Patient visiting is being reintroduced at Lincoln, Boston and Grantham hospitals from Friday (April 29) with an updated risk-based approach.
The inpatient areas at the hospitals run by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) are currently given a classification of low, medium and high risk, reflecting patient conditions and infection prevention and control measures.
For each level, different visiting arrangements will be in place. This will be determined at individual patient level, depending upon their risk rating and the risk level of the areas they are residing in.
All visitors will need to call the relevant ward to book a visit in advance and are asked to come to the main hospital entrance no more than 10 minutes before the start of their visiting session.
Everyone will be asked to wear a hospital-provided face mask throughout their visit, but visitors are no longer required to show proof of a negative lateral flow test.
People coming in to visit a loved one will also be asked to complete a quick questionnaire to check they do not have any of the recognised symptoms of COVID-19. Any visitors with symptoms will be advised not to attend.
The full details of the visiting arrangements by level are as followed:
There may be local rules in place in individual areas, depending upon the environment, and patients and visitors are asked to speak to the ward directly for information.
Exceptions remain in place for maternity, paediatrics and neonatal services are as follows:
• 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-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
• Supporting carers
• Other exceptional circumstances (such as for patients with dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and mental health).
Dr Karen Dunderdale, director of nursing at ULHT, said: “We understand how valuable visiting is to our patients and their loved ones and have worked incredibly hard to make this possible in a way that is as safe as can be for our patients, their visitors and our staff.
“The process is straight forward. Please call the ward your loved one is on, an appointment will be made for you if it is safe to do so, then on the day of your appointment please arrive 10 minutes early to the hospital’s main entrance.
“All of our staff are really pleased to be able to do this for our patients and their loved ones as we appreciate how important this is to them. This process will be explained to visitors when they are making their booking with the ward.”