Visiting restrictions in relation to coronavirus

The national suspension on visiting has now been lifted. Guidance for visiting will be set by each individual Trust.

We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming visitors back. We appreciate how hard it has been to keep in touch with loved ones who are in hospital with these restrictions in place. We’d like to thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.

Please bear with us whilst we reintroduce visiting. We understand many of you will be eager to visit, but we need to ensure this is done safely, ensuring social distancing and other government advice is followed.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and individuals and teams remain our absolute priority. 

Please remember that a face covering must be worn at all times when on our hospital sites. You can find more information here.

*Current visiting arrangements:

  • only permitted on areas where there are no suspected or confirmed Covid-19 patients
  • strictly limited to one identified visitor per patient
  • visiting will only be facilitated between the hours of 2pm - 4pm, unless there are exceptional circumstances. From 30 June an alternative visiting session, of 6pm – 7pm, will also be available. Please note that patients will not be able to receive visitors at both sessions
  • up to one-hour duration (this is at the discretion of the ward manager, some visits may need to be cut short or cancelled due to visitor numbers in order to achieve social distancing and ensure everyone’s safety)

(*Except in exceptional circumstances as outlined below.)

Visitors should call the ward directly to arrange your visit between the hours of 10am - 11am. Please be aware that you may need to call a few times to get connected due to call volume.

Staff you speak to will ask whether you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (as above).You will not be able to arrange a visit if you have any Covid-19 symptoms.

You may be waiting for a period of time before you can access the ward to visit your loved one. Social distancing needs to be strictly adhered to keep everyone safe. We understand this is not ideal and we apologise in advance if this occurs.

FAQ's - visiting restrictions in relation to covid-19 [pdf]

MY Loved Ones and virtual communication

The ‘MY Loves Ones’ initiative will still continue. Through this, you can keep up-to-date on your loved one’s wellbeing. We can also facilitate communication through our message from home service, video and phone calls. For more information please visit our MY Loves One web page.

Visiting our adult inpatient settings during the Covid-19 pandemic 

To ensure that we can maintain our levels of safety for everyone, it is important for everyone to follow the expert national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of Covid-19, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS. 

If you have any of the following symptoms should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

What to expect when you visit our hospitals

  • You must always bring and wear a mask or face covering, which must not be touched or removed while visiting a patient.
  • Clean your hands using the disinfectant hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where available:
    • on arrival to the hospital on entering the ward/department
    • when putting on or taking off any personal protective equipment (PPE) or face coverings
    • on leaving the patients bed space
    • on leaving the ward or department
    • on leaving the hospital building
    • as soon as you get home
  • Bring as few belongings as possible to minimise the risk of infection. 
  • The Trust follows government two metre social distancing guidance wherever possible in the hospital. You are asked to adhere to this during your visit, including all communal areas and lifts. You will witness that this is not possible for staff when caring for patients. 
  • Please go straight home after your visit, do not visit any other areas of the hospital.
  • You will not be required to self-isolate following your visit, as your risk from virus transmission will have been minimised by following the visiting guidance. 
  • If at any point following your visit you display symptoms of Covid-19 you should follow the NHS guidance about self- isolating.

Emergency Department visitor guidelines

In order to protect our patients and staff and to support social distancing, it will not be possible for family or friends to stay with patients while they are in our emergency departments at Pinderfields and Dewsbury Hospitals or the Pontefract urgent treatment centre.

Exceptions are made for our paediatric patients and those critically unwell.

Exceptional circumstances

Please discuss with a member of staff about how we can facilitate visiting more flexibly in the following circumstances:

  • 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.
  • Immediate family members/partners of those at end of life.

If you are permitted to visit an area where restricted visiting remains (areas with suspected or confirmed Covid-19):

  • You may be required to wear additional PPE. Please follow all instructions given by our staff carefully, they will guide you to remove and dispose of all the personal protective equipment appropriately.  
  • Visiting may be temporarily suspended if there is a shortage of required PPE.

For information on the following services, please visit the web pages below:

Children's

Maternity

*This information is in line with the ‘Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the Covid-19 pandemic’ (5 June 2020) which replaces previous NHS ‘Visitor guidance’ (8 April 2020)