FAMILY, friends and well-wishers can now attend our hospitals to visit patients on a limited basis with prior agreement with hospital staff, the health board is pleased to announce.
With the prevalence of Covid-19 currently very low among our hospital inpatients, the health board is gradually relaxing general visiting restrictions on most of our wards.
The changes mean that a pre-booked visit by one member of the same household can now be supported, provided your visit has a clear purpose and is in the best interest of the patient.
A visit will be arranged following discussion between the patients and the ward sister and visiting will be in line with the following Welsh Government Guidance, ‘Visiting with a Purpose’:
End of life – last days of life
Carer –you are the carer or the nominated representative
Learning disabilities (LD) –a patient with learning disabilities may need you as their carer/ next of kin to share information about their individual needs and virtual visiting may not be appropriate.
Other – for example where it is felt a visit from you may help the patient with rehabilitation, understanding of care/ condition, help with dietary concerns. The ward sister may agree visiting outside of this guidance in certain circumstances.
Visitors who do not meet this criteria will be asked to use a virtual visiting option instead which is available within the hospital, such as using a tablet or mobile phone. Family Liaison Officers will be available on wards to support access to virtual visiting.
We would kindly ask all visitors to adhere to the following restrictions:
All visiting or accompanying patients to appointments MUST be pre-arranged and in advance with relevant ward or health professional.
A staff member will contact the allocated visitor and agree a time slot for the visitor to attend the ward. There will be one daily visitor during the specified time slot to ensure social distancing rules are adhered to and to maintain the safety of patients and staff.
The visitor will be allowed to stay with the patient for a period of 45 minutes, unless there specific circumstances have been identified by the ward sister to increase the visit.
Due to varying activities in the ward environments, time slots may vary.
Visitors must wear appropriate PPE (surgical face coverings), unless the visitor is a child aged under 11
The allocated visitor must remain as the only visitor during the admission period.
Should there be a need for alternative visiting arrangements or an alternative allocated visitor, this must be discussed with the ward sister
There are no canteen facilities for relatives, and relatives will be asked to stay within the bed area of the patient throughout the duration of the stay, at a distance of 2 metres from patients, staff and other visitors at all times
Essential support assistants (such as interpreters or essential carers) are not classed as visitors. Please discuss with your health professional.
Mandy Rayani, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience, said: “On behalf of the health board I would firstly like to extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to our communities, our patients and their families for your understanding and adherence to the very strict hospital visiting rules that we have had to impose throughout this pandemic. Your diligence and awareness of the need to keep loved ones safe in hospital has been key in our efforts to fight the virus.
“I am pleased to announce that, thanks to these efforts, and the very low prevalence of Covid-19 in our hospitals, we are now in a position where we are able to start gradually relaxing some of these restrictions where circumstances and national guidelines allow it.
“We know that visitors are essential to the wellbeing of our patients, and wherever we can, we will support you to be with your loved one. We are committed to avoiding the spread of the virus within our hospitals and keeping our patients, family, carers and staff as safe as possible.
“This does mean that for the time being, we need to ensure that we continue to exercise caution, and I want to stress that this is not a full return to normality. We understand that some visitors may feel disappointed if you aren’t able to attend in person, but I want to assure you that the measures we are putting in place are safe, proportionate and responsible and we look forward to gradually easing further restrictions as circumstances allow.”