Visiting restrictions during coronavirus, including policies around compassionate visiting and virtual visits.

Last updated: 15 July 2020

Visiting restrictions

Information:

From Wednesday 8 July 2020, a limited number of visits to our hospitals are permitted, provided visitors adhere to our visiting guidelines.

Adult wards at our hospitals

These restrictions apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and 7 community hospitals in the county:

Visiting hours at Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and the Community Hospitals are restricted to 2pm to 6pm, 7 days a week:

  • Only 1 visitor (a close family member or carer) may visit for 1 hour per day (ideally the same visitor)
  • Bays with 4 or 6 beds will be limited to 2 visitors at any one time

Recognising the particular complexity of mental health and learning disability services and the need for human contact in many therapies, additional visiting may be arranged where the welfare and wellbeing of the individual would be at risk if visiting was restricted.

  • Cirencester
  • The Dilke (Cinderford)
  • Lydney
  • North Cotswolds (Moreton-in-Marsh)
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury
  • The Vale (Dursley)

They also apply to the county’s mental health and learning disability inpatient units:

  • Wotton Lawn (Gloucester)
  • Charlton Lane (Cheltenham)
  • Berkeley House (Stroud)
  • Laurel House (Cheltenham)
  • Honeybourne (Cheltenham)

Exceptions may be made for relatives collecting patients who have been discharged, or relatives who wish to visit patients at the end of their life. You will need to phone the ward and speak to the nurse in charge to arrange any visiting allowance before coming to any of our hospitals or inpatient units.

Maternity

We have closed visiting to our maternity wards during the coronavirus response, with the following exceptions from Wednesday 8 July:

  • 1 person may attend scan appointments from mid-July
  • 1 person will be able to accompany people in labour (please be aware that they may be asked to leave the area if additional healthcare staff are needed to assist with the birth)
  • 1 partner may be present at the start of an induction on the maternity ward for 1.5 hours
  • after birth, 1 visitor is permitted to visit for 1 hour per day

Find out how our coronavirus response will affect you if you are pregnant.

Children in our hospitals

The children's ward is open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • visiting is restricted to parents and carers only
  • only 2 visitors are allowed per child at any one time
  • no siblings or other family members should visit
  • only 2 visitors are allowed on the neonatal ward at any one time

This handy guide from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health gives you at-a-glance information about symptoms to look out for and when to bring your child to hospital

Compassionate visiting

Visiting may be possible for those most important to a patient who is critically ill or dying, as long as:

  • you and members of your household do not have symptoms of coronavirus, like a fever or cough
  • you have not been told to self-isolate or shield for health reasons
Information:

The nurse in charge is responsible for deciding if you are allowed to visit, and access will only be given to a maximum of 2 visitors.

Visiting guidelines

If you are allowed to visit the hospital:

Do

  • wear a face covering if you visit our hospitals

  • wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on entering and leaving the ward

  • wear appropriate personal protective equipment if you are asked to, like an apron, gloves or a mask

  • follow social distancing rules and keep a 2 metre distance when you visit with respect to other patients, visitors and staff

  • decontaminate personal devices, like phones, with wipes provided by our staff before and after you visit the ward

  • stay in the patient’s room or at their bedside at all times

Don't

  • do not visit the hospital if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath

  • do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting

  • do not visit any other care area in the ward or hospital

  • do not use any toilet facilities, other than the one designated to you by ward staff

  • do not access food areas, which are currently closed to anyone except staff

You must be prepared to self-isolate in line with national guidance, as you may have been exposed to the virus during the period of access to the ward.

Please speak to the nurse in charge for a carer’s permit for parking.

If there is anything else that you feel will make things easier for the patient or for you then please do ask the clinical team.

If you cannot visit

We appreciate it can be distressing to be unable to visit your loved one in hospital. As a result, we have introduced a number of measures to help and support you at this time:

  • All wards in our hospitals have access to iPads, so if you are unable to visit you can still have contact with your relative. Staff are happy to support this with the consent of the patient where possible. Please contact the ward to arrange this.
  • If you wish to email photographs, letters or messages to your family member, please email them to ghn-tr.helplinesupport@nhs.net. They will be printed and taken to your relative.

For more information on any of the above including patients being treated at our hospitals for coronavirus, please contact our Patient Support Service Hub on 0800 019 3282 or ghn-tr.helplinesupport@nhs.net. It’s open 8am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

Please choose 1 family member to be the point of contact for the hospital. They should then share information with other relatives and friends.

If you wish to collect dirty laundry, you can arrange a collection slot by calling 07813 400094.

Bereavement collections

Relatives, carers or friends can collect items by calling 0300 422 8880 to arrange a collection slot by appointment only.

Slots are available Monday, Wednesday Friday mornings at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and Tuesday and Friday mornings at Cheltenham General Hospital.

Information:

For more information about support for carers during coronavirus (COVID-19), go to the Gloucestershire Carers' Hub website.

BEST CARE FOR EVERYONE