Staff at Derriford Hospital are urging people to attend the emergency department alone.
A statement from the hospital today outlines that although restrictions have started to ease from Monday (April 12), people must still attend the hospital alone.
It comes after visiting rules at the hospital changed on Monday, with patients on general wards allowed to nominate one person to be their visitor. The nominated visitor will then be allowed to visit during an allocated hour once a day.
University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust has now clarified the changes after confusion with the emergency department.
A spokesperson said: “As we are seeing an increase in attendances to our Emergency Department alongside the easing of lockdown, it is important to remember that you must attend alone.
“You may have seen changes to our inpatient visiting, but the Emergency Department guidance remains to attend alone.
“This ensures we are able to treat patients in a timely manner, maintain safe social distancing within the department and give you the best possible care in an emergency.
“Exceptions: One adult per child or one carer per adult patient.
“Thank you for your continued support.”
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The plea from Derriford Hospital comes as the next stage of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown kickstarted on Monday.
Non-essential shops are now allowed to reopen for the first time since January.
How does visiting at the hospital work?
On Monday, April 12, University Hospitals Plymouth announced it would be allowing visitors in a “safe and Covid-compliant way” in line with updated guidance from NHS England and the Government roadmap.
The changes mean that patients on general wards are allowed to nominate one person to be their visitor and they will be allowed to visit during an allocated hour once a day.
The allocated time slot is to ensure that there is a maximum of one visitor per bay at any one time.
Patients in side rooms will also be allocated a visiting hour by the ward manager.
A UHP spokesperson said: “Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus should not visit, nor should anyone who has been in contact with some confirmed or showing symptoms even if these are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others. If the visitors have symptoms they should isolate for 10 days and organise a test; members of the household should also isolate.”
All visitors will be asked to comply with measures to limit the spread of coronavirus and wear a surgical face mask, sanitise their hands and observe 2m social distancing.
Everyone visiting will be required to report to the nurse in charge to give their contact details for track and trace, before entering the patient bed areas.
Explaining visitation rules around compassionate visiting, a spokesperson said: “Under compassionate circumstances, for example, where a patient is at the end of their life or in other exceptional circumstances, the ward manager has the discretion to extend visiting.”
Patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 cannot have visitors, unless it is under compassionate circumstances as listed above.
There are also other exceptions, which you can see below, which the ward manager retains discretion for compassionate visiting.
Exceptions are listed below:
- Patient receiving end-of-life care.
- A familiar carer/parent or guardian/supporter/personal assistant
- Both parents/guardians where the family bubble can be maintained
- Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs.
- Patients who may require additional measures to reduce the risk of infection because they are immunocompromised, for example, undergoing transplant, stem cell treatment, etc.
- In addition, it may be necessary to suspend visiting on other wards if there is an increased risk of infection
This approach will be reviewed in line with NHS and Government guidelines and local Public Health advice and we reserve the right to temporarily stop visiting in any ward or area affected by an outbreak.
Read more here.