We know how important visiting your loved ones when they’re in hospital is to you.
Throughout the pandemic, wherever it has been safe to do so, we have done all we can to allow visiting to continue – albeit with restrictions in place.
However, following a sharp increase in reported cases of Covid-19 in our area, we have taken the difficult decision to suspend visiting to all but our most vulnerable patients.
Visiting will be decided on a case-by-case basis, where patients:
- Are receiving end of life care
- Have a learning disability
- Have dementia
- Are experiencing detrimental emotional or mental wellbeing issues as a result of visiting restrictions.
We ask that all visitors have a negative lateral flow test prior to visiting and should be prepared to provide evidence of this. This can be in the form of a government text or date-stamped image. Please do not attend if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.
Visiting can be arranged by contacting the ward directly to discuss this further – although we ask that only one person does this and shares the information with friends and family. This will help keep our staff free to provide care to your loved one and our other patients.
Maternity and paediatric visiting
We have also taken the decision to continue to allow visiting during maternity and paediatric care as follows:
Appointments and scans:
If you are coming in for a scan or appointment, your partner is welcome to come with you. If you feel unwell or you’re experiencing Covid symptoms, please don’t attend but get in touch with your midwife.
While you’re with us, you will both be required to wear a face covering, follow social distancing rules and provide a negative lateral flow test as outlined above. Partners may also be asked to remain outside the building while waiting for the appointment. Unfortunately, no children can attend appointments or visit the wards.
If you’re admitted either prior to or after having your baby, one birth partner can visit you twice a day, for a six hour time slot. These need to be booked by calling the ward and it’s crucial that your partner wears a mask, adheres to social distancing guidelines and is able to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test.
When you’re in labour, your birth partner can be with you throughout labour and delivery and there is no time limit on this. Again, they will be required to wear masks, socially distance and provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test. For more information, or if you have any queries, please contact your midwife.
If your child is admitted to hospital, one parent or guardian can remain with them throughout their stay but again, must wear a mask, adhere to social distancing and provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test.
Keeping in touch
We appreciate that visiting restrictions are difficult for both you and your loved one but it is being done to protect them from being exposed to Covid and other diseases at a time when they are already vulnerable. The measures are in line with the latest national guidance on infection control and will be regularly reviewed, so that we can reopen visiting when it is safe to do so.
We also do our best to keep you informed when you’re not able to come in to visit your loved one. However, our hospitals are also exceptionally busy at the moment and our top priority will always be to ensure that we are providing the best care for our patients, so please bear with us if you cannot get through to wards to enquire about your loved one.
As an alternative, you can call the Patient Contact Helpline on 03033 306666 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. This number is staffed by non-clinical staff who will get messages to your relatives, help you locate your loved on or ask the ward to contact you directly.
This team is not able to share clinical information, however, they are able to get messages to the clinical team looking after your relatives, advise you on other options for communication, such as video calling, and will be able to organise drop-offs and collections of belongings for patients. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org , which is also monitored during the same hours.
More information about the visiting restrictions is available here.