About us

VIP visits

The communications and engagement team co-ordinate all VIP/celebrity visits to Southend Hospital; this includes royal visits and visits/official openings from MPs, celebrities and sports people.

Arranging a visit

Usually the request to visit will come from the communications team.  However, should a celebrity or VIP wish to visit the hospital or areas within the hospital grounds, requests  should be made by email to communications@southend.nhs.uk, stating:

  • The names of all visitors in the party
  • The departments that the visitors wish to attend
  • The preferred date(s) and time(s) of the visit

The communications team will liaise with the areas in question to try and accommodate the request and respond to the request in a timely fashion.

In the interests of protecting our patients and their families, a member of the communications team will be present at all visits.

All visitors and their parties are requested to arrive at the Lodge to meet with the communications team member before entering the hospital premises,so that they can be escorted to the department they are visiting.  Please do not enter wards or clinical areas to visit without a member of the communications team as you may be asked to leave.

Please note that it is not possible to visit areas of the hospital without prior arrangement; on the day additions to visits will generally not be possible.

The number of people visiting our wards will be limited to six people per group. Requests for additional visitors to the ward will be at the discretion of the ward manager. This is to ensure the wards are not overcrowded and to keep disruption to other patients and their families to a minimum.


Where appropriate, the trust will provide a suitable formal ID badge which must be worn and visible for the duration of the visit.

Infection control

Maintaining patient safety is our priority, and you can help us prevent the risk of infection when you visit our hospitals by:

  • Using the alcohol hand rub before entering and when leaving the ward (or wash your hands with soap and water)
  • Using the chairs provided in clinical areas and not sitting or lying on beds as this spreads germs.
  • Not visiting if you are unwell such as suffering from a heavy cold or flu, or within three days of an episode of diarrhoea and/or vomiting.
  • Not touching wounds, drips, catheters or medical equipment.

What to wear

For sports clubs and teams we encourage you to visit in uniforms/training kits so you are easily recognisable.


Smoking is not permitted in the hospital or its grounds. Please extinguish all cigarettes well before you reach the hospital site.


Parking at our hospital is limited, but available in the pay and display or pay on exit car parks located around the hospital. In some cases where there is a large party of visitors, e.g. a school party arriving in a minibus, the communications team may be able to arrange a parking space.

Our hospital is well served by public transport. For more information see the 'find us' section of our website.


Please liaise with the communications team if you are arranging your own media coverage. To minimise disruption on our wards we encourage filming/photography to take place in one area.  Please also remember that consent will be required from staff, patients (or parents of minors) and visitors if their photographs are taken.

The communications team are likely also to take photographs/video of your visit for our own publications; please let us know if this is not convenient for you.

Gifts and presents

Although we do not expect gifts and presents to be brought into hospital, should you wish to do so, please:

  • Do not bring flowers onto the ward
  • Do not wrap gifts
  • Consider that some patients may not be able to have chocolate and sweets due to their condition, dietary restrictions or for religious/cultural reasons (if bringing edible gifts).

More information

Please email communications@southend.nhs.uk if you have any questions.