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Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Visitor Information

This information is designed to help you prepare for a visit to our hospital.  If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to ask a member of staff.  All permanent members of staff wear a name badge with their photograph to help you identify them.

Visiting times

The visiting times for each ward vary depending on the nature of the care provided.  The visiting times are usually displayed outside each ward.  Most wards have a visiting session in the afternoon and another session in the evening.

You can phone the ward before planning your visit to confirm what the visiting times are, by calling the NHS Grampian switchboard on 0345 456 6000 and asking to be put through to the ward.

Remember that although visiting times are quite extensive, it is not intended that visitors remain for the entire visiting period particularly for those who may be quite ill. In most instances this is not in the best interests of patients. It is often helpful for family and friends to plan their visits in such a way that the patient has the opportunity to have regular visitors, but for short periods only. Your co-operation will be appreciated by both patients and staff

Only two visitors are allowed at the bedside at any one time. Children may visit at the discretion of the nurse in charge. As you will appreciate some restrictions on visiting are essential to ensure that ward staff are able to carry out their duties. If circumstances make it very difficult for friends or relatives to visit during normal hours, please approach the Nurse in Charge of the ward who will consider individual circumstances sympathetically.

You are requested to :

  • Leave the ward if a member of staff needs to see your relative / friend.
  • Keep the noise down if the doctors are doing a ward round.

How to be a good visitor

Telephone calls

Ward staff will give the patient the ward's direct dial telephone number.  This will allow their family to contact the ward directly without going through the hospital operator.  You can also telephone (0345) 456 6000 and ask the hospital operator for the ward and hospital you would like to contact. Please note that due to confidentiality, staff can only give out limited information over the phone.

We appreciate that family and friends will be anxious to learn of a patient's progress by telephone.  However, it would save considerable staff time if calls to the ward were limited to immediate members of the family.  If possible, one person only should call on behalf of the family.

Patients can keep in touch with friends and family with their own Hospedia telephone right at their bedside. If they have Hospedia, relatives can phone patients direct on their personal telephone number.


Please try to keep noise levels down as noise disturbs people who are unwell.

Controlling infection - how you can help

The most common way germs are spread is by people's hands. Hand hygiene is the single most important thing you (or your visitors) can do to help reduce the spread of infections either by washing your hands or applying the alcohol hand gel provided.  In addition:

  • Do not visit patients if you yourself are unwell, especially if you have diarrhoea or vomiting. Stay home and do not visit (or go to work or school) until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
  • Never touch dressings, drips or other equipment around the bed.
  • Do not sit on the bed.
  • Try to avoid bringing in very young children when you visit.
  • Please comply with any special precautions and instructions given by members of staff, and ask advice about anything you want to bring in.
  • Don't be afraid to raise concerns about HAI with staff.

A good visitor also:

  • Always considers other patients and staff as well as his / her friend or relative.
  • Goes and finds a chair to sit on, and returns it after use.
  • Brings sensible gifts (see below).
  • Tries not to bring your children but if this is unavoidable, does not let them run riot.
  • Checks with close relatives which is the best day to visit.
  • Visits during ward visiting times and offers to leave if other visitors arrive.
  • Doesn't burden the patient with their own problems.
  • Respects the patient's confidentiality, and doesn't delve into the charts at the bottom of the bed.
  • Is willing to take home the patient's personal laundry.

Gifts etc. - what can I take?


  • Toiletries
  • Magazines


  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco products


Bringing food into hospital is discouraged for health and safety reasons. Any food that is brought in for you should be branded goods, in sealed packets with a use-by date. Please speak to the nurse in charge before eating any food brought in for you.  The hospital cannot accept any responsibility for foods not prepared by us.

Flowers - please check with the ward

Many wards which provide critical care do not allow flowers. Please check with the ward before buying any flowers.