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

Last updated: 5 November 2020

Visiting restrictions

Information:

General visiting is currently suspended

These restrictions apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) 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

By arrangement with the nurse in charge, you may accompany adults that require support to our hospital, if you are:

  • their carer
  • a member of their household
  • a member of their bubble

People who are allowed to have an adult accompany them to our hospitals include:

  • 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 only applies to members of the patients’ household, or members of their support bubble, and 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.

Maternity

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

  • 1 other person can accompany you during certain antenatal appointments, like scans or maternity triage appointments
  • 1 person may accompany you during the induction of labour for 2 hours from the start of induction until the start of labour (they may have to leave in between)
  • 1 birth partner may accompany you during labour*
  • 1 birth partner can visit you each day after you have given birth, for a maximum of 2 hours by arrangement with the midwife-in-charge

*In special circumstances, a healthcare professional involved in your care may also accompany you while you’re in labour. Speak to your midwife about these arrangements.

Only a member of your household or support bubble can visit our hospitals.

Find out more about changes to our maternity service during coronavirus.

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.

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 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

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 from 9am to 5pm 7 days a week.

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