Attending Hospital Appointments and Visiting Arrangements
New procedures are in place for anyone attending a hospital appointment and restricted visiting arrangements remain in place to help reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect the health of patients and staff. This is vital while we work towards restarting our services.
When you arrive at our hospitals you will be welcomed by a member of staff who will confirm your reason for attending. You will also be asked to sanitise your hands with hand gel, given a face mask to wear (if you are not already wearing a face covering) and be asked to maintain physical distancing throughout your visit.
All patients and visitors should wear a face covering when they attend hospital in line with national guidance. If you don’t have your own then you will be provided with a face mask to wear however it would be helpful if you could bring your own if possible to help maintain local supplies.
A face covering does not have to be a surgical or other medical grade mask but must be a facial covering of the mouth and nose. Face coverings worn over the mouth and nose may include face mask, protective visor, scarf or any other type of appropriate covering (it will not be acceptable to pull a shirt, blouse, jumper or coat up to try and cover your nose and mouth). If you choose to wear a face visor it must cover the nose and mouth completely.
There will be hand sanitiser gel stations/dispensers at main entrances and outside wards so please stop and use the alcohol gel to help protect yourself and others.
Please attend appointments on your own to help maintain physical distancing and avoid overcrowding in waiting areas. If you have been driven to the hospital please ask friends or family members to drop you off and return to pick you up later or wait for you in the hospital car park. This is particularly important in the Emergency Department, Outpatient Department, X-ray Department and Minor Injuries Unit as these areas can be very busy.
If you arrive early before your allocated appointment time please wait in your car or outside the hospital, if possible. In some cases you may also be asked to ring the Department you are attending when you arrive at the hospital to ensure there is adequate space in the waiting areas or direct access to the appointment or treatment room (this will be clearly highlighted in your appointment letter or text).
Shops, Toilets & Food Outlets
Shops, toilets and restaurants are not currently open to the public to help reduce the risk of infection and avoid any non-essential visits.
General visiting has been suspended across all our hospitals and inpatient wards to help limit the spread of COVID-19, protect our patients and our ensure the safety of our staff. The suspension applies expect in the following situations and visitors are asked to consider whether a visit is essential even in these circumstances.
- Maternity Unit – women can be supported by a single birth partner during labour but they must remain within the Maternity Unit at all times. Antenatal appointments and ultrasound scans should be attended unaccompanied.
- Neonatal Unit & Children’s Ward – parents are permitted to visit and they should remain with their child at all times.
- Palliative Care – to support someone who is receiving end-of-life care.
- Supporting someone with additional needs– including people with dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
From 13th July 2020 people in many parts of our hospitals will be able to have one designated visitor who must make a pre-arranged appointment to help maintain physical distancing and avoid overcrowding in wards and other clinical areas. Some areas of the hospital with active COVID-19 cases may still need to restrict visiting to essential visits only. Visitors should also wear a face covering whilst inside the hospital, use hand santiser gel or wash their hands before they enter the hospital and again when they arrive at the ward or department. For further information and advice see the COVID-19 hospital visiting leaflet.