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Date: 9 March 2021
Visiting times and information
Patient visiting suspended
All visiting is suspended, except for the exemptions listed below.
If you should be self-isolating, i.e. staying at home because you have or may have coronavirus, you must not visit our hospitals, even if you meet the exemption criteria.
Guidance on when to self-isolate is available on the NHS website.
If you are self-isolating, please use other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones, such as phone and video calls or our "letters for loved ones" and "parcels for patients" initiatives.
Visits from all friends and relatives of patients are currently suspended on all our hospital sites, except in the following circumstances:
- Two parents or guardians may visit children aged under 18, but only one of these visitors may be in the hospital at any one time
- If social distancing can be maintained, a maximum of two close family members or other people important to a patient at the end of their life may visit during the last 24 to 48 hours of the patient's life, or when the patient has passed away. If social distancing between these visitors is not possible, then only one may attend
- One person may visit to support a patient who has dementia, a learning disability or autism, if this visitor not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
- One person may, where the ward manager or nurse in charge agrees it is in the patient's best interests and at a time and date arranged in advance, visit a patient with a mental health condition if required to support the patient's well-being or decisions about their care
- Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist with the patient’s communication and/or to meet the patient’s health, social or spiritual care needs. For example a patient who has is deaf or is confused may need support with their communication, as may a patient who has a brain injury. Where possible, please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss local considerations so that any appropriate arrangements can be made
- If, as part of the patient's care plan, a DNACPR (Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) order is agreed, a visit should be arranged to support the patient
- A visit prior to surgery may be arranged if family are being informed that the patient may not survive
- Children are not generally permitted to visit, however consideration will be given to under 18s attending with appropriate support in exceptional circumstances
Specific restrictions apply to visiting maternity patients.
In our A&E departments:
- Anyone accompanying a patient to A&E is asked to wait outside or go home. Please wait to hear from staff whether or not the patient will be admitted or discharged, as we understand you may wish to take your friend/relative home
- A parent can stay with a child up to the age of 18
- One person may accompany the patient in A&E if they meet the exemption criteria listed above
- In addition, if the patient has a mental health condition, learning disability or autism and unit staff are escorting the patient, these individuals should also be permitted and are not counted as a visitor
Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate visiting arrangements.
Additional requirements for visitors
- If permitted to return for further visits, authorised visitors will be issued with a visitor pass
- The authorised visitor(s) for a patient must be the same person/people for each visit. Visitors may not swap, unless permitted by the exemption criteria outlined above
- Visitors and carers attending a site which has been declared free of coronavirus must meet the exemption criteria for visitors listed above, and must have self-isolated along with the patient for 14 days before the patient's admission
- On arrival to any ward or department, permitted visitors should immediately wash their hands and report to a senior sister or charge nurse
- Visitors must also wash their hands or use the hand gel when they leave wards
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to visitors as required
Thank you for your continued support with this difficult decision that will help us to better protect staff, visitors and patients from infection.
Our Visitor Charter
Please note that the current visiting restrictions that we have had to put in place due to coronavirus (see above for full details) currently take precedence over our visitor charter.
Staff pledge - we will:
- be polite and respectful
- listen if there is anything you would like to discuss
- work hard to create a restful environment
- identify people who the patient has a significant or longstanding relationship with (this may or may not be the next of kin) and keep them well informed (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
- support you if you wish to help with your friend or relative's care or meal times. Talk to us about how you can best assist
- put patient care first. This may mean discussing the best time for you to visit
- do all we can to protect patients from infection
- arrange for you to speak to a member of the medical team or other healthcare professionals involved in the patient’s care
Visitors, we ask you to:
- be polite and respectful
- talk to us if you have any concerns
- keep noise levels to a minimum and switch mobile phones to silent
- nominate one main point of contact for staff to pass information on to (with the patient’s permission if they are able to give it)
- limit the number of visitors to two at any one time
- talk to us about children visiting the ward. Children are welcome with the supervision of an adult, but there are some situations where this would not be appropriate
- not disturb nursing staff when they are administering medications; other staff will be available if you need anything
- be aware that we may ask you to leave if a patient requires privacy or a medical emergency occurs
- respect the confidentiality and privacy of others by not filming or photographing other patients, visitors or staff without consent
Hospital patients are vulnerable to infection.
- Please wash your hands thoroughly before entering and leaving the ward
- Do not visit if you have had diarrhoea or vomiting in the last two days
- Use the chairs provided when visiting as opposed to sitting on beds
At UHB we are keen to support people who want to be involved in the care of their relatives or friends while they are with us. This can help the patient to feel safer in an unfamiliar place such as a busy hospital ward or unit.
If you would like to be involved in your relative or friend’s care, please speak to the nurse in charge. They will be happy to talk to you about how you can help. More carers information is available via the link below.