Visiting and outpatients

CHANGES TO VISITING AND OUTPATIENT APPOINTMENTS - Last updated 30 May, 2022 - For the latest mask wearing guidance click here

The Trust’s visiting policy has been further relaxed with wards now allowing two, two-hourly slots per day (for example, 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm). Wards are requesting that there are two visitors per patient during these slots, however this does not have to be the same or named visitors.

Visitors should check with wards to understand the exact slots available as this may differ from ward to ward, prior to visiting. This is almost in line with pre-pandemic visiting arrangements.

All visitors will be asked to follow infection prevention and control measures throughout their time on site. They will be asked to follow hand hygiene measures and will be given a Type ll Fluid Resistant Mask and follow social distancing measures throughout.

The Trust is also able to provide remote and virtual visiting options for relatives/carers/advocates.

Inpatient arrangements

There are some wards where visiting is still not permitted due to caring for COVID-19 patients.

Outpatient appointment arrangements

Outpatients are allowed one person to attend their appointments with them as long as they comply with the Trust’s rules around restrictions as set out below (apart from maternity, please see maternity restrictions below).

Ante natal visits

All scans - one person is able to attend.

For all other ante natal appointments an additional person can attend if previously agreed for a specific need.

Additional visitors will be considered in the following cases:

End of Life Care

For patients who are near end of life up to four family members may be permitted at the discretion of the ward manager.

Maternity services

A nominated birth partner will be able to attend the delivery suite and the birth centre for the duration of their stay in these areas. A second birth partner can attend once established labour had been confirmed.

The birth midwife will confirm the timing of this attendance. Following birth, the second birth partner must leave within 1 hour or when transferred to the ward whichever is sooner. If a woman is transferred to theatre the first birth partner only will be in attendance in the theatre (planned elective Caesareans remain one birth partner).

The nominated birth partner will be able to attend Ward D between 8am and 8pm.

One partner can now attend all scans.

Neonatal Unit

Both parents can attend Neonatal Unit to keep the family unit together. The Trust will also consider friends and family if either parent feels this will help support them emotionally.

Children's Ward / CAU

Both parents or carers can attend Children's Ward to keep the family unit together only (ONE parent on the Children's Assessment Unit). Siblings can also attend visits.

In exceptional circumstances, depending on the needs of the patient and with the agreement of the Nurse in Charge, other visitors may be allowed.

Patients in all services needing additional support

An additional nominated individual (not classed as a visitor) to provide support. This may be to help meet the patients’/ individual’s needs and could include:

  • A patient/individual with mental health needs.
  • Any cognitive impairment.
  • Communication challenges such as visual or hearing impairment.
  • When the patient is receiving significant/bad news
  • English is not the first language
  • Mobility assistance
  • Other considerations for extended/additional visiting should be considered using an individual risk-based approach.

Restrictions

You MUST not visit or attend an appointment with a patient if you or they:

  • If they are COVID-19 positive.
  • If they have been in close contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive they should avoid visiting due to the immunity vulnerability of patients.
  • If they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are unwell with new symptoms of acute illness.
  • If any local or national lockdown restrictions are in place that would not support inpatient visiting.

Visitors and patients should cleanse their hands on entering and leaving the hospital (this stops other germs) and entering and leaving clinical areas.

Changes

Please be aware that the Trust may have to reinforce restrictions at short notice depending on possible local or national restrictions put in place by Public Health England.

We appreciate this remains a very troubling time for everyone, and so we ask for your help in respecting these rules which are an essential safety measure.

Emergency Department

The Emergency Department is now permitting one visitor per patient for the duration of the patient's stay in the department. For patients who are deemed vulnerable, e.g. have cognitive impairment or have caring requirements, this can be increased at the discretion of the Nurse In Charge.

Visiting is still restricted within the Emergency Department due to the need to reduce the number of people within the ED footprint and to help protect vulnerable people against possible COVID-19 transmission.

In addition, any child under the age of 18 can have one nominated parent or carer accompany them to the Emergency Department.