All hospital inpatient areas are currently given a classification of low, medium and high risk, reflecting patient conditions and infection prevention and control measures.
For each level, different visiting arrangements will be in place. This will be determined at individual patient level, depending upon their risk rating and the risk level of the areas they are residing in.
All visitors will need to call the relevant ward to book a visit in advance and are asked to come to the main hospital entrance no more than 10 minutes before the start of their visiting session. Please be aware that everyone will be asked to wear a hospital-provided face mask throughout their visit, but visitors are no longer required to show proof of a negative lateral flow test.
To ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff, everyone coming in to visit a loved one will be asked to complete a quick questionnaire to check they do not have any of the recognised symptoms of COVID-19:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- New onset of increased tiredness
- Fever (a high temperature over 37.8 degrees)
- New continuous cough
- Recent loss or change to sense of smell and taste
- New aches and pains
- Diarrhoea or vomiting.
If visitors have any of the above symptoms, they will be advised not to attend.
Director of Nursing at ULHT, Dr Karen Dunderdale, said: “We understand how valuable visiting is to our patients and their loved ones and have worked incredibly hard to make this possible in a way that is as safe as can be for our patients, their visitors and our staff.
“The process is straight forward. Please call the ward your loved one is on, an appointment will be made for you if it is safe to do so, then on the day of your appointment please arrive 10 minutes early to the hospital’s main entrance.
“All of our staff are really pleased to be able to do this for our patients and their loved ones as we appreciate how important this is to them. This process will be explained to visitors when they are making their booking with the ward.”
Full details of the visiting arrangements by level can be found in this graphic:
There may be local rules in place in individual areas, depending upon the environment, and patients and visitors are asked to speak to the ward directly for information.
Exceptions remain in place for maternity, paediatrics and neonatal services, as detailed below:
- The maternity department will allow one birthing partner to attend the birth and a partner to visit women and their baby either antenatal or postnatal
- Visiting hours on maternity wards is 1pm-7pm
- Children are still not able to attend the hospitals to visit patients at this time
- Partners can attend all hospital maternity appointments
- Women and partners are encouraged to perform lateral flow tests prior to appointments.
Paediatrics and neonatal services:
- Parents who do not show the symptoms of infection can visit their children on children’s wards and neonatal units
- Parents with a baby in neonatal care have access 24 hours a day. This includes overnight stays where accommodation allows
- Any exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.
- Visiting end of life patients
- Supporting carers
- Other exceptional circumstances (such as for patients with dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and mental health).