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General visiting

Maternity visiting guidance here.

All of our hospital sites are smoke free: Information to protect our patients staff and visitors from the harmful effects of smoking.

We know it is important for you to visit your loved ones and the following exceptional circumstances where one visitor (a family member or friend) is permitted to visit are outlined below.

As a Health Board, we expect our visitors to work with us as partners to maintain the safety of our patients and respect the measures that we ask of them to follow. At any time, visiting may be amended or cancelled to maintain safety.

Visiting considerations will be informed by community COVID 19 transmission rates, hospital COVID 19 admission numbers and any outbreaks that may be experienced in the Hospital environment. As you will be aware these can change rapidly hence it is important that you check with the ward / department at the time.

All visiting will be by appointment and all visitors will require an individual risk assessment to be completed both in advance of and on arrival of an agreed visit for both exceptional and general visiting arrangements, in order to keep patients, staff and visitors safe. 

Changes to guidance on COVID-19 infection prevention and visiting

Following an update to national guidance on COVID-19 infection prevention and control a number of changes have been made for visiting our hospitals.

People visiting adult inpatients will no longer be asked to provide evidence of a negative LFD test (please see information under Emergency Department below as testing still applies if attending there). They will, however, still be screened (asked to complete a questionnaire and have their temperature taken and recorded). Visitors will not be permitted to visit if they have COVID-19 symptoms. All requests for an appointment to visit a relative or friend must continue to be made direct with the hospital ward and visits staggered to support social distancing.

Changes in visiting rules apply to adult inpatient visiting only and visiting arrangements for Maternity, Neonatal and Paediatric services are not changing at present.

When to wear a face mask in our hospital sites 

Due to rates of COVID-19 infections reducing over recent weeks, the Health Board has stood down the requirement to wear masks in all clinical settings (with some exceptions) with immediate effect.

From today, August 15 2022, it is no longer mandatory to wear a facemask in all clinical areas, though some exceptions do still apply. More information on when you should wear a face mask can be found here. 

General visiting arrangements

  • All visitors will be required to complete a screening questionnaire including a temperature check before entry
  • Visitors are not permitted in areas whereby there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID 19 (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above)
  • Please check with the Ward / Department for visiting availability and times
  • Visiting remains restricted to 1 identified visitor per patient (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above as agreed with the Nurse in Charge)
  • Visiting is limited to 1 hour (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above as agreed with the Nurse in Charge) at the discretion of the Ward Manager and some visits may need to be cut short or cancelled
  • Visits will be by appointment with the Ward / Department directly and adhere to approved safe numbers for each specific area

Exceptional circumstances for inpatient visiting

  • Patient receiving end-of-life care in the last days of life
  • A familiar carer/parent or guardian/supporter/personal assistant to assist in care provision as agreed with ward/department
  • Both parents/guardians where the family bubble can be maintained in Paediatric and Neonatal wards / units
  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and it is necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs as agreed with ward/department

Emergency Departments, Outpatients and Diagnostics

In certain circumstances, patients attending Emergency Departments, outpatient appointment or a diagnostic department may have a maximum of one person accompany them if required. This should be at the discretion of the clinical staff in charge. Such circumstances might include the following:

    • to accompany an older person
    • to help provide a patient’s history
    • to support decision making
    • for patients with a reduced conscious level
    • for patients nearing or receiving end of life care
    • for patients where not having a visitor would cause them to be distressed
    • for patients with any degree of cognitive impairment or learning disability who may require support to understand information or be supported with decision making
    • for patients where distressing news may have to be delivered
    • patients with unpaid carers.
    • we would request that the named person only contact the ward once daily

At times of high capacity, the person accompanying the patient may be asked to temporarily wait elsewhere if there are space constraints.

All visitors to the Emergency Department will be required to

  • show evidence of a negative lateral flow test result (SMS, e-mail message or screenshot) and complete a screening questionnaire including a temperature check before entry
  • Not visit if displaying symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of smell or taste) even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent
  • Not visit if they have received confirmation of a COVID positive test
  • Not visit if they are in a period of isolation
  • Book a visiting appointment with the ward directly
  • Perform good hand hygiene (handwashing) to reduce risks to themselves, other visitors, patients and staff and will be prompted to do so on arrival
  • Undergo a temperature check upon request
  • Maintain the 2metre social distance rule
  • Adhere to visiting appointment time (do not arrive earlier than allocated time)
  • Wear clothing that allows you to keep your forearms bare i.e. short sleeves
  • Not bring gifts / personal items
  • Follow visiting guidance at all times

Paediatric and Neonatal services visiting guidance

Updated 23 May 2022

Parents when present with their baby or child as an inpatient will no longer be asked to provide evidence of a negative LFD test. They will, however be asked to complete a questionnaire and have their temperature taken and recorded (screened). If a parent has Covid symptoms, staff will carry out a risk assessment to decide how best to support the baby/child.

Additional Paediatric and Neonatal services Visiting Guidance to all visitors:

  • Both parents or primary care givers have unrestricted access to stay with their child on the unit/ ward
  • Siblings and immediate family can visit by appointment only directly with the ward/ unit
  • All visitors must comply with the appropriate visitor screening measures in place at all times, including answering honestly to questions as part of a visitor checklist and temperature checks 
  • All visitors must follow advice and guidance from staff
  • All visitors must minimise movement to essential only once in the building and specifically when on the ward/clinical area.
  • All visitors must adhere to instructions and information on keeping a safe distance from others
  • All visitors must follow good hand hygiene and washing of hands, including the use of the alcohol gel provided on the ward/ unit
  • All visitors must follow good respiratory hygiene – ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it approach’
  • All visitors must keep personal items to a minimum and on person at all times
  • Nobody should visit other areas of the hospital unless this is a requirement of the child’s care
  • Engage with staff and share any concerns you have so that we can  find a resolution

Patient Advice and Liaison Support Service (PALS)

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Support Service (PALS) is here to help you. Our PALS Officers will do their best to resolve issues quickly and directly with the staff concerned. If you have an enquiry about visiting restrictions or a concern about a friend or relative who has been admitted, please contact PALS (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday except Bank holidays).