Visitor guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

The are some visiting restrictions in place at the Great Western Hospital. 

We understand that this is difficult for lots of people, but it's important that we follow the guidelines to protect patients, staff and volunteers.

You are also putting yourself at a greater risk of infection by visiting the hospital.

Current visiting guidelines

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the hospital, all visits have been stopped until further notice.

Exceptions, with restrictions, are as follows:

1. Relative collecting patients who have been discharged

  • Only one relative to enter the hospital (any others must wait in the car)

2. End of life

  • Only one relative at a time

  • All visits must be pre-arranged with nurse in charge of the ward

3. Maternity wards

  • Only one birthing partner can accompany people in labour

  • Only one birthing partner can visit Hazel ward and Delivery Suite

  • No children under the age of 16 can visit

  • One birthing partner can attend the routine 20-week scan

Please see also 'Outpatients and antenatal visits' below.

4. Children's Ward

  • Only parent or guardian can visit the ward

  • No siblings or young people under the age of 18 can visit

5. For patients with additional or complex needs

  • One visitor can accompany a patient to an appointment if the patient has additional or complex needs, such as a learning disability or autism.

People visiting patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 must wear standard PPE; surgical mask, apron and gloves. 

Anybody attending the Emergency Department or one of our Assessment units must attend alone, apart from some exceptional circumstances such as accompanying a child under the age of 16. 

Do NOT visit if you are isolating

Anyone who is isolating for any reason (including if their household contact is admitted with COVID-19) - i.e. they are symptomatic or have tested positive - must not visit the hospital.

The only possible exception is for visiting end of life children, and this must be agreed in advance with the ward.

Accompanying others into hospital 

Accompanying a vulnerable patient with a physical or mental disability

Carers may accompany patients with physical or mental disabilities, who would be unable to attend alone.

Accompanying a patient under the age of 16

One parent or guardian may accompany a person under the age of 16 to the Emergency Department, the Urgent Care Centre, or to an Outpatients appointment.  

Acting as a nominated birthing partner

One person can be nominated to accompany a woman giving birth. For further information, please see Maternity Services.

Outpatients and antenatal visits

One birthing partner can attend the routine 20-week scan. 

For all other antenatal appointments, the patient should attend alone, unless advised otherwise by a clinician.

One parent or guardian may accompany a patient under the age of 16.

Collecting a patient leaving hospital

If you are planning to collect a patient leaving hospital, please contact the ward or service for instructions on where to meet them.

Only one person should enter the hospital building to collect a patient.

Please do not wait for patients inside the hospital building, unless you have been asked to by a member of staff.

We do not want people waiting in corridors, in the main atrium reception area or anywhere else inside the hospital building.

This is because having lots of people inside the hospital increases the risk of infection to patients, staff and volunteers.

Staying safe in the hospital

If you visit the hospital you will be asked to wear a face mask or covering - please see Coming to the hospital or attending a GP appointment.

You may also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) by the ward or department you are visiting.

You should stay two metres away from other people where possible.

We ask all visitors to wash their hands before entering and leaving the building and to use the hand sanitiser outside each ward and department.

Further information 

Please see also Outpatients.

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