New safety guidelines for hospital visitors

ROTHERHAM Hospital has reintroduced visiting to all wards without Covid positive patients — but guidelines remain in place to “help keep patients and staff safe”.

Helen Dobson, interim chief nurse at the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have seen a steady decline in the numbers of patients testing positive for Covid-19 and are very pleased to reintroduce visiting where we can.

“However, we know that the Omicron variant is easily transmissible — therefore, we are asking visitors to follow these guidelines to help keep our patients and staff safe.

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“These guidelines will help us to reduce the risk of infection whilst still allowing patients to see their loved ones.”

From this week, patients attending the urgent and emergency care centre are still being asked to attend alone, with the exception of anyone needing assistance such as patients with dementia, learning difficulties or autism.

Patients on the acute surgical unit can welcome visitors after admission, but the waiting area will be for patients only.  

Two parents or guardians may now visit the children’s ward at the same time, in line with the current visiting regulations for the special care baby unit.

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Anybody visiting a loved one in the hospital is asked to perform a lateral flow test, at home, on each day they plan to visit and must not visit if given a positive result.

Visiting times remain the same, with an afternoon and evening session. There can only be one visitor per session.

Patients are asked to provide up to two named people who will be the nominated visitors for the duration of the admission.

The hospital is also asking visitors to “reduce movement around the ward and to remain socially distanced from other visitors and patients”.

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All visitors are required to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt, and to remove any coats or jackets when entering wards.

Thorough hand washing and regular sanitising of hands should be undertaken, especially on entering and exiting the ward.

Anyone who falls under the “vulnerable” category is advised not to visit.  

Relatives of Covid positive patients — who are not able to contact their loved one — can ask for clinical updates through the Relatives’ Line service by calling 01709 426464. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm.