What will happen when you visit
On your arrival at the ward the staff will check with you and ask you some questions about your health to make sure it is safe for you to visit. They will ask you the following questions:
Are you feeling unwell?
- Do you have new/continuous cough?
- Have you had any sickness or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours?
- Have you noticed a change in your temperature?
- Have you noticed a change in your normal sense of taste or smell?
- Are you self-isolating because you have been in contact with anyone suspected as having, or has tested positive for coronovirus, in the past 14 days?
- You will not be allowed to visit if you do not pass this safety check.
For all visits, it is essential that you:
- Phone the ward in advance of your visit to discuss the local arrangements and agree the best time, for you and the patient, to visit. It is important that your visit is managed carefully and safely. It is important that you do not turn up at the hospital without a prior arrangement in place.
- Wear a face covering in all areas of the hospital. You will not be allowed into the ward without a face covering. You should bring your own face covering with you. If you are unable to wear a face covering for a medical reason, please discuss this with the ward team who will check with the local infection control team to risk assess the situation on an individual basis.
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer gel
- on arrival at the hospital
- on arrival at the ward or department
- during the visit after you touch the furniture, equipment or anyone you have contact with
as you leave the ward or department, as you leave the hospital and when you arrive home.
- Maintain the recommended physical distance wherever possible, even if the person has previously been in your household or social bubble. This is to ensure your safety and the safety of the person you are visiting. The risks of infection change and become much higher once someone comes into the hospital environment.
- If you cough or sneeze, make sure you follow good hygiene practice
- Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a disposable tissue
- Dispose of the tissue immediately into the nearest bin
- Wash your hands.
- Do not bring food, flowers, helium balloons, or similar items. This is to minimise the risk of infection.
- Once you have checked in with the ward staff and completed your ‘Trace and Protect Information' it is important that you go straight to the bed space of the person you are visiting. You should avoid standing at the ward reception desk. Where possible the ward staff will come to the bedside to provide you with an update on any new information. If this is not possible updates of information will be provided via a telephone call to the identified contact for the patient as appropriate.
- Only go to the ward or department you are visiting unless the patient is moved to another area for clinical reasons i.e. birth partner attending scan, parent accompanying child or other similar situation
- Avoid using the lift. If you are able, take the stairs to the ward or department where possible to avoid lift areas becoming over-crowded
At your first visit
At your first visit to the hospital, you will be given a letter. You will need to bring this letter with you for every visit to show to security staff at the hospital entrance. The letter explains that you are a named visitor and have permission to access the hospital.
Privacy and safety requirements
There may be times when we ask you to leave the ward temporarily to ensure privacy, safety, space and rest for patients. If this is necessary the staff will explain this to you and show you to an area where it is safe for you to wait. On some occasions it may also be necessary to ask you to leave the ward due to the number of visitors present at one time. The number of people able to be accommodated for visits to a ward or department at any one time will depend on the setting. For example, hospitals with single rooms may be able to accommodate more visitors to a ward at any one time than multiple occupancy rooms/areas.
Trace and protect information requirements
As an essential/designated visitor for someone in hospital, the ward staff will ask you to provide your contact details. This is normal in the current circumstances to assist Public Health, Trace and Protect colleagues should there be a need to contact you.
Further information on visiting during COVID-19