Visiting and outpatients

CHANGES TO VISITING

Due to rising levels of Coronavirus infections in the community, driven by the spread of the Omicron variant, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has taken the difficult decision to suspend most visiting until further notice.

This decision was not taken lightly and has been made to keep all staff and patients safe across the Trust and help play an important role in limiting further spread of Covid-19.

The following exceptions are in place where visiting can continue:

  • Where a patient is receiving end of life care – up to four visitors will be welcome
  • Carers supporting someone, for instance with dementia or a learning disability.

Visiting to maternity and children’s services remain unchanged.

Please note, before entering a ward, visitors will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test and will be supported to do this by a staff member.

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. These visitors will be required to provide a negative lateral flow Covid test which will be facilitated by the ward staff.

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 (no change)

Children Ward / CAU

Both parents or carers can attend Children’s Ward to keep the family unit together only (1 parent on the Children’s Assessment Unit)

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:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Are isolating as a contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive or been to an overseas location where the foreign office has advised two weeks isolation.
  • Have been contacted by Test and Trace to say you or they are a contact of a COVID-19 positive person.
  • Have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Are shielding due to anticipated surgery.

Also 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

Please be aware that visiting or accompanying people to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centre.

One person may accompany or visit people seeking or receiving treatment in the Emergency Department if the patient has:

  • Mental health needs
  • Cognitive impairment such as Dementia
  • Communication challenges such as visual or hearing impairment

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