Extension of Hospital Visiting

Patients in hospitals across Forth Valley, wherever possible, will now be able to have one visitor to provide support in line with the easing of national restrictions across Scotland.

The Scottish Government has published new guidance to support the implementation of the extension to visiting arrangements which can be found here and additional information can also be found on the NHS Forth Valley website here

One family member or friend can be identified by a patient or their guardian, carer or power of attorney to visit. They should then contact the ward to arrange a visit in advance, to help avoid overcrowded and main physical distancing.

It is recognised that family and friends play an important role in supporting patients in hospital and arrangements for essential visiting have been in place throughout lockdown. These extended visiting arrangements are designed to help keep patients, families and staff are as safe as possible during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. There may, however, be some circumstances where it is not safe for a patient to have a visitor and if this is the case, a member of staff will explain why visiting is not possible at that time.

To help keep everyone safe, visitors are also encouraged to have a voluntary Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting and then undertake these tests twice per week for as long as they are the named visitor. Rapid Lateral Flow tests are now available to everyone in Scotland and can be ordered online or collected from Covid-19 community test centres in the afternoon or early evening. This is an optional additional safety measure and is not mandatory in order to visit.

Visitors are asked not to bring additional family and friends with them unless they are a carer accompanying a family member or a parent accompanying a child.

When visiting the hospital, all visitors must:

  • Use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and leaving clinical areas
  • Wear a face covering/mask at all times, unless they are covered by an exemption
  • Maintain physical distancing at all times
  • Take the stairs if possible, to avoid congregating in lift lobbies and communal areas
  • Contact the ward to discuss arrangements before visiting
  • Visitors MUST NOT attend if they are unwell, if they are a household contact or have been otherwise informed that they are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have been advised to self-isolate or have to self-isolate for another reason (e.g., travel from a country requiring quarantine).

Virtual Visiting

Family and friends who are unable to visit in person can continue to stay in touch using technology such as FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. Staff can provide assistance and arrange access for any patients who do not have their own phone or tablet or have no experience of making or receiving video calls.