Last updated: 18.02.2021
The health, safety and wellbeing of patients’, communities and staff continues to remain a priority. As such, the trust is allowing visitors but taking proportionate and justifiable measures designed to limit the increased risk of transmission of coronavirus.
We are following the latest guidance (published 23 December 2020) which states: “Visiting is allowed in inpatient settings, in a very careful and Covid-secure way.”
If a physical visit cannot be accommodated, a risk assessment will be carried out to demonstrate that there are clear reasons specific to their individual circumstances as to why it would not be safe to do so.
All visitors should follow the below guidance.
Visitor measures the trust will be taking
- All visits will need to be pre-booked to ensure social distancing measures can be maintained. Wherever possible, we will arrange for visits to be undertaken in the reception areas of the hospital or outside (with social distancing measures in place).
- Prior to coming to the hospital, we request that visitors contact the ward to arrange a mutually convenient time for the visit to be undertaken. At this point staff will ascertain whether a potential visitor has symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, and/or high temperature, and/or loss of, or change to normal sense of smell or taste), and if yes, the visitor should be advised that they must self-isolate at home. Including any potential contacts with an exposed covid positive case. If no symptoms are present,and no contacts identified a visit can be arranged.
- Visitors will need to have a face covering in place (covering nose and mouth) prior to entering the hospital, as per Government advice. Or will obtain one from reception and clean their hands using the alcohol hand sanitiser
- On arrival at the hospital, visitors should report to reception who will contact the patient’s ward to say their visitor is here.
- All patients will also wear a face mask for visits, as per Government advice.
- Both patients and visitors are reminded that face coverings do not replace social distancing, which must be maintained throughout the visit.
Visits in the ward environment
- When an individual patient risk assessment determines that it is not clinically appropriate for them to leave the ward to see a visitor, a ward-based visit can be considered (if appropriate and practicable).
- On arrival at the hospital, visitors should report to reception who will contact the patient’s ward and request that ward staff come to reception and escort the visitor to the ward.
- Visitors will be provided with a surgical face mask in reception if they don’t already have one (this must be in place prior to entering the ward environment).
- Once the visit is completed, the visitor will be asked to safely dispose of the face mask as per IPC guidance, replace with their own face covering and leave the ward.
If there are known cases of Covid-19 on the ward, it may be necessary to temporarily restrict on-ward visits.
End of life care
For someone receiving end of life care, the number of visitors at the bedside is to be limited by the ability to maintain social distancing in that environment. Appropriate personal protective equipment for the visitor(s) will be provided.
Patients with dementia, learning disability or autism
Discretion will be applied when the family member/carer is supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, and where not being present would cause the patient to be disproportionately distressed. However, fundamental infection control measures must remain in place.
If visits cannot be accommodated
If a physical visit cannot be accommodated, the ward will make every effort to support contact with family members and loved ones through ready access to telephones (personal mobiles where risks allow or by ward telephones) or trust video-meeting devices (such as tablets).