FAQ's for families and carers

St George Healthcare Group is committed to supporting family members and helping them maintain contact with their relatives and friends during their stay at our hospitals. Please contact the Social Workers Team at the hospital with any queries you may have. This page is dedicated to supporting any queries that families and carers may have about visiting procedures.

How can I arrange a visit to see my relative/friend?
We ask that you provide details of all family members that wish to visit to the Nurse in Charge. This information will be kept on the family database, which we can use to send information to keep you updated on the services provided to family, for example; newsletters, training, advocacy, information sharing and counselling etc. Due to the high numbers of visitors we request that you inform the ward at least 48 hours before you intend to visit. This enables us to ensure that the visitors’ room or another suitable safe meeting area is free, and the visit is not interrupting any therapy. We understand that there may be times when you need to arrange a visit quickly. If this is the case, please phone the ward and the Nurse in Charge will try to arrange the visit.

Do you provide help with travel costs in respect of visits?
Visitors who are in receipt of benefits may claim reimbursement of travel expenses from the Department of Work and Pensions and should not claim from the Hospital. Forms can be obtained via the internet or from your local job centre plus office. For those families travelling long distances there is a Premier Inn situated next to St Mary’s Hospital. St Cyril’s Rehabilitation Unit is a short from Bache train station or a short bus/taxi ride from Chester City where there are several suitable hotels and B&Bs. There are several hotels near to All Saints Hospital and Manchester is only a 20 minute drive away.

How many visitors are allowed to visit at any one time?
The recommended maximum number of visitors per patient at any time is 4. However, more than this number may be allowed at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge of the ward. Please phone the ward in advance and provide the Nurse in Charge with the names of all visitors. Those who have not booked will not be allowed access into the Hospital.

Does the Hospital have any provision for disabled visitors?
Yes, at St Mary’s Hospital and All Saints Hospital, access to the visitors’ room is on the ground floor. St Cyril’s Rehabilitation Unit is wheelchair accessible. There are suitable access and amenities at each Hospital.

What are the visiting times?
St George Healthcare Group provides families with flexible visiting times rather than set times. However we would like all visits to be completed by 7.00pm. No visits are permitted during meal times (12-1pm and 4-5pm). Please speak to the Social Worker or Nurse in Charge when making your arrangements.

Can I arrange to speak to the doctor of my relative/friend?
The Responsible Clinician (RC) is the Senior Doctor who is responsible for deciding which treatment is the most suitable for each individual patient. The RC leads the clinical team for all decisions regarding the patient’s care and treatment, and the patient’s detention under the current Mental Health law. You can make an appointment with the patient’s RC through the RC‘s Medical Secretary via Reception.

Can I bring children in to visit?
Children may visit the Hospitals. However, this has to be agreed through the Clinical Team who will make a referral to Children Services. The process can take several weeks and in some cases your local Children Services will visit you to complete a child in need assessment. Often this is not necessary but this will be discussed with Children Services. We aim to maintain contact with the patient and child if this is in the best interests of the child. Child visiting takes place in the Family Visiting Room at All Saints Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital. Please book in advance as demand for these rooms is high. For St Cyril’s Rehabilitation Unit, please contact the Nurse in Charge who will make suitable arrangements. If a patient is allowed leave, we encourage visits to be away from the Hospital in an area that is considered child friendly. However, if the patient’s mental health is not considered stable at the time of the visit and is deemed to be distressing for the child then child contact may not be permitted.

What are the Child Visiting Procedures?
It is the policy of St George Healthcare Group to be proactive in giving the highest priority to the protection and welfare of children in all aspects of management and practice. Each Hospital is committed to ensuring it has policies and procedures in place to adhere to the best standards of child welfare and protection. In line with child protection procedures, we ensure each visit is appropriately supervised at all times. St Mary’s Hospital and All Saints Hospital have dedicated family/child visitor rooms. St Cyril’s Rehabilitation Unit do not currently have any dedicated child visiting rooms, so please contact the registered manager or nurse in charge prior to your visit. Prior to the visit, patients or family members must submit a written request for a child to visit. The Hospital Social Worker will co-ordinate all applications for children to visit.

What am I allowed to bring in for my relative/friend?
There are a number of things you can bring in including: • Magazines • Books • Clothing • Footwear • Money - This can be deposited into the patient’s hospital bank account. All items must be security checked before the patient is allowed to have access to them. No alcohol is allowed under any circumstances. Please inform the Nurse in Charge on arrival what items you have brought with you. There is a list of banned items which we can send to you at the time of admission.

Will I be able to attend the Care Program Review (CPA) of my relative/friend?
Every six months a Care Program Approach (CPA) meeting is arranged with the Clinical Team, family, patient and the funding commissioner to review the patient’s progress. If the patient wishes you to attend the meeting, you will receive an invitation in writing. For the purpose of the report the Hospital Social Worker will contact you for your views and these will be placed in the CPA report which the patient has access to.

Will I be able to go into the community with my relative/friend during the visit?
Community leave is allowed outside of the Hospital if agreed by the Clinical Team but within the first few weeks this may be restricted whilst assessments are being completed. However, all requests are assessed on an individual basis.

Will I be able to attend the tribunal of my relative/friend?
If you are the Nearest Relative (determined by law) you have certain rights under the Mental Health Act. This includes applying for your relative to be discharged from their section. This must be put in writing to the RC and a copy given to the Mental Health Act Administrators who are based at the Hospital. At each Mental Health Review Tribunal your views will be sought and placed within the social circumstances report and submitted. If the patient agrees, you may attend the tribunal to give your views. However, if you wish that the information disclosed to remain confidential from the patient you must inform the Hospital Social Worker.

How can I raise an issue, complaint, comment or compliment about the care of my relative/friend?
You can do this by:

  • Speaking to a member of staff on the patients’ ward.
  • Contacting the Independent Mental Health Advocate
  • Contacting the Registered Hospital Manager

We aim to deal with complaints in a timely manner.

Further Information

If you require further information on the care being provided by the Hospital please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Clinical Team, Hospital Social Worker or the Registered Manager/Nurse in Charge at the Hospital.

Newsletter and Events

St George Healthcare Group is committed to working with patients and their families to improve the service. We will periodically host coffee mornings and family forums at each hospital to give families, friends and carers the opportunity to meet other family members to share experiences and ideas. These sessions also help is to keep families updated on what is happening within the organisation and to provide feedback about the service, about what we are doing well and what we can improve upon.


At St George Healthcare Group, we are able to offer various training for families.

  • Brain Injury Awareness Training
  • Autism Awareness Training
  • Deaf Awareness Training

Dates of training can be obtained by speaking to the Social Workers Team or to the Learning and Development Department who will book you on to one of the training sessions.

Carer's Information Centres

Carers provide valuable support for family members and below are local organisations that can provide the relevant support that is required:

  • Help with money
  • Practical help
  • Understanding of the care that their family member is receiving.
  • Looking after you
  • Who do you care for
  • Care with nutrition
  • Finding help where you live
  • Useful organisations
  • Non-English languages

For more information about support from Local Authorities in your area, see:

  • www.carersuk.org