Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday 15th July 2021

Visiting patients on our wards during the COVID-19 pandemic

All patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings and follow social distancing measures at QVH until further notice.

Help us to keep everyone safe.

One close family contact or somebody important to the patient can now visit providing the patient is expected to be in for more than two nights.

Please note:

  • Visits must be pre-booked by phoning the ward in advance so we can continue to provide a safe environment for all our patients, visitors and staff
  • Visitors will be informed about what to expect when they visit and be given practical advice about social distancing, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and handwashing
  • Only one visitor per patient is permitted each day for a maximum of one hour between 2-8pm. These visits will be arranged to ensure we do not have more than 2 visitors in a bay at any given time to maintain social distancing
  • Visitors should perform lateral flow testing twice weekly. Lateral flow kits can be obtained by family members here. Evidence of their negative lateral flow test will be needed, e.g. a photo on a phone. If visitors are unable to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test, we can test here in-hours.

In addition, patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual needs.

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 is not allowed if:

  • You are in a household that is self-isolating or you have been in contact with someone else who is suspected/confirmed to have coronavirus.
  • You are showing symptoms of coronavirus, (i.e. a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of taste and/or smell). With these symptoms you must not visit, even if these are mild or intermittent. Please self-isolate at home and organise a test. Members of your household should also self-isolate for 10 days.
  • You are returning from overseas and are required to quarantine for 10 days. If so you must complete this before visiting the hospital.

If your visit is essential:

  • You must clean your hands with the alcohol gel provided when entering and leaving wards/departments/hospital.
  • You must wear a face covering at all times around the hospital unless you are exempt. If it is disposable, please put it in a bin as you leave. If you forget to bring one with you please ask a member of staff who can provide you with a face mask.
  • Ward staff will ensure that when you enter the ward they provide you with the appropriate PPE which will consist of aprons and gloves before you enter a bay or side room with your relative.
  • You should bring as few personal belongings as possible with you.
  • You must stay at least two meters away from other people at all times and follow social distancing signage around the hospital.

If you are the parent or guardian of a child who is a patient:

  • One parent/carer may be resident at all times with the child or young person admitted to the children’s’ ward.
  • Visiting on the wards will be restricted to one additional visitor to the resident parent/carer.
  • Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus, (i.e. a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of taste and/or smell) must not visit, even if these are mild or intermittent. You cannot visit if you have a positive COVID result or are in a period of self isolation.
  • Anyone under the age of 16 years old (e.g. siblings) cannot visit.
  • Parents and children are to remain within the cubicle or bay.
  • Parent/carers must always wear a fluid repellent surgical face mask when entering and moving through the hospital and when a healthcare professional is treating their child/young person. If you are with your child away from other patients, you can temporarily remove your face mask.

In exceptional family situations: visiting arrangements can be discussed and alternative arrangements may be agreed with the nurse in charge.

End of life care

If a patient is receiving end of life care they may have up to 4 visitors per day (social distancing, infection prevention control measures and visitor guidance permitting). In order to protect their loved ones, visitors where possible should perform lateral flow testing twice weekly. Lateral flow kits can be obtained by family members here. If visitors are unable to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test, we can test here in-hours.

Visiting with a patient who is coming for an appointment

Please can we ask that patients come into the hospital on their own. If you need to be accompanied to your appointment, for example someone to translate or support if you have a hearing impairment, please contact the department in advance to let them know. Please be aware we have reduced the seating available in our waiting rooms to enable social distancing.

Children can be accompanied by one adult only. Children will be allowed to accompany an adult to an appointment when there is no other available alternative.

We ask that patients (unless exempt) as well as any visitors wear a face covering whilst entering and moving through our hospital. Please also maintain good hand hygiene and observe social distancing throughout the hospital. These will all help us reduce the risks to other patients, visitors and our staff.

Thank you for your cooperation.