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George Eliot Hospital - NHS Trust
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Visiting restrictions at George Eliot Hospital (including guidance on  delivering items to patients on the wards)

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Guidance on our visiting restrictions

We will not be allowing visitors at our hospital until further notice (with some exceptions) to help protect staff, patients and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.   This situation is reviewed in line with new guidance.  

Patients must only come to the hospital if there is a clinical need for you to be seen. If you need to enter the hospital, please use only the main front entrance.  A small welcome team of staff and St John’s Ambulance volunteers, based at the main entrance will stream all incoming patients and visitors so you get to where you need to be quickly, with the least risk.  

Do not come to the hospital if you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or loss of/change to taste or smell). 

All patients and visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to wearing face coverings while in the hospital setting. 

Anyone attending our hospital must do so on their own, if possible, with the following exceptions: 

-   One parent of patients/visitors under 18 years old

-   One carer for adult patients/visitor requiring assistance

-   One relative collecting a patient being discharged

-   To be with patients at the end of their life. The number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the dying person. However, where it is possible to facilitate social distancing throughout a visit, a second additional visitor (including a child) may be permitted.

-   One birthing partner.  

Pairs or groups of people entering the hospital will be politely challenged by our welcome team.   Anyone accompanying the patient will be asked to wait in car or outside – keeping social distance. 

If you need to come to the hospital, we ask that you work with us to help keep our patients, staff, volunteers and visitors safe.    

At the entrance to the hospital or departments, all patients and visitors will be asked key health questions and will have their temperature taken.    

You may be asked to go home, self-isolate, arrange a test through test and trace and re-book your hospital appointment if your temperature, is raised or you meet certain health criteria.   

When you come to the hospital, it’s important that you:  

Wear a face mask or face covering at all times 

Maintain social distance from others at all times. 

Wash your hands with soap and water as regularly as possible (for at least 20 seconds) and using the alcohol hand gel available around the hospital  

Important information on the use of face coverings when coming to George Eliot hospital.

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

We are following the recommendations from the World Health Organisation, and are introducing new measures to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be homemade. Advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable, but they must cover your mouth and nose.

Please bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, we will provide you with one.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask, please wear it. Otherwise, you should wear a face covering.

We understand that for some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. Please let us know if this is the case and we will make arrangements including timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have communication options to help us communicate with you including writing things down and virtual British Sign Language.  

Additional Guidance for being with patients at end of life

We understand that you will want to be by the side of your loved one if they are at the end of their life.   The number of visitors at the beside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the dying person. However, where it is possible to facilitate social distancing throughout a visit, a second additional visitor (including a child) may be permitted. 

If permission for visiting cannot be given, family members will be given the option of maintaining contact with their loved one via video calls using ward iPads.

Members of extended family are also respectfully requested to nominate a family member as a single point of contact to call ward areas directly for an update and then update the rest of the family. Please ask a member of staff for more details. 

There are other ways that you can keep in touch for example you can use our Letters to Loved Ones service to send letters, photographs or messages to loved ones on the wards. Email LoveLetters@geh.nhs.uk 

Guidance for people coming to the Emergency Department (ED)

·       Patients should attend alone wherever possible

·       If a carer is required, please be advised that it may not be possible to stay with the patient at all times.  

Guidance for people coming to Children’s services

Only one parent/main carer may stay with the patient for the duration of their stay   

No siblings or children under 18 years may attend with the patient  

Guidance for people coming to Maternity Services

Partners are currently unable to be present on Drayton ward, Triage or MAU, this includes during the induction of labour process and after the birth of your baby. 

Our friendly team will support you through the induction process and when labour establishes your chosen birth partner can meet you on the Delivery Suite. After the birth of your baby, if it is not possible for you to have an early discharge, your partner will be asked to leave when you are transferred to Drayton ward. We will do everything we can to support a timely discharge home for you. 

  • One chosen birthing partner only will be allowed to Delivery Suite when their partner is in labour, or having a planned caesarean section.  This birthing partner should not have any symptoms of coronavirus, should not be self-isolating and should not have been in contact with anyone who is self-isolating. 

  • Women should continue to attend antenatal and scan appointments alone. Partners should wait in their car or in the maternity lobby (if social distancing can be maintained). 

Guidance for people visiting the Special Care Baby Unit

We appreciate that you may find the following necessary actions difficult; however they have been put into place to protect your baby. 

Only parents are currently able to attend the Unit. No other family members, siblings or friends are able to visit at this time. 

One parent is able to be with their baby for an unrestricted period of time each day.

The second parent is able to be present during an allocated 4 hour slot. These time slots are: 

  • 8am-12pm 

  • 12pm-4pm 

  • 4pm-8pm


Please let nursing staff know which slot you would like each day before leaving. Nurses will monitor this to ensure fairness, but also to maintain social distancing between cot-spaces. At the end of the time period, the second parent will need to leave the unit.   Please minimise the number of times you leave the unit.  

When twins are admitted, each parent may be with one baby each day, with no changeover between baby and parent.

The above diagram shows a list of the ways relatives and friends can keep in touch.

Delivering items to patients on the wards

We will do everything we can to get essential items to patients. We ask that items are dropped off at the hospital by prior arrangement via email in advance. 

Process: Relatives/friends to email enquiries@geh.nhs.uk or call 02476 865550 and give their telephone contact number, the list of items for delivery and the patients name and ward the patient is on. 

Guidance for relatives:

  • All items must be wipeable (so no clothes unless they’re new and in packaging) no newspapers but magazines are fine.
  • When preparing belongings please ensure you only pack essential items. These can include toiletries, a mobile phone, phone charger or clothing items. You are welcome to include a letter to your loved one in the bag.
  • Please do not pack any valuables. Any belongings brought in will not be the responsibility of the hospital.
  • Ensure items are packed in a plastic bag.
  • Clearly label the bag with the patient name and the ward they are on.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, only one relative or friend should come onto the site to bring the bag.
  • Items will be taken to your loved one within 24 hours. Unfortunately we will not be able to tell you when they have received the bag

A member of staff will go through the items and wipe them individually, place them in a blue patient notes bag, label the bag and deliver to the patient.

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