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Wards and visiting

Updated 06.10.2022

Face coverings: our mask wearing guidance has changed as of Thursday 6 October 2022.

From Thursday 6 October we will be making it mandatory for all visitors to adult inpatient wards and clinical areas to wear facemasks and we will be restricting visiting to one visitor for one hour per day. 

Unless visitors are medically exempt, we will ask that visitors to clinical areas wear a mask to stop the spread of COVID and keep our patients and colleagues safe. 

This decision has been made as we have seen an increase in COVID cases at both hospitals in the last week and we are also seeing an increase in cases locally and regionally.  

To support visitors with this requirement face masks will be available on site and our team may ask you to put one on. Please support them as they work to keep everyone safe and be kind to them. 

We are also reminding our visitors to please not come to the hospital site if they have any symptoms of COVID, coughs colds, vomiting or diarrhoea. If visitors do come to the hospitals with any symptoms, they will be asked to leave. We would also ask that anyone who has tested positive for COVID does not visit the hospital unless they need urgent medical care. We know that it’s hard to not see loved ones, however video calls are still available at both sites. Please see further details on the hospital’s website. 

We would also encourage our patients to wear masks when visiting the hospital for appointments and when staying with us on a ward. 

We are working really hard to be able to allow visiting to continue. At the current time other visiting restrictions will not change, and we would ask for the local community to support us once again in doing what they can to protect patients and colleagues.

Visitors to all areas must:

  • Complete a welfare check of symptoms on arrival
  • Visitors must clean their hands
  • Not attend the hospital to visit if they have any symptoms of COVID or test positive


Visiting on adult wards:

  • Will be restricting visiting to one visitor for one hour per day, during either 2-4 or 6-8pm in our green COVID negative zones.

Visiting to Critical Care and Talbot Butler:

  • Visiting may still need to be pre-booked with the ward and will be at the ward managers discretion.

  • Visitors may be asked to complete a lateral flow test before coming onto the ward. This will be supplied by the hospital.


Visiting on paediatric wards:

  • One resident parent may stay with their child for the duration of their stay. This visitor will be offered lateral flow testing on day 1, 3 and 5 of the stay which will be provided by the ward. Parents or guardians may swap once during the child's stay.

  • A consistent second parent or guardian may also visit for 2 hours per day subject to admission screen. This visitor will be asked to complete a symptom checker prior to visiting. This will be provided by the ward.

  • A second parent or guardian may also visit for 2 hours per day. This visitor may be asked to complete a lateral flow test prior to visiting. This will be provided by the ward.  Sibling visiting will continue to be reviewed regularly.

 

Visiting on our neonatal ward:

  • Two parents or guardians are able to visit any time on the neonatal ward.

  • The parents or guardians will be asked to complete lateral flow testing twice weekly. These will be provided by the ward.

  • Grandparents and siblings over 12 may visit during a pre-booked time slot following a negative lateral flow test.

 

Visiting on maternity wards:

  • Women and birthing people will still be asked to complete a test on arrival.

  • Birth partners are able to visit the post-natal wards. Please contact the ward on the day for times and visiting guidance.

 

Visiting to antenatal appointments and ultrasound scans:

  • Visitors will no longer need to show a negative lateral flow test.

  • One birth partner will be able to visit during appointments.

  • Visitors must social distance

 

Outpatient visiting:

  • Where possible patients should not bring a visitor with them to an outpatient appointment.

  • Visiting will be permitted for those who need additional support from a visitor during their visit.

  • Visitors may be asked to wait in another area depending on social distancing.

Emergency Department visiting:

  • Where possible patients should not bring a visitor with them to the Emergency Department.

  • Visiting will be permitted for those who need additional support from a visitor during their visit.

  • Visitors will be required to wear a mask and may be asked to wait outside or in another area depending on social distancing. If the department is busy we may not be able to facilitate visiting.

 

Supporting our patients and their loved ones: When patients come into hospital or change between wards and departments, our team will make sure they consider reasonable adjustments for those patients who have additional needs such as dementia, learning disabilities or autism. 

  • We have visiting restrictions in place, however wards and departments should always be reviewing patients and supporting any of those with additional needs ensuring reasonable adjustments are in place as required. Wards and departments have the flexibility to support patients and their carers as defined in the visiting policy and carers policy.

  • These adjustments should be reviewed on an individual basis based on the needs of the patient at the time. If you have any concerns please speak to the ward or department manager.

If visitors have lateral flow tests available, we would always advise people to complete testing for their own safety and the safety of others.

 

The guidance may change at any time depending on our local COVID-19 situation and hospital response.

 

Patient WhatsApp Video Calls:

We are offering video calls between patients and loved ones. Our patient video call service enables loved ones to stay in contact. This volunteer managed service is available Monday to Friday 09.30am-4.00pm.

To book please call 01604 544136.

If the call goes to voicemail please leave a message with your name, telephone number and the date and time you would like the call to take place. You will be contacted as soon as possible to confirm this and arrange your call.

We are offering a service where loved ones can drop off essential items to a dedicated area, these are then delivered to the patient.

This volunteer led service is available Monday to Friday 9.30am-4.00pm (excluding bank holidays) at the South Entrance information desk. 

To use this service please take note of the following process:

  • When preparing belongings please ensure you only pack essential items. These include toiletries, a mobile phone, phone charger or clothing items. You are welcome to include a letter to your loved one in the bag.
  • Please do not pack any valuables. It will not be possible for staff on the ward to complete a property checklist and any belongings brought in will not be the responsibility of the hospital.
  • Ensure items are packed in a plastic bag which is closed/sealed.
  • Clearly label the bag with the patient name and the ward they are on.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, only one relative or friend should come onto the site to bring the bag.
  • On arrival please go to the volunteers desk inside the South Entrance.
  • Only one person should enter the hospital to drop the property off, and they must wear a mask.
  • Items will be taken to your loved one within an hour of them being dropped off. Unfortunately we will not be able to tell you when they have received the bag.

If you have any questions on the service please contact the volunteers service on 01604 544136.

Loved ones can sent a letter and/or photos to their relative who is in hospital. You can send letters via email tomy.lovedone@nhs.net or text or call 07514978390. Please include your relatives full name and which ward they are on with their message.

The local community are welcome to send in letters to be given to patients in the hospital who may not be receiving contact from family & friends at this time. These letters should be addressed to to my friend, and be sent tomy.lovedone@nhs.net or posted to the patient experience team at:

FAO: Patient Experience Team,

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust,

Cliftonville,

Northampton, NN1 5BD

Letters will be collated and distributed to patients in the wards throughout the hospital.

 

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