The refreshed rules, which will be reviewed again in a few weeks’ time, mean that the majority of adult inpatients can have two visitors each day for up to two hours – either together or at different times, however individuals are asked to call ahead before attending. This new policy will come into place from Monday 25 April 2022.
While visiting restrictions will be eased in almost all services, local residents are asked to note that rules for those undergoing planned elective surgery remain unchanged. Families and loved ones are encouraged to keep in touch via means of electronic communication – this is to reduce a patient’s risk of developing COVID-19 during the peri-operative period and reduces the risk of associated complications. For longer stay elective patients (in hospital over three days) one nominated visitor can visit for a maximum of one hour per day, following lateral flow test.
Abigail Trainer, Chief Nurse at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH), said: “Following a recent spike, and subsequent decline, in COVID-19 activity within our hospitals, we are pleased to be able to relax our visiting restrictions.
“We know that being in hospital is difficult at the best of times and we are regularly reviewing what policies we have in place, taking the opportunity to rescind certain things as soon as we are able. Our new rules mean that two people per day can visit for up to two hours – we do however ask that people keep the number of different visitors during their stay to a minimum and that families coordinate this as best as they can.
“We are still operating some restrictions such as those in elective surgery, so we ask that individuals read the guidance carefully and we will continue to review our position on a regular basis, with the next in around four weeks. I want to also stress the importance that anyone coming to our sites must wear an appropriate face covering, wash their hands regularly and please do not attend, under any circumstances, if you have a cough, cold, diarrhoea, vomiting or a temperature.”
The Trust’s visiting restrictions have been updated to the following:
- All Adult inpatients – Two individuals allowed to visit daily, either together or separately, please call ahead to confirm your attendance.
- Compassionate Visiting – Two nominated Visitors/carers of patients with complex needs, those on palliative care, have learning disabilities, dementia, autism or a mental health need, are asked to call ahead but are not restricted to two hours.
- End of Life –There are no restrictions in the number of visitors that can attend but we ask that only two at a time visit. We ask that visiting parties do not congregate in entrances or on corridors.
- Paediatric care – For full guidance, please head to: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/…/paediatric-neonatal-services…/
- Maternity services – For full guidance, please head to: https://www.dbth.nhs.uk/…/maternity-services-visiting…/
- Emergency Department (A&E) – Visitors are only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please discuss with nurse in charge for adult patients if they are on end of life care or have complex needs.
- Patients having elective surgery (inpatient and day surgery): Patients having planned elective surgery have to self-isolate prior to surgery. This is to reduce a patient’s risk of developing COVID-19 during the peri-operative period and reduces the risk of associated complications. Visitors are asked to use electronic means of keeping in touch until the patient is discharged home to reduce any potential risk of transmission of coronavirus during the post-operative. However, for longer stay elective patients (in hospital over three days) one nominated visitor can visit for a maximum of one hour per day. Visitors must have tested negative via lateral flow on the day they are attending, wear a face mask, must be well and without any COVID-19, cold or flu-like symptoms and had no recent contact with anyone COVID positive. Visitors must call ahead to the relevant service to confirm their attendance time with the ward team. Due to the nature of this pathway of care, we strongly recommend visits are kept to a minimum.
In January, the Trust also introduced the Family Liaison Service to help families and loved ones stay in touch during a hospital stay, as well as coordinate the pick-up and drop-off of personal property, physical letters and arrangement of video calls if support is needed. The service can be contacted on email@example.com or via telephone 01302 648 064, Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.