Visiting and keeping in touch during the Covid-19 pandemic

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The Government have removed domestic restrictions in England. However, certain restrictions still remain in place when visiting in our hospitals. This is to protect the vulnerable and to keep all of our patients, staff and visitors safe from Covid-19.

Please read the information below regarding our visiting process.

  • Anyone showing any symptoms of Covid-19, or feel unwell in any way should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
  • Visitors are strictly limited to two visitors per patient per visit.
  • Visitors will not be permitted to any ward/department with a confirmed Covid-19 outbreak (apart from in exceptional circumstances such as the end of life). Staff on the ward will advise you if this is the case.
  • Visiting hours are between 2pm - 4pm and 6pm – 8pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Visiting can last up to the whole two hour duration.
  • Visitors will be asked to maintain a 1 meter social distance.
  • Please remember, for everybody’s safety, face masks must be worn whilst in clinical areas.

There are different arrangements in place for visiting Maternity wards or visiting children who are in hospital, and in circumstances where patients are reaching the end of their life. There is also a limited visiting policy in place on Critical Care - please contact the relevant ward and they will be able to advise further.

Please do not enter the hospital if you have symptoms of Covid-19, are living with someone who has tested positive or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and have been asked to isolate. 

Visiting in exceptional circumstances

There will be special exceptions for visitors in the following circumstances where more flexible visiting will be supported:

  • Immediate family members/partners of those at end of life.
  • Carers for patients who require assistance, e.g. supporting someone with a mental health condition, dementia, delirium, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, religious or spiritual care needs.

What to expect when attending a hospital site

If you’re attending one of our hospitals for an outpatient appointment, to visit a loved one or to attend one of our emergency departments, you still need to continue to wear a face mask in waiting areas and clinical areas. However, you are no longer required to wear a face mask when entering the hospital, or in non-clinical areas (such as WH Smiths or canteen or coffee areas.)

The only exception to this is if you are visiting a patient at the end of their life and have medical exemption from wearing a face covering.

You may have to wait to gain access to the ward if high numbers of visitors are present.