital for individual departmental information.

When visiting family or friends please ensure that you are familiar with each wards visiting policy. Each ward and department has a different policy for visiting, so please check with the ward prior to your arrival, more details can be found here. Please also ensure that you have arranged your visit with the patient and if you are ill please do not visit.




Controlling infection             

Please follow the guidance given about hand-hygiene. Alcohol gel dispensers are situated at the entrance to all wards and should be used before entering and when leaving the ward area. If you are unsure about using these products, please ask a member of the ward staff, who will be happy to advise you. Please do not visit your relative or friend in hospital if you have any unexplained diarrhoea or vomiting. Visitors should always check with a nurse before entering a single room as the visitors may need to take special infection control precautions. Visitors are asked not sit on the hospital beds, but to use the chairs provided. For more information about hygiene, please see the pages Controlling infection and Keeping your hospital clean.



Things to consider       

We appreciate that many of our patients welcome visits from family and friends during their hospital stay. However, please consider the following points before coming to see them.
Being in hospital can be an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience for many people. This means that it might not always be a good time to visit. If you are planning a visit, and are not from the patient's family or very close friends, please only come if this is pre-arranged, if you spoken to the patient directly beforehand, or have checked with the ward staff.
Please be aware that patients who have had a general anaesthetic, an invasive procedure, or as a result of illness may be suffering from some or all of the following: pain, drowsiness, disorientation, fatigue, feeling sick, aversion to bright light. Consult ward staff before you visit if you are in any doubt about whether your visit would be appropriate.       

Our environment               

Our cleaning teams work hard at keeping the hospital clean and tidy at all times. Visitors can help them by using the waste bins provided on wards and around the site to dispose of rubbish.
We want to ensure that our hospital is a safe, healthy and pleasant place for all patients, staff and visitors. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on our site- either inside or outside buildings or in open areas such as car parks. We ask all patients, visitors and staff to refrain from smoking whilst on the hospital site.                  

Bringing gifts               

Although patients often welcome gifts, there are a few things to consider:
Food and drink - some patients may have restrictions on what they can eat or drink. Please check with ward staff first. Please note that alcohol is prohibited throughout the hospital.
Space and security - patients do not have a lot of space available to store their property, although lockers are provided. However, these lockers cannot be secured and therefore we would discourage you from bringing anything of high value. We cannot accept responsibility for any losses on site.      

Non-perishable foods such as cakes and biscuits are safe to keep on beside tables, but must be in a sealable plastic container. Fruit is also allowed, but it must also be in a sealable plastic container and must be eaten in a timely manner. Ward staff can place food in the kitchen fridge if it is in a named and dated sealed container. Unfortunately, patients own food cannot be warmed up in the microwave due to Health and Safety regulations.



The hospital and its wards are busy places where patients often require quiet time and ward staff are busy at work. Please therefore try to keep noise down when visiting. In addition, we ask you to respect the following:

  • Only two visitors at any one time. In special circumstances the nurse in charge may be able to make an exception.
  • Children - please ensure that any child visiting is supervised at all times. In general we do not allow those under five years old to visit.
  • Mobile phones - it is important that you switch off your mobile on entering a ward area. This is primarily because mobiles cause interference to hospital equipment, but also because loud ringtones or conversations can cause unwelcome disruption.


Next of Kin          

At NGH we have the welfare of our patients and their families at the heart of all the care and treatment that we deliver. Under the NHS constitution for England and the General Data Protection Regulation, patients have the right to confidentiality as soon as they arrive onto our hospital site. This means that we have a duty to disclose patient information only to those who are entitled to it. This is determined by the patient or by an appropriately appointed representative if they cannot communicate independently. 

This guidance outlines how you can help us to make sure that we are communicating information with the right people and also to make sure that we do not breach patient confidentiality. 

We appreciate that all families wish to be updated on their family members care when they are admitted to the hopspital but on a busy ward this can be difficult and may mean taking time away from the clinical and medical need of our acute patients. 

When a patient arrives on the ward we ask them who their Next of Kin (NOK) is and if they give consent for information to be shared with this person or persons. This is then recorded on the patient's notes. This is the patient's decision, unless there is a significant reason that they cannot communicate independently. 

It is important to note that there is no legal definition for Next of Kin (NOK) in the UK. A patient can have more than one Next of Kin (NOK), but it is best if there is only one main contact. You may wish to discuss this with the patient and with our members of your family to agree as to who this will be and to make sure that we have their up-to-date contact details recorded on our system. This enables us to communicate efficiently with your family. 

It is also possible to set up a password system whereby family members phoning for an update can give a password that allows staff to pass on information to them. Please discuss this with staff in the ward areas. 

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