In light of Government changes to Covid restrictions, the NHS in Gloucestershire has reviewed arrangements for visiting in the county’s hospitals.
From Wednesday 9 February 2022, one visitor per patient will be allowed for one hour each day. Visitors must book visits beforehand, at a prearranged time, generally between 11am and 8pm but please check with the hospital as this does vary in some areas due to patients’ needs.
There will be some exceptions in special circumstances and where patients would benefit from a carer being with them, for example for ongoing personal, physical and emotional care and support whilst in hospital. This might include patients with learning disabilities, dementia, cognitive impairment or other vulnerabilities. Other circumstances where exceptions can be made include visiting on compassionate grounds such as when the patient is at end of life
Craig Bradley, Deputy Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased to be able to invite visitors back into our wards as we know just how difficult it has been for families, friends and loved ones not to be able to visit since we implemented restrictions to keep our patients and staff safe and help to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in our hospitals.
“Sadly, we cannot yet completely ease the restrictions due to the ongoing high numbers of infections in the county but we do hope that by enabling one visitor to come in and see a patient each day, this will help close contacts, while still enabling us to ensure we maintain the low infection rates we have worked so hard, together, to achieve.”
John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who adapted to the visiting restrictions we’ve had in place. We introduced digital visiting options, such as iPads for video calls, at hospitals in the county and encouraged contact via phone. However, there’s nothing like a personal visit to give our patients a boost. we know how important human contact is while people are in hospital and we’re pleased that we can once more welcome visitors into our buildings with some important limitations to keep everyone safe.”
From Wednesday 9 February 2022 onwards, visiting guidance for adult inpatient areas is as follows:
- One visitor can visit one patient for one hour a day at a prearranged time between 11am and 8pm
- Visits should be booked in advance via ward staff
- Please complete a Lateral Flow Test before visiting and if possible provide proof of a negative result via the NHS app or website. Please do not visit if you test positive.
- Visitors must wear a type IIR surgical mask throughout the duration of their visit and keep 1-2 metres away from other people wherever possible
- Visitors are not required to be same person each time
- We ask all visitors to sanitise their hands on entering and leaving the ward with alcohol hand sanitiser outside each ward and department
- Anyone who cannot wear a surgical face mask cannot visit unless this has first been discussed and agreed with the Infection Prevention and Control Team (the Nurse in charge must have this discussion first prior to arrangement of a visit)
- If you would like to request a visit for exceptional reasons or to provide personal care and support to a vulnerable patient, please speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.
- If you have not yet had a Covid vaccination or are not up to date with the booster please consider getting one as this helps keep our patients and care colleagues safe
Please do not visit if:
- You are required to self-isolate because you live in a household where someone has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days
- You have tested positive for COVID-19, including via a lateral flow test
- You are displaying symptoms of COVID-19
- Visitors who were previously shielding should remain cautious about visiting and have strict adherence to the social distancing, face mask and hand hygiene guidelines.
Accompanying others into hospital
- Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs.
- One parent or guardian may accompany a person under the age of 16 to the Emergency Department, Minor Injury and Illness Units, or to an Outpatients appointment.
- If you are planning to collect a patient leaving hospital, please contact the ward for instructions on where to meet them. Only one person should enter the hospital building to collect a patient. Please do not wait for patients inside the hospital building, unless you have been asked to by a member of staff. This is because having lots of people inside the hospital increases the risk of infection to patients, staff and volunteers.
For Maternity visiting, including advice about lateral flow tests, please visit: https://www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk/our-services/services-we-offer/maternity/care-and-support-during-coronavirus-covid-19/changes-maternity-services/
The updated restrictions will apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and seven community hospitals in the county:
- The Dilke (Cinderford)
- North Cotswolds (Moreton-in-Marsh)
- The Vale (Dursley)
They are also applicable to the county’s mental health and learning disability inpatient units:
- Wotton Lawn (Gloucester)
- Charlton Lane (Cheltenham)
- Berkeley House (Stroud)
- Laurel House (Cheltenham)
- Honeybourne (Cheltenham)
Children’s Wards and Neonatal Intensive Care (only applies to Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS FT)
- As previously, visiting is restricted to parents, carers or guardians only and must be household members
- Only two visitors are allowed per child at any one time. This should be the same two visitors on each occasion
- Please discuss siblings visiting with the nurse in charge
- Only two visitors are permitted on the neonatal ward at any one time, this should be parents or guardians only; if parents, both can visit at the same time