Visiting Arrangements – 24 September 2020

Updated Hospital Visiting Arrangements graphic

The Trust has implemented the new visiting arrangements in place following the announcement by Health Minister, Robin Swann, on 23 September 2020.

The guidance has been drawn up to protect patients, residents and staff from Covid-19 – while recognising the importance of human contact to health and well-being.

Virtual visiting remains the preference and no-one feeling unwell or with symptoms of COVID-19 should visit. All HSC sites have access to free Wifi and our staff will help set this up on the patient’s device. Please be patient as our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care.

Visitors should maintain social distancing of 2m, attend to good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.  Visitors, and those attending appointments, are also asked to bring their own face covering and to wear it at all times. No access will be permitted without a face covering.

The Trust welcomes feedback from visitors as we implement these new measures which will be kept under review, in line with the principles outlined by the Health Minister.

Restaurants will remain closed to the public given the short duration of visits and to assist in maintaining social distancing.

New arrangements

Patients or next of kin can nominate one person who is permitted to visit them as per the new visiting guidelines.

Only one visit is permitted a week and for a maximum of one hour as set out by the Department of Health.

Where the person visiting requires assistance they should discuss this with the Nurse in Charge.

• Children under 16 are not permitted to visit unless there are exceptional circumstances and it has been agreed by the Nurse in Charge. Members of the public who are shielding are also strongly discouraged from visiting.
• Visiting times may change as the hospitals manage social distancing so anyone planning to visit should contact the ward in advance to agree a suitable time.
• Arrangements for Intensive Care Units may be different and visitors are urged to speak to the Nurse in Charge.
• For those patients receiving end of life and palliative care, one visitor for one hour daily is recommended as long as the environment can comply with all Covid-19 guidance and the visit must be agreed in advance.
• Further specific provisions in areas like neonatal and paediatrics are detailed in the new visiting guidance document and supporting materials.

Maternity Services

One birth partner can attend with a pregnant woman to the following appointments only:
Dating scans – birth partner can attend.
Early Pregnancy Clinic – birth partner can attend
Anomaly scans – birth partner can attend
Fetal Medicine scans – birth partner can attend.
In the Labour ward – birth partner can attend when admitted to individual room for active labour, stay for the birth and until mum and baby are ready for transfer to the maternity ward.

Antenatal and Postnatal
One nominated person may visit in Antenatal and Postnatal wards for up to one hour once a week.

Further information for expectant mothers is available in the Visiting Leaflet Maternity Services.

Information regarding Dropping off/picking up patient property

Details regarding Dropping off/picking up patient property

Outpatient appointments

All patients attending outpatient departments or appointments should come alone where possible.

Anyone requiring assistance is permitted to have someone bring them to the relevant Department but they must remain outside of the hospital while the patient attends their appointment unless the person attending requires assistance or support to help them to understand.

Related links

Regional principles for visiting in care settings

3rd July 2020

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