Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday 2nd July 2020

Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Keeping patients and our staff safe is our top priority during and after 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.

At Queen Victoria Hospital we are continuing to provide urgent cancer surgery as a site which continues to be as protected of COVID-19 as possible. To protect this status and enable a safer environment for surgery we will continue to restrict visitors to our site. A visitor is now allowed to see patients on wards as well as visit them virtually, subject to a number of safety measures now in place. This guidance does not apply if you are visiting a patient on an end of life care pathway as more frequent visiting arrangements apply.

The current rules for visiting are:

  • No visitors for patients with planned surgery who stay 2 days or less.
  • No visitors for patients with trauma surgery who stay 2 days or less.

For patients staying 3 days or more:

  • Please nominate one visitor for your stay who can visit for a maximum of one hour each day, between 2pm and 8pm.
  • Visits must be pre-booked by phoning the ward, preferably at least a day in advance, so we can make sure that we don’t have too many people in at one 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 attend the temperature checkpoint on arrival to the hospital site.
  • You will be asked COVID screening questions, have your temperature checked and be provided with a face mask to wear throughout the duration of you visit.
  • 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 once you have finished with it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You will need to keep your mask on for the whole of your visit so you will not be able to have a drink while you are in the hospital.
  • You may need to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) in some areas of the hospital. Staff will help you put on and take off this equipment safely.
  • 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.

At the end of the visit please note:

  • Remove and dispose of the PPE that they might be wearing in a lidded bin.
  • Self-isolation is not required following the visit as they have been protected from the risk of contamination by using PPE and performing good hand hygiene.

Thank you for your cooperation.