Update on Hospital Visiting Arrangements

Patients in NHS Forth Valley hospitals will continue to be able have at least one visitor at a time and up to two people for essential visits which includes visits to support people with dementia, learning disabilities and autism.

There will be some flexibility on the timing and duration of visits, wherever possible, and there are no restrictions on time or the number of people providing support for patients receiving end of life care.

These arrangements, which are designed to ensure patients continue to have access to support from family and friends while helping to keep everyone safe, will be reviewed regularly as we work towards reinstating pre-Covid visiting arrangements.

Senior Charge Nurses and their teams will continue to provide guidance and support to visitors and anyone wishing to visit is asked to contact the relevant ward. in advance, to make arrangements for their planned visit. Visitors will also be asked to continue to provide their contact details for Test and Protect monitoring.

Women will be able to have one person accompany them to ante-natal appointments and maternity scans and up to two birth partners to provide support during labour and birth. One birth partner and a designated visitor will also be able to visit after the birth.

Visitors are also asked not to bring additional family and friends with them unless they are a carer accompanying a visitor, a parent accompanying a child or visiting someone who is receiving end of life care. Family members of friends who cannot visit in person can continue to use video and phone calls to help stay in touch and ward staff can help organise these ‘virtual visits’, if required.

Professor Angela Wallace, Director of Nursing, NHS Forth Valley, said: “We know how much patients benefit from seeing friends and family and these arrangements are designed to strike the balance between supporting visits while keeping patients and staff as safe as possible during the ongoing pandemic.

“We will keep these arrangements under review and hope to extend them further as soon as we can. In the meantime, I would like to thank local families for their ongoing patience and support as we work towards reinstating our previous visiting arrangements.”

To help keep everyone safe, all visitors are strongly recommended to have a Voluntary Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting and then undertake these twice per week. Information on how to order Lateral Flow Tests is available on NHS Inform.

Visitors must wear a surgical face mask at all times during their visit rather than a fabric face mask or covering. Supplies of these single use blue disposable face masks are available at main hospital receptions. Hand sanitiser must also be used before entering the hospital and before and after you leave a ward and visitors must maintain physical distancing during their visit.

Anyone who is feeling unwell, is a close contact of a confirmed case or has been asked to self-isolate for any reason (e.g. due to travel or a household member testing positive) should not visit a hospital until they have completed the necessary period of self-isolation. If in doubt you should always check with ward staff before you visit.