From Friday 11 September we are suspending visiting to all adult inpatient wards at South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and our Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre, due to rising cases of COVID-19.

Restrictions around visiting other departments remain in place as detailed below.  Please note that strict infection control measures remain in place and any visitors must wear a face mask and adhere to the guidance below.  This is to protect yourself, our patients and our staff. Thank you for your support and co-operation

Adult inpatient wards

All visiting is suspended at this time.

Children’s wards and neonatal

  • One parent is allowed to stay with a child on our children’s wards. There are no time restrictions.
  • Children are not permitted on the wards at this time.
  • One parent is allowed to visit babies on our neonatal unit (two parents with twins). Visiting times should be arranged with the unit in advance.

Emergency Department

  • Please attend our Emergency Departments alone. The only exception to this is if you require a carer to accompany you.
  • One parent / carer can accompany children under the age of 18 years old.
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask and to ensure social distancing in our waiting rooms. Please follow this at all times. The only exemptions will apply to those with genuine medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask and children under 11.


  • Mums-to-be can bring one person with them to their scan appointments. Due to social distancing, those attending will only be able to stay during the scan appointment and will need to wait outside the department at all other times.
  • You can continue to have one named person with you through labour and delivery.
  • We ask that you continue to attend your antenatal clinic and day unit appointments alone, unless a carer is required.

Outpatient appointments

Please continue to come alone to all outpatient appointments. The only exception to this is if you need a carer.

One parent / carer can accompany children under the age of 18 years old at their appointment

Exceptional circumstances

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances (for example patients who have dementia, delirium, learning disabilities and those patients receiving end of life care). Please discuss visiting options with the ward manager or nurse in charge.

Important information for all visitors (PLEASE READ)

  • You must not visit if you feel unwell in any way or if any member of your household is unwell with a high temperature, persistent cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You must wear a face covering or face mask when entering our Trust buildings. If you do not have one, you can get one from the hygiene stations at all entrances.
  • You must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by our staff. This could be apron, face mask and gloves. If you fail to do this you will not be allowed to visit.
  • Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly when entering and exiting all buildings and again when entering and exiting any clinical areas.
  • You will need to keep your face mask on until your leave the building where you should safely dispose of them in the dedicated bins provided.

Please note that our restaurants are currently closed to the public.

Are you a carer?

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust recognises that carers play an important role in the continuing care of many of our patients during their hospital stay and in planning their discharge. We would like to work closely with you as your knowledge and experience of caring for your loved one or patient is absolutely invaluable. It is because of this that we look to involve carers in all aspects of patient care, including offering flexible visiting hours so you can help with meal times, or getting washed and dressed.

You are still able to come into the hospital to support the person you care for please speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge for further information or advice. Please contact Julie Porter Lead Nurse Patient Experience via 0191 5656256 for information relating to the Carers Passport or click here for more information.