COVID-19: Changes to Visitors Policy

Visiting Guidelines for Whittington Hospital’s Adult Inpatient Wards - September 2020
 
During the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic strict visiting restrictions were put in place across the hospital to reduce the risk of infection to patients, staff and visitors. This has been one of the hardest actions implemented as a result of the pandemic as we know how important it is for patients to be in contact with their families and friends and supported by those they love when they are ill. 
 
As the prevalence of Covid-19 has reduced across London we are able to ease visiting restrictions and once again allow visitors back in to see their loved ones. We will still need to maintain social distancing and adhere to infection control measures and the following guidance has been developed to support this. Please wear a face covering at all times when you are in our hospital.
 
Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus must not visit. Recognised symptoms include:
  • High temperature
  • Recent onset of a new continuous cough
  • Loss or change to sense of taste or smell
Inpatient visiting 
The following changes have been made to allow visiting possible for patients on our inpatient wards. These are excluding maternity and Children and Young People services where visiting procedures are already in place.
 
Only one visitor per patient will be permitted to the ward at any one time. Please call the ward to book your place before visiting.
 
 Visiting times are:
  • Odd bed numbers: 2.00pm – 3.00pm
  • Even bed numbers: 3:30pm – 4.30pm

Evening Visiting
To accommodate visitors who work, please call ahead of your visit to arrange a time.

Visiting to our Critical Care Unit will be restricted and will be at the discretion of the critical care team and by invitation only. 
 
For other wards, we are allowing visiting in certain circumstances. This could include a patient who is receiving end-of-life care or if you are supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. With these, and any other individual case, please call the ward area before planning to visit so that our team can advise you if we can support you visiting your relative or friend during this period.
 
Maternity Services
Our maternity service users can now bring two consistent birth partners if they are using our Labour Ward or Birth Centre or for a planned caesarean. This can be a member of your family, a doula, birth companion or an independent midwife. Please note that partner(s) will be required to wear a face mask at all times.
 
The one partner restriction continues to apply to antenatal care, the Neonatal unit, theatres and on the postnatal ward. Unfortunately no siblings are allowed to visit at this time.
 
Children and Young People Inpatient Wards
Where admissions are less than 7 days, we will continue to permit one parent or carer per family to be resident with their child. Where the admission is longer than 7 days we can allow one parent or carer (per family) at any one time. In addition,  a named second parent or carer is able swap out every 7 days.
 
We are sorry that these restrictions will cause anxiety for some relatives who are understandably anxious to see their loved ones when they are unwell. You may still phone your friends or relatives on their personal mobile phone (these are permitted in our hospital).
 
If they do not have a mobile phone you will find details of phone numbers for each of our wards by clicking here.  We are also able to support patients to stay in contact with relatives - either through Patient-Relative video calls or through our Thinking of You message scheme.
 
Please try to avoid calling between 12.00 - 2.00pm and 5.00 - 6.00pm as our staff will be occupied serving meals to patients.
Working on it!