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Current restricted visiting access

Current advice on restrictions and visiting for patients and visitors

In line with government guidance visitors and outpatients must continue to wear a face covering or face mask, unless exemptions apply, when they attend the University Hospital Southampton sites. 

Please remember masks alone will not protect against COVID19.

It is important to maintain two metre social distancing measures and all patients, visitors, staff and anyone else coming to our sites should be aware of the importance of infection prevention and carrying out regular hand hygiene.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to our hospitals. Stay at home and follow the national advice.

Latest visitor restrictions - updated April 2022

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust continues to take all necessary precautions to protect patients and staff from coronavirus (COVID-19) and other virus such as respiratory illnesses and norovirus that circulate.

This includes continuing with mask wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene along with restricted access to our hospitals.

Careful visiting policies remain appropriate while coronavirus continues to be in general circulation. The health, safety and wellbeing of patients, staff and communities remains the priority.

The Trust has reviewed the latest guidance and its arrangements for visiting and in order to balance the need to protect patients and staff at University Hospital Southampton (UHS) with the need to allow visiting for the wellbeing of our patients while in our care.

Visiting will continue to be restricted but will remain under ongoing review. Whilst we are permitting visitors in the circumstances outlined below, entry to the hospital must still be agreed and arranged with the relevant ward manager/matron/clinician prior to attending.

Visiting arrangements effective from Friday, 29 April 2022 

All inpatients can have one visitor, for one hour, once per day (pre-arranged/booked with the ward with an agreed timeslot).

  • Ideally one designated visitor but where necessary, other visitors can be allocated to visit the patient. It is advised that the number of different visitors visiting is limited wherever possible.
  • A visitor can be accompanied by one other person in circumstances where needed for example an elderly relative, a child, a visitor with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism.

In addition, visiting is permitted:

  • in the event of end of life care being given to a patient in consultation with with the nurse/clinician in charge, similarly in  compassionate/exceptional circumstances.
  • Carer/support visitation - should be permitted where it is conducive to delivering care. Examples include, but are not limited to, a carer who is supporting someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed; a carer who outside of the hospital provides the care for a patient with complex health needs. Visiting in this situation is not limited to 1 hour and the duration of the visit will be determined by the specific circumstances of the patient. This may include a carer staying with the patient for up to 24hrs a day.
  • Partners of women requiring support through antenatal and scan attendances, induction of labour, during labour, as well as the postnatal period (as per visiting guidance for maternity services).
  • The visitor is the parent or appropriate adult visiting/supporting a paediatric patient.
  • Patients may be accompanied to appointments where appropriate and necessary- access to outpatients will generally be restricted to the named patient attending the appointment but there may be situations where it is appropriate and necessary for patients to be accompanied to appointments. This may be necessary for accessibility / assistance, to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs. A risk assessment must be undertaken by the relevant department to ensure that the ability to maintain social distancing/a COVID secure department is not compromised when additional individuals are accompanying the patient. This means patients need to be in touch with the relevant department in advance of their appointment to arrange this.

Key measures will remain in place to facilitate visiting in a COVID secure way:

  • Visits should be by appointment and pre-arranged/booked. Inpatient visitation will be restricted at point of entry unless the door team have received confirmation of approval from the ward
  • Individual visiting times will be managed to facilitate 2m social distancing.
  • Visitors to inpatients will be asked and are strongly encouraged to undertake a lateral flow device test (regardless of vaccination status) before their visit and advised not attend the hospital if the test is positive. In situations whereby the same visitor is visiting the patient daily, they should be asked to undertake a lateral flow test prior to the first visit and then advised to undertaking regular testing (e.g. twice weekly).
  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID19, other respiratory viruses or symptoms of viral gastroenteritis must not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
  • Anyone who, in last 10 days, has been in contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19; has had symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19; should not visit, regardless of the recent changes to national restrictions.
  • All visitors, including outpatients, will be screened for COVID-19/other respiratory symptoms by the entrance staff where these are present. This will be in the form of a series of verbal questions to check no symptoms are present and no relevant recent contact history.
  • All visitors (including children over 11 years of age) must wear a surgical face mask on entering the hospital building and all times throughout the hospital building (unless exempt) and are required to follow social distancing, hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control requirements

Once a visit has been arranged, please wear a face covering unless exempt, maintain social distancing at all times and sanitise your hands as often as possible. We also encourage that a negative lateral flow test result be recorded before visiting.

You must not visit:

  • If you are showing symptoms of coronavirus, other respiratory viruses or symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk that they pose to others. This is extremely important for infection prevention and control.
  • If you have been in contact with someone with symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days and meet the legal requirement to self-isolate or have a confirmed case of COVID-19.

We recognise how important it is for our patients and their loved ones to stay in touch during this difficult time. For more information on how you can do this, view our page on staying connected here.

Checkpoints

All patients and visitors will be asked about health and coronavirus symptoms before being permitted access into the hospitals

Patients attending an appointment will also be asked to provide the appointment letter before being allowed to access the site.

Patients should not arrive early for appointments. If arriving by car, any accompanying persons that aren’t required as per reasons outlined above, should wait in the car.

Checkpoints will be manned by staff and in operation at relevant entrances. Visitors should maintain social distancing while waiting in a queue for screening before entry into the trust.

Patient entry points

The primary entrances for all patients and visitors will be the main entrance to Southampton General and main pedestrian entrance and ambulance entrance to the Princess Anne.

Other entry points remaining open will only admit patients for that particular service and will be:

  • Eye unit and eye casualty
  • Radiotherapy

The emergency department entrance will remain open as usual for patients requiring emergency care.

Compassionate visitation

As above, please discuss with the relevant ward any further requests for compassionate visitation. 

If patients or visitors are unsure whether they should access the trust, please contact the patient advice and liaison service (PALS) on 023 8120 6325 or pals@uhs.nhs.uk (email preferable).

For staff

All staff will be required to show ID badges when entering each hospital and will be required to use designated staff entrances.

Staff entrances at SGH are:

  • North Wing (C level)
  • West Wing (B level)
  • Neuro (B level)

PAH staff will use the main entrances on D and E level.

We would like to thank everyone for their support and advise people to continue to follow the latest national updates via the NHS website.