Changes to our visiting policy

In order to protect staff, patients and their families, and in line with updated national guidance (15th Oct 2020) we have reviewed our visiting guidance and have decided to maintain essential visiting only to our wards and departments until further notice. 

Visiting will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer - will be permitted to come into the hospital in the following circumstances: 

  • Patients who are in their last week of life and receiving end of life care
  • One regular carer for a vulnerable patient or a patient with additional needs, such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • The paediatric ward will allow one parent/carer to be with the child
  • The maternity department will allow one birthing partner to attend
  • The neonatal unit will only allow one parent at a time to visit 

The Clinical Team caring for a patient will identify whether the exceptional circumstances apply for an individual patient. This may be upon admission or during an inpatient stay if a patient deteriorates and is considered to be in their last week of life.

Visitors will only be allowed to enter the hospital if this has been arranged in advance with the clinical team. Patients will not be allowed to leave the ward to meet relatives in communal areas in the hospital such as reception of café areas. 

We can appreciate this may be frustrating, but we can assure you that it is the safest precaution to take at this time. As per usual practice, the ward staff will alert the named contact if their friend or relative deteriorates or becomes seriously ill.  

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time. 

Compassionate Care Team 

We continue to offer contact with relatives and loved ones through email, telephone calls and virtual visits through our Compassionate Care Team. If you would like to contact a relative using the services of the Compassionate Care Team, please e-mail

To find out more click here.

Patient property drop off

On Christmas day please drop off any items between 10am - 1.30pm. (After this time items will not be delivered to the patient until the following day.)

Relatives/friends are able to drop off essential items for their loved ones who are staying in our hospital, between 9.30am and 4.30pm at Darent Valley Hospital’s main entrance. Our main entrances are staffed by security so please inform them you are dropping off patient property as soon as you arrive. They will direct you to our hub where you can drop off the belongings to one of our DGT Doers.

Please make sure you clean/disinfect the items and place them in an easily cleanable bag, labelled with the patient’s name and the ward they are on. 

You will be asked to complete a form on arrival which will include the patients details and your details (click here to print the form before you visit). Both you and the person receiving the items must sign the form. The property and the form will then be delivered to the ward and the receiving staff will be asked to sign the form to confirm receipt.

You may include some of the following items:

  • A change of clothes and underwear
  • Reading glasses, dentures and hearing aids  
  • Toothbrush, hairbrush and a small number of other bathroom essentials
  • A small comforting personal item, eg. a photo, book or magazine. 

We are unable to accept any perishable items and you will be asked to take them home with you.

Please do not deliver any items of value, please keep these safe at home. The Trust cannot take responsibility for any items lost or stolen.

COVID-19 testing

Tests are still available in your area through the national testing programme and we advise you to access the booking portal to book a test if you have developed symptoms. Slots are released when they are available so please keep trying and remember to only to go testing stations if you have a confirmed appointment. A number of postal testing kits are also available. You can access the national testing portal here.

Please note that the local NHS does not have responsibility for the national Covid-19 testing programme. Local NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and similar healthcare settings are not currently providing appointments for routine Covid-19 testing to the general public.

A small number of appointments are being made available for emergency services personnel and some other key worker households. Booking for these appointments is available through their respective organisations. In all other instances, you will not be able to get a test at hospital unless you are already receiving hospital treatment and it is necessary for your care.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 but are not able to get a test within five days of your symptoms developing, remember to protect yourself and your loved ones by staying at home and self-isolating for 10 days, in line with current public health advice. For more information, please see

If you would like to make contact with or raise a complaint about the national testing programme, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care enquiries line on 020 7210 4850 or fill in their online form at


The Maternity Department has limitations in place. Read there HERE.  

Outpatient Appointments

Patients attending for an outpatient appointment will be asked to present their outpatient letter or text reminder on arrival. Only essential relatives or carers will be allowed to attend the appointment with the patient.

Any visitor given a limited access pass will be asked if they have or develop Covid–19 symptoms, they MUST NOT attend. Alternative arrangements can be made.

Finding Darent Valley Hospital

The hospital opened in September 2000, has approximately 463 inpatient beds, serves a growing population of around 500,000 and specialties that include day-care surgery, general surgery, trauma, orthopaedics, cardiology, maternity and general medicine. The hospital provide patients with the latest technology for their treatment in safe, comfortable and clean surroundings. 

Car parking spaces at Darent Valley Hospital are limited. To avoid waiting for a space to become available, we recommend that you consider visiting the hospital via public transport or taxi whenever possible. Drop off areas are available at the front of the hospital if someone is able to bring you in.  

Darent Valley Hospital is located close to Bluewater shopping centre, the Fastrack bus service to Dartford and Gravesend, and 10 minutes from Ebbsfleet International.