Visiting patients

 

Supporting compassionate visiting during COVID-19

Keeping patients and our staff safe is our top priority during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, due to rising numbers of cases in the community and in our hospitals, we have had to limit visiting. 

We encourage patients and visitors to continue to use digital services such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones during their hospital stay. iPads are available on wards for use by patients who do not have a smartphone or other mobile device.

Visiting will only be permitted under the following circumstances:

  • To spend time with a patient in the final days of their life
  • To accompany a patient with a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or autism
  • To accompany a pregnant person for early pregnancy scans at 12-13 weeks and 20 weeks
  • To support a pregnant person in labour – see the maternity website for information
  • To visit a partner and newborn on our postnatal wards
  • To stay with a child or young person who has been admitted to the children’s wards
  • To visit an infant on the neonatal ward or child on the children’s ward – only one parent or carer
  • Carers with a carer’s passport can continue to visit as usual.

Visiting is for up to one hour and must be arranged in advance with the ward or unit where the person you are visiting is being cared for. Our ward managers will do their best to make compassionate decisions regarding visiting to meet the needs of our patients and their loved ones.

All visitors must:

  • Wear a surgical mask at all times within the hospital – these can be supplied
  • Clean hands with the alcohol gel provided when entering and leaving the hospital and the ward
  • Keep personal belongings to a minimum. Please 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
  • Maintain a safe distance from other people at all times
  • Dispose of your mask in a bin when you have left the hospital site
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home.

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. You will be informed in advance and staff will help you with this if needed.

    Do not visit if:

    • You have any respiratory or flu like symptoms, high temperature or loss of taste and/or smell
    • Your household is isolating due to suspected COVID
    • You have been in contact with someone else who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID
    • You have returned from overseas and are required to quarantine for 14 days before visiting.

      Please also be aware that it may not be possible to visit if we have to close part or all of the ward due to a patient being diagnosed with COVID-19.

      Alternatives to visiting

      Please use digital services such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones during their hospital stay. iPads are available on wards for use by patients who do not have a smartphone or other mobile device.

      Messages for Loved Ones –  Emails and letters can be sent to bsuh.letterstolovedones@nhs.net. Messages will be printed and laminated for delivery to the wards Monday to Friday.

      Thinking of you – If you don’t have a loved one in hospital, there are many patients in our hospitals who would still love to hear from you. Being in hospital can be an anxious time and the kindness of strangers is greatly appreciated by many. The Trust is inviting people to send their messages to Thinking of you by email; bsuh.letterstolovedones@nhs.net.