Until further notice, visiting is only permitted in the following exceptional circumstances:
- Patients who are in their last week of life and receiving end of life care
- One carer who is supporting someone with a mental health issue, cognitive impairment such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
The Clinical Team caring for a patient will identify whether the exceptional circumstances apply for an individual patient. This may be upon admission or during an inpatient stay if a patient deteriorates and is considered to be in their last week of life.
Visitors will only be allowed to enter the hospital if this has been arranged in advance with the clinical team. Patients will not be allowed to leave the ward to meet relatives in communal areas in the hospital such as reception or café areas.
If you are attending an outpatient appointment, to maintain safe social distancing and reduce the risk of infection, we please ask that you attend your appointment alone. If you need to be accompanied, one carer is permitted in exceptional circumstances, but please discuss this with your care team beforehand. Any other relatives or friends will be required to wait outside of the hospital.
VISITING THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
If you are attending one of our Emergency Departments, one carer is permitted to accompany a patient in exceptional circumstances. Please speak to staff on arrival for more information. Any other relatives or friends will be required to wait outside of the hospital.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff across the organisation remain our absolute priority. Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time. We will review these arrangements on a regular basis.
Supporting patients and families
We understand how difficult it is to be unable to visit loved ones in hospital at this time, and continue to encourage friends and family to use their own phones/devices to stay in touch with their family and friends. If you cannot contact your loved one directly, virtual visiting can be arranged directly with the wards.
Our Patient Advice and Complaints Team (PACT) can also provide support with virtual visiting. Our PACT Teams can also support patients and families with:
- Support or advice
- ‘Little love notes’, relaying messages to and from patients
Family and friends will need to contact wards directly to arrange to drop patient property off at reception, so that ward staff can collect the items.
For infection control purposes, the only personal property that can be received into the organisation are:
- Mobile phones and chargers
- Tablet devices
- E-readers (e.g. Kindle)
- Clothing for discharge.
Exceptions to this list will be made for items such as glasses, dentures, hearing aids and walking aids.
Other items such as food and toiletries must not be brought in for patients.
Wearing of face coverings – patients and visitors
We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times, unless you are exempt under current government guidelines. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.
Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
We are asking that you please plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, we will provide you with a face mask from a designated face mask station.
Visitors entering clinical areas should continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) appropriate to that clinical area and will be advised by staff.
Please remember that face masks and face coverings are only effective if you use them correctly, and in combination with social distancing and other measures, such as:
- Good hand hygiene
- Avoid touching your face
- Catch it, bin it, kill it (respiratory hygiene)
- Regular cleaning of surfaces
We understand many visitors and outpatients may be anxious about coming to hospital. Please be reassured that we have additional hand gel dispensers placed around each site, and would advise against the wearing of gloves to prevent any potential spread of germs. Thank you for your co-operation.