Updated Visitor Guidance – 12th June 2020

Due to the current rate of Covid in our region, we will continue to restrict visiting to maintain patient safety and reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19 within our hospitals.

Visitors should observe strict 2 metre social distancing principles whilst moving around the hospital, wear face coverings and adhere to strict handwashing on entering and leaving the hospital and clinical areas.

The following standards should be observed:

  • A maximum of two visitors for patients at the end of their life.
  • One birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour.
  • One parent or appropriate adult visiting a child, this may include multiple parents although only one may be present at any time.
  • One carer that is supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Outpatient appointments

Most of our outpatient appointments are now being undertaken in a different way. When it is necessary to attend the hospital, the patient should attend alone, where this is not possible, either due to potential psychological distress or physical support, one person may accompany the patient attending outpatients, both should wear face coverings.

Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements. Your health, safety and wellbeing, that of our patients, communities and staff across the organisation remain our absolute priority. We will support you to find other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones in hospital, like phone and video calls. If you are worried please speak to the nurse in charge.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.

We will review these arrangements as the R rate reduces and in the context of the environment we are providing care in.

Hospitals have also implemented new measures on the use of face masks and coverings.

As part of the measures, visitors and patients coming to hospital for urgent, planned and outpatient care will need to wear face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to other patients and staff.

Patients are being encouraged to bring their own face coverings, which can be made of cloth and be reusable in line with government guidance. 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. Patients and visitors will continue to be provided with face masks when entering clinical areas of the hospital.

People who do not bring a face covering with them when attending hospital will be provided with one at the entrance.

Kevin McGee, Chief Executive of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, speaking on behalf of hospitals in Lancashire and South Cumbria said: “We temporarily suspended visiting back in March and since then; local people have been outstanding in their support for our trusts by following the restrictions and not visiting their loved ones in hospital. We cannot underestimate how hard it will be for people not to be able to visit their family or friends so we wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone for their continued cooperation.

“Whilst we are preparing to welcome some patients back into the services that were temporarily suspended or changed, it is more important than ever that we do all we can to maintain everybody’s safety. We need to keep the number of people inside our hospitals to an absolute minimum to help reduce the spread of coronavirus so that means we are not in a position to be able to reinstate visiting.

“We appreciate that this will be difficult to hear for some but we hope they will understand that we have to do what’s right to protect all those that are receiving care or working in our hospitals.”

“We understand that visiting is very important to our patients and their loved ones and as soon as we are able to lift the suspension, we will. In the meantime, we would ask for the public’s help in continuing to respect these rules to help us all stay safe.”

As well as the above restrictions, you should not visit any health and care settings if you or someone you live is unwell, especially if you have any of the following symptoms – high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste.

This information applies to the following organisations who are working in partnership across Lancashire and South Cumbria:

  • Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

The latest coronavirus guidance is available at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.