Visiting restrictions during coronavirus, including policies around special circumstances and virtual visits.

Last updated: 13 July 2021

Visiting restrictions

Information:

A limited number of visits to our hospitals are permitted, provided visitors adhere to our visiting guidelines.

Adult wards at our hospitals

Visiting hours at Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH), Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH) and the community hospitals are midday to 8pm, 7 days a week:

  • only 1 visitor may visit a patient
  • nominated visitors can visit for a maximum of 2 hours per day
  • nominated visitors must book their visit with the ward before they arrive

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

  • 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)

Special circumstances

Visiting outside these arrangements may be possible in special circumstances and by arrangement with the nurse in charge. You may accompany adults that require support to our hospital, if you are:

  • their carer or they have particular support needs

People who are allowed to have an adult accompany or visit them for longer than 2 hours in our hospitals include:

  • patients under the age of 16
  • people with dementia, delirium or a cognitive impairment
  • people with mental health needs
  • people with autism or learning disabilities
  • people with impaired mobility

Visiting may also be possible for patients receiving bad news, and for patients who are 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

This is limited to 2 visitors. Unless it has been agreed with our infection prevention and control team, you cannot visit:

  • dedicated COVID-19 wards
  • patients who have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Information:

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.

Children and neonatal intensive care

The children's ward and neonatal intensive care is open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • visiting is restricted to parents, carers or guardians only and must be household members or a member of the support bubble
  • only 2 visitors are allowed per child at any one time
  • please discuss siblings visiting with the nurse in charge 
  • only 2 visitors are permitted on the neonatal ward at any one time, this should be parents or guardians only; if parents, both can visit at the same 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

Maternity

See our maternity section for details about maternity visiting

Maternity triage

We have implemented the following restrictions on visitors to maternity triage, in order to keep everyone at our hospitals safe:

Do

  • wear a surgical face mask over your mouth and nose at all times

  • use alcohol hand rub on entry and exit

  • remain within the allocated bed space

Don't

  • do not enter triage if you cannot wear a mask due to a medical exemption

  • do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms of coronavirus

  • do not visit the hospital if you have been asked to self-isolate or have had a positive COVID-19 test

  • do not visit the hospital if you are a contact of someone with coronavirus

  • do not wander around the triage area

Information:

You may be asked to leave the maternity triage at any point. If you are asked to leave, please do so quickly and with courtesy to the person asking.

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.

Visitors that were previously shielding should remain cautious about visiting and strictly follow social distancing, face mask and hand hygiene guidelines.

Collect a patient leaving hospital

If you need to collect a patient leaving hospital, please contact the ward for instructions on where to meet them. Only 1 person should enter the hospital building to collect a patient.

Information:

Please do not wait for patients inside the hospital building, unless you have been asked to by a member of staff.

Accompanying others into hospital

  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs. 
  • One parent or guardian may accompany a person under the age of 16 to the Emergency Department, Minor Injury and Illness Units, or to an Outpatients appointment. 

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 from 9am to 5pm 7 days a week.

Information:

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

Bereavement collections

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

Information:

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

Patient support service

Our patient support service is here to answer queries and provide updates and reassurance to relatives, family members, carers on how their loved one is doing while they are a patient with us, giving the wards time to focus on caring for our patients.

We will link with the wards to:

  • get updates on patients
  • help to arrange for belongings to be delivered to the wards where we have no visiting
  • support patients staying with us by offering a friendly listening service and helping with their requests

You can call us free on 0800 019 3282 or email us on ghn-tr.HelplineSupport@nhs.net

The patient support service is open from 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week. You can leave a message outside of these hours on voicemail or email and someone will get back to you the next day. If your query is outside of operating hours and you think it is urgent and cannot wait until the next working day, you can contact our switchboard on 0300 422 2222.

Information:

We are currently receiving lots of calls, so please nominate just one next of kin or contact to call the patient support service and pass on information to other friends or relatives.

BEST CARE FOR EVERYONE