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Wards and visiting

Visiting restrictions at Northampton General Hospital are being partially lifted. Visiting must be booked in advance. Please read all of the relevant information below before visiting.

Visiting will currently only be permitted in green designated wards.

If you do visit the hospital please make sure you make sure you wear a face covering or mask.

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

Some departments have exceptions; these can be found in the drop down list below:

We are now permitting some booked visiting for green designated wards in the hospital. Booking is required and if you do not have an appointment booked then you will not be allowed onto the ward. Please read all of the information below before booking.

Wards which have infected or exposed patients cannot be visited- except by exception for end-of-life-care purposes.

Visiting is not allowed for our two urgent care wards Esther White and Walter Tull.

 

Visiting times

2.00pm - 6.00pm daily. Visitors will be allocated one 45 minute slot and they must be from the same household or support bubble. The 5 - 5.45pm slot will only be for visitors who are supporting with feeding a patient.

 

Number of visitors allowed

Our ward teams will be able to advise you on how many visitors will be permitted. In most areas of the hospital only one visitor will be permitted and children are not allowed to visit.

  • For patients staying in a four bedded bay: One visitor from the same household or support bubble
  • For patients staying in a six bedded bay: One or two visitors from the same household or support bubble

For end of life patients and in special circumstances more visitors may be able to attend subject to prior arangement. Visiting times and arrangements for patients with learning disabilities will be arranged on an individual basis depending on the patient’s needs.

 

How to book

Please call the ward team between 9.30-11.30am on the day before you would like to visit, to book a slot with the ward team for the following day. For example, you would need to ring on a Monday morning to book a visit for Tuesday.

 You will be able to book one 45 minute slot per day per patient. You must have an appointment to visit.

If you are unsure of the number please look at our ward telephone list. The line may be busy so please be patient and try again if needed.

 

Coming to the hospital

When you arrive at the hospital please have your face covering ready. You will need to wear this as soon as you enter the building. Please only use the South or Main Entrances as the other doors around the hospital will remain locked.

 

PPE

You will be asked to wear a face covering when entering the hospital building. When you arrive at the ward we will ask you to change into a surgical mask so we can ensure you are protected.

 

 

Social distancing

Visitors must be asked to keep at least 1 metre away from the person they  are visiting (2 metre if possible) and at least 2m from all other patients and staff. If there is a place chair here spot on the floor in the bay, please sit here.

We know it may be incredibly hard however we would ask that you don’t hug or touch your loved one. By touching them or being too close to them you may increase the risk of infection. If you are a little but too close please don’t be offended if our ward teams ask you to move apart.

We would ask you to please only bring the things you need with you. By bringing only what you absolutely need you will help us to minimise the risk of infection.

Visiting may be subject to change at any time. We recommend you visit our website before booking your appointment or visiting.

Disney and Paddington wards

  • One or two parents or guardians per child. Both of these visitors must be from the same household bubble.
  • No other visitors or siblings.
  • One parent or guardian is allowed to stay with their child overnight.
  • For suspected or positive COVID patients, only one accompanying adult is allowed
  • Additional provisions are decided on an individual basis based on family support and health needs
  • If patients are in a bay with other patients then masks will be expected to be worn by the patient (if eligible), parent and visitor at all times.
  • Parents/guardiansmust always wear a face covering when entering and moving through the hospital and wear hospital face masks on the wards.
  • If parents/guardians are in a cubicle and within their family bubble masks may be removed, but must be put back on to allow for staff to enter the room.

 

Gosset ward

  • Both parents or a guardian can visit per child
  • No other visitors or siblings
  • This is co-ordinated by the ward via telephone prior to attending
  • Parents/guardians must always wear a face covering when entering and moving through the hospital and wear hospital face masks on the wards.
  • If parents/guardians are in a cubicle and within their family bubble masks may be removed, but must be in situ for staff to enter the room.

 

Children’s Outpatient’s Department & Children’s Hub

When bringing a child to an appointment in the Children’s Outpatients Department and also in the Children’s Hub, only one parent/guardian may accompany the child to the appointment. All parents must wear a mask on entering the building and for the duration of the appointment. This is to ensure social distancing and Covid-19 guidelines are adhered to, to protect patients and staff.

No visitors unless there is an exceptional circumstance. If a patient needs support with complex/difficult decision making a support visitor may be asked to join them for that part of their visit to support the decision being made. They may then be asked to leave the department again. Visiting will not be permitted in Urgent Care unless there is extenuating circumstances.

If you come to the hospital for an outpatient appointment please don’t bring someone with you. If it is essential that you have someone with you please let us know and make sure you only bring one person and that you do not bring any children.

You will be able to call someone whilst you are attending your appointment so a relative/carer/friend can listen in to your consultation, however video calling is not allowed.

In the upsetting or difficult circumstance where patients may be at the end of their lives different visiting restrictions will apply. These times are to be agreed at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

No visitors unless there is an exceptional circumstance. If a patient needs support with complex/difficult decision making a support visitor may be asked to join them for that part of their visit to support the decision being made. They may then be asked to leave the department again. Visiting will not be permitted in Urgent Care unless there is extenuating circumstances.

 

For maternity patients

One support partner is permitted to attend scan appointments.

In order to facilitate visiting, your partner will be required to undertake a Lateral Flow Test prior to your scan. This is a rapid test designed to determine whether you or another person is carrying coronavirus without symptoms. It is extremely important that if you are having symptoms or self-isolating that you do not attend for your appointment and you contact your midwife or the maternity unit for advice.

We ask that you collect the lateral flow test kit from your local Pharmacy. The tests are available free of charge from your local Boots, Lloyds, some of your local supermarket pharmacies and some of your more local pharmacies.  You can also order your Lateral Flow Test from: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests  

Once you collect the test your partner will be required to self-administer the test the evening before you attend your appointment. If your appointment is in the afternoon, a test could be taken in the morning. Once you have received the outcome of the test you will be required to register this on the national website: https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result this then generates a text/email which you will need for your appointment.

If you have any concerns about accessing a lateral flow test please speak to your Community Midwife.

 

Information for when attending Radiology

 

For GP patients

X-rays at NGH will be available on an appointment only basis. Appointments are available 7 days a week. The bookings will take into account clinical urgency and same day appointments will be available. To make an appointment please call 01604 544397 between 7.30am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday.

 

For outpatients (rheumatology, urology, podiatry, dermatology etc)

A walk-in service is available 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Appointments can also be made for those wishing to, by calling 01604 544397, (Including those shielding or high clinical risk.) We do offer some appointments outside the walk-in access hours.

 

Urgent access is available for those who come through A&E

Please remember when coming into Radiology to wear a mask or face covering, arrive no earlier than 5 minutes to your appointment and follow the NGH visiting guidance.

Maternity visiting is now permitted for outpatient appointments and inpatient stays. Visiting to outpatient appointments will be subject to showing a negative lateral flow test. Your partner will be screened each time they enter Labour ward, the Birth Centre or the postnatal wards at Northampton General Hospital. If your partner declines a test or if the results aren't back yet they will still be able to support you whilst in labour or having an Elective Caesarean section (ELLSCS), however they will not be able to visit ward areas.

Partners will be tested when their partner is admitted or if they are having an elective caesarean section this will be offered at the pre-op check. This will be done on site at NGH, there is no need to arrange a separate test.

If at any time your partner presents with a positive result to COVID-19, they must return home and will be advised to self-isolate for 14 days to protect patients and staff

Partners will be asked to stay by the bedside and will not be able to wander about the ward or use the toilet facilities.

 

Visiting to outpatient appointments for one support partner including our maternity hubs including:

  • Face to face outpatient consultations
  • All scans in the Ultrasound department
  • Maternity Day Unit pre-booked appointments and triage
  • Community Antenatal appointments at our Far Cotton and Billing Road hubs

 

In order to facilitate visiting, your partner will be required to undertake a Lateral Flow Test prior to your scan. This is a rapid test designed to determine whether you or another person is carrying coronavirus without symptoms. It is extremely important that if you are having symptoms or self-isolating that you do not attend for your appointment and you contact your midwife or the maternity unit for advice.

We ask that you collect the lateral flow test kit from your local Pharmacy. The tests are available free of charge from your local Boots, Lloyds, some of your local supermarket pharmacies and some of your more local pharmacies.  You can also order your Lateral Flow Test online.  

 

Once you collect the test your partner will be required to self-administer the test the evening before you attend your appointment. If your appointment is in the afternoon, a test could be taken in the morning. Once you have received the outcome of the test you will be required to register this on the national website, this then generates a text/email which you will need for your appointment.

If you have any concerns about accessing a lateral flow test please speak to your Community Midwife.

 

Inpatient visiting including during labour and after birth for one support partner

  • Partners are able to stay during induction of labour, during the stay of their partner on Labour ward, Labour ward Theatres and the recovery room following theatre, in a safe and COVID secure way.
  • Partners can now stay until 22.00 during the Induction Process and in the Observation Area.
  • Birth partners will be able to accompany their partner to the postnatal ward following delivery, if this is after 7.30pm in the evening, partners will be asked to go home shortly after arrival to the postnatal ward.
  • Daily visiting on the postnatal ward has been extended to 2pm-7.30pm.
  • Birth partners will be swabbed for COVID on the day of arrival to Labour ward and on alternate days thereafter on the postnatal wards.  We ask that birth partners help us all to stay safe by cleaning their hands regularly, wearing a face mask, keeping a 2 metre distance from other patients and staff and remaining in the allocated bed space or room at all times.

Different visiting arrangements may apply to:                 

  • Corby Community Hospital                  
  • Danetre Hospital Daventry                  
  • Isebrook Hospital (Hazelwood Ward) Wellingborough                                        

Some other specialist wards may also have different arrangements, and ward managers can use their discretion in exceptional circumstances. More restricted visiting times may be in place temporarily from time to time.                

Please refer to this list of ward contact numbers and contact the relevant ward to confirm current arrangements, particularly if you are travelling some distance to visit.

If you are coming in to the hospital you must wear a mask and wash your hands when entering or leaving a ward - with soap and water or the alcohol gel provided.

Facilities for using alcohol gel have been provided near to all the ward entrances and at the bedsides.                

Please use the bedside visitors’ chairs and do not sit on hospital beds. Please do not use patients’ toilets but use the separate toilets for visitors instead.                

Mobile phones, cameras and camcorders must not be used in ward areas.                

Children are not permitted to visit at this time.     

Ringing for details: Please use this list of ward telephone numbers to dial direct to a particular ward. If the number you want is not available, contact the switchboard on 01604 634700.

We also have a number of services available to you that may be helpful during this time

Do you require information about a relative who is in hospital and you are not able to visit them?

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust has set up a Helpline dedicated to providing updates to relatives of patients who are admitted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

You will be asked to confirm your relationship to the patient as our staff are only able to release personal information to the patients next of kin (as confirmed by the patient). The patient’s next of kin will be asked to be the point of contact for updates and to relay messages to the rest of the family.

 

Please call our Helpline on 01604 545774
(Select option 2)

 

Helpline hours:

Monday to Friday
9.30am – 3.00pm

 

You will also be asked what questions you would like the team to ask the clinical team who are caring for your loved one.  Once all of this information has been obtained you will receive a call back (where possible on the same day) to provide you with answers to your questions.

Our Helpline team are not medical staff but they are very experienced in providing help and support during what we all understand are very difficult times.

 

Patient WhatsApp Video Calls:

If you want to arrange a video call with your loved one, please contact our Response Volunteer Service on 01604 544136 and they will be able to make the necessary arrangements for you.

Monday to Thursday: 9.30 until 15.00

Friday: 9.30 until 15.00

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.

This service will run from Monday- Friday 09.30-2.30pm (excluding bank holidays) at the volunteers desk at the south entrance.

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

Patient relatives are welcome to email a letter and/or photos to their relative who is in hospital to the email address tomy.lovedone@ngh.nhs.uk. Please include on your email your relatives full name and which ward they are on.

The service will run from Monday to Friday and all letters received before 3pm will be given to patients on the same day. Any that are received after 3pm will be delivered the next day. On Fridays, we ask that letters are received before 12pm to ensure we can deliver them in time for the weekend. Any received after this may be delivered the following Monday.

Relatives who don’t have access to email, or are unable to text, can use our telephone service by calling 07514 978390 Monday to Friday between 9.30am – 2.30pm. Those calling the service will be able to let the team know what they would like to say and this will be written down and either given or read to the patient on the same day.

Texts can also be sent to this number at any time with a message for loved ones, with those arriving before 2.30pm going to the patient the same day

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 to tomy.lovedone@ngh.nhs.uk 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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