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Current restricted visiting access

Latest visitor restrictions - updated 8 August 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 good infection control practice including hand hygiene and mask wearing where signposted 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 Monday, 8 August 2022

All inpatients can have a visit (maximum two visitors at the bedside) for one hour, once per day (between the hours of 2pm and 8pm). Allowances outside of this, for example more than two visitors at the bedside or a longer duration etc. can be made in agreement with the nurse in charge, consultant or another appropriate healthcare professional involved in the patient's care.

Please note that child health, maternity, neonates and carers will have separate arrangements for visiting.

In addition, visiting will be permitted:

  • If a patient is receiving end of life care, up to three visitors will be permitted. Allowances outside of this may be made in agreement with the nurse in charge, consultant or other clinician. Visiting will not be limited to a specific time, and duration can be agreed with the nurse or clinician in charge.

  • In other compassionate or exceptional circumstances - this can be agreed with the nurse in charge or other appropriate healthcare professional, and should be limited to two people but with allowances possible including regarding duration of visit. Visiting in this situation is not limited to a specific time.

  • For carers or people providing support - visiting should be permitted when this is beneficial to a patient's 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 a specific time 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 24 hours a day. Carers who are staying with the patient during their hospital stay should be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly, using laboratory PCR testing.

  • For 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).

  • If the visitor is the parent or appropriate adult visiting or supporting a child (as per visiting guidance for the Children’s Hospital).

  • For a patient attending the emergency department admission units - they may be accompanied by one person e.g. family member, or somebody important to the patient to support the patient at the initial point of admission.

  • Patients may be accompanied to outpatient or diagnostic appointments by one person. Guidance for outpatient departments should be followed in relation to patients and visitors attending these areas.

Key measures will remain in place in order to maintain the safety of patients, staff and visitors:

  • Visitors should contact the ward in advance to discuss visiting and make appropriate arrangements.

  • Ward staff may decline access if visitors attend outside of the scope of this visiting policy, unless this has been pre-arranged and agreed.
  • Members of the public should not attend any health or care settings if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, other respiratory viruses or symptoms of viral gastro-enteritis, unless seeking urgent medical treatment.

  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, 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.

  • All visitors, including outpatients, should be screened for COVID-19/other respiratory symptoms by staff on or prior to arrival. 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 at all times throughout the hospital buildings (unless exempt).

  • Hand hygiene and other measures should be followed, including enhancing ventilation in areas by opening doors/windows; maintaining distance from others wherever possible; avoiding over-crowding in rooms and spaces; regular cleaning of surfaces and equipment.

A further review of visiting will be undertaken at the end of September 2022.

We also encourage that a negative lateral flow test result be recorded before visiting.

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 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.