We have temporarily changed our visiting arrangements at all three of our hospitals to help respond to coronavirus and protect our staff, visitors and patients.
These changes will be implemented from Tuesday March 17 and will be regularly reviewed by our nursing team and operational teams.
Chief Nurse, Ellie Monkhouse, said: “We know it’s important for our patients to see family and friends but please consider if your visit is essential to help prevent the spread of infection. We want to reduce the risk to our staff, patients and visitors and this is one way of doing that.”
The new visiting guidance includes:
• Two visitors per adult patient (no children under the age of 16 without prior permission from the ward)
• Two parents/or carers per child patient, no siblings (open visiting as usual)
• Maternity – restricted to one birthing partner
• Visiting hours restricted to 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm
• Emergency department (A&E) – restricted to two people if needed to provide support
• Those who are unable to make decisions for themselves, in line with the mental capacity act regulations, may be accompanied.
Ellie said: “In some cases, such as where patients are critically ill or nearing the end of their life, we will of course do our very best to accommodate your visiting needs. If you have any questions about the guidance please speak to the relevant ward manager.”
Medical Director, Dr Kate Wood, said: “We have robust plans in place to deal with coronavirus and our teams are working hard behind the scenes in preparation for any confirmed cases at our hospitals.
“By restricting visiting, it will allow our medical, nursing, therapy and support teams more time to focus on our patients without the hustle and bustle of extra people on our wards.
“We know there will be instances where it is vital that people come and visit their loved ones, and we will ensure to try and accommodate that as far as possible, however the protection of our staff, patients and visitors is of paramount importance to us.”
If you do come into one of our hospital please follow the following control measures:
• You should avoid coming to the hospital if you are feeling unwell, including with cold or flu symptoms. If you have a persistent cough or fever, please do not enter the building. Discretion will be applied on compassionate grounds by the nurse/midwife in charge
• Wash or gel your hands as soon as you enter a ward or unit
• Follow the additional measures that will be requested by our staff if you are visiting a patient with an infection.
Everyone is reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
• Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
More information can be found on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Ellie added: “We are sorry for any inconvenience and would like to thank you for your co-operation and support in limiting the spread of coronavirus. We will monitor these arrangements on a regular basis.”
All hospital appointments and operations should be attended as usual unless you are contacted directly by the hospital to tell you otherwise.