A new risked-based approach to patient visiting will be launched at hospitals in Lincoln, Boston and Grantham from Thursday.
The new strategy from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) means different visiting arrangements will be in place in depending on the risks in each ward.
All hospital inpatient areas will be given a classification of low, medium and high risk to reflect patient conditions, and infection prevention and control measures. This will be determined at individual patient level, depending upon their risk rating and the risk level of the areas they are in.
There may be local rules in place in individual areas, depending upon the environment. Visitors are advised to contact the ward a patient is on to find out the latest visiting arrangements for that area.
Dr Karen Dunderdale, director of nursing at ULHT, said: “We are aware that changes in COVID case numbers in our area have resulted in relatively regular changes to our visiting policies over the last 18 months.
“As we move forward, we wanted to have a process in place that is clear for everyone, and is able to ‘flex’ depending upon the patient and ward area, rather than keep changing our visiting policy.
“This approach means that we will be able to maintain a consistent approach to visiting over the coming months, as areas, and individual patients, can move between risk ratings.
“We feel this will be the best approach to ensure we maximise visiting opportunities for those who are being cared for in low risk areas, whilst ensuring we keep our patients, staff and visitors safe.”
The risk-based approach will be continually reviewed.
• The maternity department will allow one birthing partner to attend the birth and a partner to visit women and their baby either antenatal or postnatal
• Visiting hours on maternity wards is 1pm to 7pm
• Children are still not able to attend the hospitals to visit patients at this time
• Partners can attend all hospital maternity appointments
• Women and partners are encouraged to perform lateral flow tests prior to appointments
Paediatrics and neonatal services
• Parents who do not show the symptoms of infection can visit their children on children’s wards and neonatal units
• Parents with a baby in neonatal care have access 24 hours a day. This includes overnight stays where accommodation allows
• Any exceptions will be made on a case by case basis
• Visiting end of life patients
• Other exceptional circumstances (for example, dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and mental health)