Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Last updated: October 2020

Keeping patients and our staff safe is our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why we continue to recommend that you use digital services such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones during their hospital stay, to minimise the risk of spreading or contracting the virus. We have iPads available on wards for use by patients who do not have a smartphone or other mobile device.

However, you are now allowed to see patients on wards as well as visit them virtually, subject to a number of safety measures now in place.

The current rules for visiting are:

  • One visitor can come in for a maximum of one hour each day
  • Visits must be pre-booked by phoning the ward, preferably at least a day in advance. By booking visits we can ensure we don’t have too many people on a ward at the same time
  • You must wear a face covering (or mask) all the time you are inside the hospital
  • You must enter and leave through the main hospital reception only
  • You must clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided when entering and leaving the hospital and the ward
  • You should bring as few bags, coats and other loose belongings with you as possible – ideally just a mobile phone and keys placed in a plastic bag you can throw away as you leave
  • You must stay at least two metres away from other people at all times
  • You must put your face mask in the bin provided as you leave the hospital
  • You should wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home

Who can and can’t visit:

  • You should not come into hospital if you have COVID-19 symptoms or any health concerns. You will be asked to leave if you display symptoms of coronavirus.
  • If you are in an at-risk group (anyone over 70, who has an underlying health condition, is pregnant or shielding) you are advised not to visit and do so at your own risk
  • You should not visit the hospital if you are self-isolating or in quarantine following a visit abroa
  • Children under 16 are not allowed to visit, except in exceptional circumstances, which you should discuss with the nurse in charge
  • If you need the help of a carer to visit, please discuss this when you call to book
  • Carers with a Carer’s Passport can continue visiting at any time
  • You may be asked to leave the ward during your visit. This may because your relative or another patient requires treatment or if an emergency occurs

Face masks and other personal protective equipment

  • Wearing a face mask can make you feel very hot so we advise that you are not over-dressed during your visit and have had plenty to drink before you come in.
  • If a face mask cannot be worn, we will support virtual visiting of patients through use of technology (ipads/mobile phones). in exceptional circumstances such as if the patient is end of life, a case by case exemption may apply. Please contact the ward.
  • Visitors must wear a mask or face covering on arrival at the hospital and for the duration of the visit, including when walking through corridors. For the safety of yourself and others, you will not be allowed into the ward without a face covering
  • If you are visiting a high risk area or a person known to be COVID-19 positive, you will be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment, such as a surgical face mask or a hood. You will be informed in advance and staff will help you with this if needed
  • You must put your face mask in the bin provided as you leave the hospital
  • If you are not wearing the required PPE you will be asked to leave for your own safety and that of patients, other visitors and staff.

Click here for more information about visiting BSUH hospitals