Visitor and Family Presence

RVH provides patient- and family-centred care to all our patients. Family members of patients are an important part of the healthcare team and contribute to the caring and healing process. RVH acknowledges that supports, in the form of visits from friends and family, are important to patients during their hospital stay and help to reduce anxiety and isolation and to improve healing and recovery. Guidelines are applicable to all areas of the hospital.


  1. Family is a group of individuals with a continuing legal, genetic and/or emotional relationship. Patients define their “family” and how they will be involved in care, care planning, and decision making. RVH respects and values family as integral partners in providing excellent care.
  2. Guests are visitors of the patient or family.

Guest Guidelines

  • Public visitors/guests are welcome from 1130 to 2030 hours (11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.) daily
  • Visitors are restricted to two (2) per patient
  • Visitors may be requested to leave the room in order to facilitate patient care
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult (over age 18)

Family Visiting

  • Families are welcome 24 hours a day according to patient preference or Substitute Decision Maker (SDM) where applicable. The patient’s need to remain in contact with family members and friends during their hospital stay will be balanced with both the health-care team’s need to provide timely and effective care to all patients in the hospital and the needs of other patients to rest and recover in a quiet and healing environment.
  • Family members are welcome at any time to participate in care or to offer reassurance and support. Family members are welcome at any time on in-patient units and the Emergency Department unless otherwise authorized or determined in collaboration with the patient, family or interprofessional team 
  • Hours for family visiting are decided on between the patient and her/his nurse. Patient’s requested visitor restrictions are respected.
  • Family and guests who are feeling unwell; have an infection; or have any of the following symptoms should not come to the hospital: cough, fever, runny nose, diarrhea, vomiting or other communicable illness
  • For the safety of our patients, families and guests are required to perform hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub upon entering and leaving the patient’s room
  • The number of people welcomed at the bedside at any one time will be determined in collaboration with the patient, family and inter-professional care team
  • In situations where there are share rooms, or in some areas in the hospital where patients have special needs, consideration will be given to the other patients and their families
  • To ensure safety, consideration will also be given to the physical limitations of the space
  • Visits may be interrupted to protect the privacy rights of other patients or to maintain safety and security
  • Between 23:00 and 06:00 hours, family members are asked to enter through the Emergency Department entrance. If family is expected between 23:00 and 06:00 hours, please report to the Registration Staff, who will issue a temporary form of identification and alert inpatient unit there are visitors.


For the safety of patients, staff and volunteers, RVH strives to minimize as much as possible the risk of spread of contagious disease within the hospital through limiting access to the hospital, when required, and promoting hand washing and other measures to prevent the spread of infection.

If an infection outbreak or another emergency situation requires restrictions to protect public health or safety, staff will collaborate with the patient and family to enable and ensure that selected family members are still welcomed if permitted by Public Health or Emergency Services. 

Individuals who have concerns regarding the application of this policy should refer the issue to a member of the unit-based inter-professional care team. If the issue cannot be resolved, it should be referred to the clinical manager or delegate, or the Nursing Supervisor on site in the absence of the Clinical Manager or delegate. If it cannot be resolved at the unit level, it may be referred to the VP, Patient Care Services.



We are committed to providing a safe, secure and respectful environment for our patients, staff and visitors
and will not tolerate any form of violent, abusive or aggressive behaviour.