Visiting Arrangements – Effective from Monday 1 March

Following updated guidance from the Department, the Trust has reverted to the previous visiting arrangements as of 1 March 2021.

In response to the UK alert level moving from Level 5 to Level 4 amendments have been made to allow some visiting to take place in health and social care facilities.

Transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high so some level of visiting restrictions must remain.  The policies aim to balance all the potential risks against the unintended harm to patients and residents in respect of, safety and quality of care, quality of life, continuity of care, outcomes, and emotional and psychological distress.

General Hospital including ICU

One nominated family member or carer to be permitted access to visit face-to-face per week, where we can facilitate a COVID-19 secure environment.

Prior arrangement with ward staff is essential.  Where the person visiting requires assistance this should be discussed in advance with the nurse in charge.

Maternity

Birth partner will be facilitated to accompany the pregnant woman to dating scan, early pregnancy clinic, anomaly scan, Fetal Medicine Department, when admitted to individual room for active labour (to be determined by midwife) and birth and, to visit in antenatal and postnatal wards for up to one hour once a week.

For further information, visit Maternity Services.

Paediatric and Neonatal

Any child admitted can be accompanied by one of two nominated parents / caregivers at any given time for the duration of the stay.

Mental Health and Learning Disability

One person to visit for up to one hour once a week, or more where deemed necessary to support the mental health and wellbeing of the patient.  Alternatives in line with visiting policies, e.g. outdoor visiting, virtual visits, designated visiting rooms etc.

Emergency Departments, X-Ray and Day Procedure Units

One person can be facilitated to accompany the patient only where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff.

Outpatient departments (OPD)

Only where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff one person can be facilitated to accompany the patient.

Cancer, burns and renal units

One visitor to be permitted to visit where the environment is COVID secure for up to one hour per week.  Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer, and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance, then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).

Hospice

One family member of carer to be permitted access to visit, where the environment is COVID secure, for up to one hour daily.  Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer, and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance, then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).

Care Homes

Where the home is not in an outbreak, visiting for residents should be arranged using well-ventilated designated rooms/visiting pods, with additional visiting arranged as outdoor visits, window visits and virtually supported visits.  Where visits can only take place in a resident’s own room, this should be arranged where this can be accommodated within social distancing.  End of life visiting can take place in a resident’s own room as agreed with the care home manager.  Please refer to Guidance for full details, including deciding the frequency/duration of visits, visiting in an outbreak situation, and care partner arrangements.

Guidelines

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

Children under the age of 16 will not be permitted to visit hospitals. In the event of exceptional circumstances, this can be discussed with the person in charge.

Visitors should stay with the person they are visiting throughout the visit, minimising movement around the hospital/care home and maintaining social distancing from other patients/residents and staff to reduce risks of infection spread.

Virtual Visiting

The Trust has produced a helpful guide to assist you with virtual visits.

Information regarding Dropping off/picking up patient property

Details regarding Dropping off/picking up patient property.

Related Links

Department of Health press release

1st March 2021

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