Visiting arrangements for Lincoln County Hospital and Pilgrim Hospital, Boston will be changing from tomorrow (Thursday 15 October), in order to better protect patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The visiting arrangements have been reviewed to ensure that hospitals are adhering to the Government ’rule of six’ wherever practicable, and to ensure that patients and staff are protected from the risk of infection in our hospitals.
Visiting will still be possible on hospital wards by booking a visiting slot in advance, but from Thursday United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) will only allow one visitor per patient per day, and only one visitor will be allowed per ward bay at any one time, regardless of the bay size.
In addition, people will no longer be allowed to visit unless they wear a mask, to protect patients and staff from the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Any exceptions to these requirements will be made at the discretion of the clinical team.
Director of Nursing Dr Karen Dunderdale said: “We have been pleased to welcome visitors back onto our wards since July, as we recognise the importance of our patients being able to see their loved ones during their stay in hospital.
“However, this needs to be balanced against the risks associated with having increasing numbers of people on our hospital sites during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the safety of our patients and staff as a priority, we have determined that we need to limit the number of visitors on each ward at any one time, and ensure that anyone entering our hospitals wears a mask.
“We know that this may be difficult for some people who cannot wear masks and have a loved one in hospital, and we would encourage them to work with the wards to identify other ways to keep in touch, such as by video call or, where possible, meeting up outside.”
Visiting remains restricted at Grantham hospital, as it continues as a COVID-free Green hospital site carrying out medically urgent and cancer surgeries.
Arrangements around birthing partners for maternity care also remain unchanged.
In addition, the Trust is reminding visitors about limits to what they can bring in for patients, to ensure that the number of items are limited for safe storage and to reduce infection prevention risk.
All visitors should adhere to the following advice:
- All visitors must book an appointment in advance by contacting the ward where their loved one is staying between 8am and 2pm. Contact numbers for each ward can be found on the Trust’s website.
- There will be a maximum of one visitor per patient per day.
- Social distancing must be maintained and masks must be worn as directed.
- People must not visit if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell).
- Visitors must also consider whether someone in their home who may be shielding or in a high risk vulnerable group may be at risk if others from the household visit.
All visits MUST be booked with the ward beforehand.
Coming to the ward
- You will have to wear a mask when you attend the hospital and visit on the ward. If you are exempt from wearing a mask we are very sorry but we will not be able to support your visit; this is to ensure we can keep our patients and staff safe. We can however support you with alternatives such as possibly meeting the patient outdoors (if clinically appropriate) or through a video call.
- If you or anyone in your household have any symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection (temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell) you MUST NOT visit.
- If you have someone in your household who is shielding or in a high risk vulnerability group then you need to be cognisant of the risk of attending the hospital and then returning home.
On entering the hospital you must wear a mask or face covering and follow social distancing rules and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE such as masks and gloves) as directed and wash or sanitise your hands before entering the ward.
You should aim to arrive at the ward not more than 5 minutes before your allotted visit time to minimise the number of people who are waiting and wait in a socially distanced fashion outside the ward door until you are welcomed in one at a time.
You will then be accompanied to the patient you are visiting and the bedside precautions explained to you.
You should avoid touching surfaces or any of the bedside equipment.
You should avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands and to cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
In the event that you need to speak with ward staff or leave the bedside for any reason you must use the call bell and wait to be answered rather than go to find someone.
Please be reassured that as long as PPE has been worn correctly and precautions followed you will not need to self- isolate afterwards as a result of the visit; if however you do begin to feel unwell and have any of the noted coronavirus symptoms they should follow national advice and guidance.
Bringing in personal items
You may bring in personal items for the patient but these must be in line with the property guidance as shown below and be brought in a clear plastic bag, labelled and listed.
Property restrictions have been set to minimise the build up of items at the bedside and to manage contamination risk. If you take items home please keep them sealed for 72 hours in line with national guidance.
- The amount of clothing and personal items brought in needs to be such that it can all be safely stored in a standard bedside locker and a property form must be completed.
- The Trust cannot take responsibility for valuable items that are kept at the bedside and not handed in for safekeeping.
- Patients are encouraged to send any valuable or unnecessary items home.
The following items are permitted to be brought into hospital:
If you have any queries or concerns about this information and the arrangements please speak to the ward team or you can contact PALs on:
Pilgrim: 01205 446244
Lincoln: 01522 707071
Grantham: 01476 464861
Or email: PALS@ulh.nhs.uk
Anyone with concerns or queries about visiting should speak to the ward, or the Patient Advice and Liaison teams at Pilgrim: 01205 446244 and Lincoln: 01522 707071.
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