COVID-19: Changes to Visitors Policy

Visiting guidelines for Whittington Hospital's Adult Inpatient Wards

Update March 2021

Following a period of restricting visitors to our wards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed our visiting policy and we are pleased to be able to re-introduce adult inpatient visiting by booked appointment only.
 
Please note that we will continually review this policy and so it is important that anyone planning to visit calls the ward before arriving.

Visiting is for one hour to allow all patients to receive a visit where possible and we ask that only one nominated family member visits unless otherwise agreed with the nurse in charge.
 
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. Our most important aim is to keep our patients and their families and our staff safe so please be patient with us if we ask you not to visit.
 

Please do not visit if you have been self-isolating before your visit or have tested positive for COVID-19

 

Who can visit?

We are pleased to be able to offer one close family member or somebody else close to the patient the opportunity to  visit in a one-hour timeslot which must be pre-booked in advance. 

Why have we put these measures in place?

We understand how difficult it is to be unable to see and speak to loved ones whilst they are in hospital. Whilst we cannot return to our usual visiting guidelines, we hope that this will offer some comfort to both our patients and loved ones.

How should I prepare for my visit?

Please read the following guidelines before your visit:
  • You will need to wear a mask when you enter the hospital and your temperature will be taken at the hospital entrance.
  • Do write down any questions you have before arriving at the hospital as you may forget; you can bring in cards / letters from other family members and friends too
  • Please follow national guidance when travelling to and from the hospital to minimise the risk of exposure to the virus.
  • Please bring as few belongings as possible e.g. bags to minimise the risk of infection.

What should I expect when I visit the hospital?

Please arrive wearing a face covering and wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you arrive
  • There are also hand-sanitising points around the hospital please feel free to use them
  •  We have one-way systems in place in certain areas, our floor signage will guide you when you arrive
  • Please follow social distancing guidelines and stay 2 metres apart from others
  • Our lifts have restrictions on the number of people allowed in at any one time, these are signposted net to the lift car
  • Please do not enter a lift which has the maximum number of people in it. If you can use the stairs, please do

What should I expect when I arrive at the ward I am visiting?

You will be provided with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by staff and guided where to clean your hands and how to put on protective equipment as necessary.

  • Our staff will support you if you are not clear about how to use PPE safely
  • Please ensure you tell our staff if you have any allergies to latex
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask which must not be touched or removed while visiting your loved one

Reassurance for your visit

Our staff will do all they can to protect you and support you during your visit and will advise you of additional risks.
  • If your loved one is receiving end of life care you may wish to hold their hand and remove your glove.
  • Advice will be given so that you can make a decision knowing all the risks and how to do this as safely as possible.
  • Please follow all instructions given by our staff carefully, they will guide you to remove and dispose of all the PPE appropriately
  • Ensure that you wash your hands for at last 20 seconds on leaving the hospital

What to do after your visit

Please go straight home after your visit; do not visit any other areas of the hospital.

  • You will not be required to self-isolate following your visit, as your risk from virus transmission will have been minimised by appropriate personal protective equipment and hand washing while in the hospital.

Other things to be aware of

We have also implemented some additional health and safety measures at this time to keep everyone safe:
  • Please do not eat or drink whilst visiting the ward
  • You will not be able to use the toilets on the ward you are visiting. Please use the public toilets located in the main hospital
  • Please do not sit on beds, we will provide chairs for you to sit on
  • Patients with COVID-19 cannot have visitors until they have had a negative swab result.  This should take 24 hours.
  • Please do not visit if you have been self-isolating before your visit or have tested positive for COVID-19

Exceptions to these guidelines

Exceptions to the visiting guidelines apply to the following wards:
  • Paediatrics wards
  • Maternity
  • NICU/SCBU (Paediatrics)
  • End of Life
  • Emergency Department

If your loved one is on one of these wards please call them directly to check their visiting policy.

How to keep in touch if you can't visit

You may still phone your friends or relatives on their personal mobile phone (these are permitted in our hospital and we encourage patients to have their own phone with them).

If patients do not have a mobile phone you will find details of phone numbers for each of our wards.
 
We are also able to support patients to stay in contact with relatives during this time via:
 

 

Please try to avoid calling between 12 - 2pm and 5 - 6pm as our staff will be occupied serving meals to patients.

Maternity Services
Please read our Covid-19 Maternity FAQs to get the latest advice on visitors, birth partners and any other restrictions or guidance we have in place 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.
Working on it!