The Royal Hospital Chelsea continues to exercise caution in terms of public access despite the easing of regulations in the general community. Many of our Chelsea Pensioners remain at risk, despite nearly all staff and Pensioners receiving vaccinations. Our priority, as ever, is to keep our community safe while we restore as much of our community life as we can.

Only visitors to the registered wards in the MTI are required to undertake and present a negative Lateral Flow Test. Visitors to other parts of the site are no longer required to take a LFT, however, please do not visit the Hospital if you are feeling unwell. 

Please note the only restrictions still in place are detailed below.

Site Visitors

Pensioner Relatives and Friends

Main site 

Groups of up to 5 people (with connections to Pensioners) will be able to visit the main site in designated indoor areas, family and friends will not be allowed into the Pensioners' accommodation at this time. Visits should be organised through your Pensioner connection. Children under 2 years of age are able to visit and not be classed as one of the 5 allowed visitors.


Visitors to Registered Care Wards must take a Lateral Flow Test prior to arrival, register it and show a proof of negative test to the Infirmary reception desk on day of visit - alternatively testing will be offered on arrival. Masks are to be worn by everyone in common areas of the Infirmary. Visits to the care home are open via appointments only and is closed to visitors from the general public (please see the contact details below). 

Responsible Visitor Code

In order to visit Friends and Family safely visitors are asked to acknowledge the following responsibilities;

  • Book visits in advance with Maj Phil Shannon MBE or the ward staff for a specific day, time and length of visit
  • Check in with the ward on the day prior to your visit, to ensure the situation in the service has not changed
  • Ensure you have not had COVID-19 symptoms for at least 10 days prior to the visit (new cough, temperature etc)
  • Don't visit if you feel unwell on the day of your visit
  • Don't visit if you have been told to self-isolate as a result of advice from NHS Test and Trace
  • Provide the necessary information required by the Royal Hospital at the visits (e.g. honest response to screening requirements about COVID-19 risk factors, compliance with NHS Test and Trace arrangements)
  • Comply with the infection prevention and control measures including: testing, mandatory hand hygiene, use of PPE as required, social distancing requirements and remaining in the designated visiting area
  • Ensure any gifts brought to give to your relative can be sanitised in line with relevant infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance – please ask if you are unsure.
  • Wherever possible, visitors should a try to walk or travel by car and avoid public transport when visiting

To arrange a visit please contact Maj Steve Andrews, or the Pensioner's relevant Ward

  • Maj Steve Andrews – 020 7881 5308
  • Jones Ward – 020 7881 5553 / 5223
  • Campbell Ward 020 7881 5550 / 5551
  • Paget Ward 020 7881 5519 / 5262


Currently a very small number of volunteers are present on the site to assist the Activities team with essential tasks. Many of our other volunteers are helping us from home, for which we are very grateful. If any volunteers have any questions they are asked to call the Activities & Volunteer Manager on 02078815311. 

Four Day Stay Visits for those considering applying for admission

We are still open for applications and would welcome hearing from any individual who meets our application criteria. We are keeping in touch with our current applicants so they are kept up to date with what’s happening at the Royal Hospital. We are conducting parts of the application process virtually and are delighted that we are able to allow applicants to visit the Royal Hospital again safely. Please contact the Admissions Team on 0207 881 5204 if you have any specific queries.


Regular Sunday Services have now resumed, with some restrictions. Find out more here.

On arrival, please expect to be directed to approach the Chapel via the gravel on the North Front and not to access any other part of the site. The Colonnade, Ranelagh Gardens and the Coffee Shop remain closed and for the time being we ask you not to attend Governor’s Parade ahead of the Service.

We encourage you to sanitise your hands and, if you wish, you may wear masks. Please do not to sit too close to others.

Coffee Shop

The Coffee Shop is closed to the public until further notice, with the exception of Pensioners' guests.


The museum is closed to the public until further notice, except to pre-booked tours.

South Grounds & Ranelagh Gardens

The South Grounds at the Royal Hospital Chelsea are currently closed to the public until further notice due to the Tideway Sewage Project in proximity to Bull Ring Gate. Please check back here for further updates.

Ranelagh Gardens has now reopened to the general public, though access is currently only available through the London Gate entrance.

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View the archive

The Forgotten War

This year marks the 70th anniverasry since the fighting of the Korean War ended. Here at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, we want to remember the countless individuals that were impacted by the Korean war; and to do so, a few of our Korean Veterans shared their experiences with us.

David Richmond CBE - new CEO of Royal Hospital Chelsea
David Richmond CBE appointed as new CEO at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

We are pleased to announce the appointment of David Richmond CBE as the Royal Hospital Chelsea’s new Chief Executive Officer.