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Wards and visiting

Visiting update- 31 December 2021

The health, wellbeing and safety of all our people, including patients and colleagues continues to be our top priority. We have therefore taken the difficult decision to suspend visiting at the hospital from today, Friday 31 December.

We’ve taken this decision to reduce the risk of COVID-19 being introduced into the hospital environment at a time when infections in the community are rising rapidly.

In the following limited circumstances visiting will be possible by arrangement with our wards:

  • Patients who are in the last days of life.
  • A birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour & also for antenatal birthing scans.
  • Patients with a learning disability or autism, where not having visitors will cause the patient distress.
  • Parents or guardians supporting children in our paediatric wards or neonatal units (not siblings)

Outside of these exceptions if not allowing a visit would significantly impact on the welfare of a patient we will review requests on a case by case basis.

If you are visiting, please continue to make an appointment with the ward and take a lateral flow test before arriving.

Only patients can attend A&E, except in exceptional circumstances is it vital to the wellbeing of the patient they are accompanied, for example supporting a patient with learning difficulties.

We will be reintroducing virtual visiting facilities in place at both our hospitals so that people can talk to their relatives and see them using computer tablets.

We apologise for having to take this step as we are fully aware of the impact suspending visiting has on our patients and those close to them. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Testing requirements for visitors:

Do not come to the hospital if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or if you feel unwell in any other way. By not attending you can help to keep our vulnerable patients safe.

  • Lateral flow testing will be required from Tuesday 14th December for all adult inpatient ward visitors. Any permitted visitors will be required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test result before you will able to enter the ward. You will need to be able to show the evidence of a negative result via the Government issued text message, email, or if this is not possible you can bring the test in a plastic bag.
  • Disney and Paddington wards: Any additional visitors who are not resident parents or guardians will need to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test.
  • If you are a support partner attending a maternity appointment you will need to be able to show a negative lateral flow test when arriving for your appointment. You will need to do this for all planned appointments including those in radiology and the community. Please read the maternity information below for details around incudction, labour and postnatal visiting.


Free lateral flow tests can be ordered from the Government website or collected from your local testing site or pharmacy.

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 temporarily suspending visitng to adult inpatient wards. You can book virtual visiting or send a letter to your loved one using the information below.

Disney and Paddington wards

  • One nominated parent or guardian is permitted per patient during their stay. This person will need to have regular COVID-19 PCR tests which will be provided by the ward. Parents can swap over once and the other parent must have a negative PCR test before they can swap.
  • No other visitors or siblings allowed.
  • For suspected or positive COVID patients, only one accompanying adult is allowed and no other visitors.
  • Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test or anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed ot visit
  • In exceptional circumstances, visiting can be discussed and agreed with the senior medical or nursing staff.
  • Parents or guardians must always clean their hands and wear a face covering when entering and moving through the hospital and wear hospital face masks on the wards
  • 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.
  • If parents or 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 or guardians must always wear a face covering when entering and moving through the hospital and wear hospital face masks on the wards.
  • If parents or 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 or you are a maternity patient. If a patient needs support with complex or 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.

 

For maternity patients

One adult support partner is permitted to attend scan appointments subject to showing a negative lateral flow test.

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 us to rearrange your appointment.

 

Please collect the lateral flow test kit from your local Pharmacy or order them online. 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 from: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

 

The patient and support partner must wear a face covering or face shield unless exempt.

If you cannot show us your negative lateral flow test, the support partner may not be able to attend the appointment with you. If you have any concerns about accessing a lateral flow test please speak to your Community Midwife.

 

If your support partner tests negative:

  • Please bring notification of the negative test result to your appointment (this will be received by either email or text message – Please do not bring your actual sample)
  • Attend 5 minutes before your appointment time
  • Report to the Radiology reception desk (Area D)
  • Please do not bring any children with you, as they will not be able to come into the scan room.

 

If your support partner tests positive:

  • Your partner should self-isolate and book a Covid test (PCR) through the government website as recommended by public health. You are advised to still attend for your appointment.
  • You can select an alternative support person who has not tested positive to COVID-19.
  • Please contact the radiology team if you wish to rearrange your appointment.

 

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.

Important changes to our Maternity Services

For pregnant people - your birth partner can accompany you to all your appointments including your scans and throughout your labour. Your birth partner can also attend the ward by appointment only. Please speak to the midwife on your admission to hospital for further information.

  • Pregnant people and their support partner are encouraged to have a lateral flow test up to 3 days (72hrs) before appointments. For further information on how to obtain lateral flow test please visit www.gov.uk
  • If the support partner has a positive test or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 they are asked to remain at home and self-isolate in line with government guidance
  • For scans and appointments - in the event the waiting areas being full, support partners may be asked to wait outside for a short while
  • One support partner can attend delivery suite at all times

If you have any concerns, please speak to your midwife. 

Please note: plans are subject to change depending on local levels of COVID-19 infections and national guidance.

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@nhs.net. 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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