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Visiting and other ways to stay in touch

We have seen a marked increase in Covid-19 positive cases, and the number of patients we are caring for has increased. Our priority is to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, local communities and staff. As a result there will be special exceptions for visitors in the following circumstances only:

  • Immediate family members/partners of those receiving end-of-life care.
  • Accompanying a patient who is receiving bad news.
  • Carers for patients who require assistance e.g. supporting someone with a mental health condition, dementia, delirium, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
  • For antenatal scans: One adult visitor may attend the 20-week fetal anatomy scan with the pregnant woman. It is helpful if the person accompanying downloads the NHS track and trace QR app on a SMART phone when attending.
  • You are the birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour. You can attend during labour, birth and the immediate postnatal period (usually a couple of hours). The birthing partner cannot be swapped. See our Maternity pages for more in-depth information.
  • Children can continue to have one parent visiting/resident at any time.
  • We are sorry but children under the age of 16 cannot visit patients at this time.

We will arrange the visit:

  • We will be in touch with you if a visit can be facilitated as explained above
  • You will be risk assessed to determine whether you can visit the hospital
  • You will not be able visit if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating

Please DO NOT visit hospital if: 

  • You are showing any signs of Covid-19 (new continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell)
  • You are self-isolating with other people showing signs of Coronavirus or anyone who has been contacted by the Test and Trace programme.

Your health, safety and wellbeing, that of our patients, communities, individuals and teams across the organisation remain our absolute priority, and we continue to review visiting restrictions regularly.

We appreciate this is a very challenging time and thank you for your continued patience.

12th November 2020

We appreciate it's very challenging right now for those with loved ones being cared for in our hospitals.

We have a number of ways you can stay in touch by phone and video, and we have also set up other ways to stay in touch if this isn’t always possible:

Letter to a Loved One

A dedicated way for relatives, friends or carers to post a message to their loved one who is currently an in-patient. We will deliver your message in the hope it will brighten their day and aid in their recovery – send your message here

Dedicated Relatives' Line

Set up to give families quick and direct updates on their loved ones at this difficult time. It is a single point of contact given to relatives or a designated friend when a patient is admitted. It is password protected and the team manning the number will have access to our patient information, so our ward staff have more time to care for their patients.

  • Telephone number: 01484 355370
  • Times: 07:30 – 19:30 seven days per week

Virtual visiting

Our ward staff and Relatives' Line staff can assist in the setting up of a virtual visit on the ward between the patient relative/friend/carer, promoting face-time contact using a device that we provide. 

Property for inpatients can be dropped off at the entrance to the ward. Please make sure the items are packaged with your loved one’s name and ring the buzzer when you arrive so we can take it for them, as we won’t be able to let you enter the ward. 

Please only send essential items and keep property to a minimum. This helps us keep our areas clutter-free and makes them easier to clean, helping to keep infection rates down. 

Due to increased demand we can no longer accept hot or cold food and you should avoid sending perishables. The items we recommend you bring if required are: 

  • Night and day clothes
  • Sensible footwear
  • Toiletries
  • Two books and a jigsaw, if appropriate
  • If you wish to bring in snacks please keep them to a minimum. Snack-food should have a long shelf life and require no preparation, such as biscuits
  • If your relative has a mobile phone or tablet computer and did not bring it to hospital then you may wish to bring one in along with a charger. Please let the nurse in charge know if this is the case so they can add it to the patient belongings register.

* The Trust cannot be held responsible for valuables which are brought onto Trust sites at your own risk.

Everyone should follow the expert national guidance on social distancing (2metres within our hospital) and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of coronavirus, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.

If you come into our hospital we ask you to wear a face mask or covering – read more here

** see our general Coronavirus page here **

*** Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time. ***