There are still some important restrictions needed to reduce the risk of spreading infection:

  • Visiting of adult patients (aged 16 and over) is restricted to one person for one hour per day.
    Different visitors can attend on different days.
    Visits must be booked in advance (please contact the ward) to manage numbers and collect contact details.
  • Additional access can be provided for carers if a patient requires them for ongoing personal, physical or emotional care and support - e.g. patients with learning disabilities or dementia.
    Please arrange this in advance with the ward manager or nurse in charge (please contact the ward).
  • The Trust encourages loved ones to visit if the patient is receiving end of life care within the last few weeks or days of care, when it is safe to do so.
    Exceptions to the number of visitors and the time spent with the patient can be made on a case-by-case basis to meet the needs of the family, keeping social distancing in mind and COVID-19 restrictions when in the clinical areas.
    These exceptions must be agreed with the nurse in charge or ward sister (please contact the ward).
  • Visitors already self-isolating or symptomatic, even if mild or intermittent or living with a household positive case, must not visit for 10 days after exposure, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All visitors, and especially those who previously shielded, are advised to be cautious about visiting.
    They must ensure meticulous adherence to social distancing/infection control practices and hand hygiene if they choose to visit.
  • All visitors must comply with the pre-screening COVID-19 questions and not be living with someone with COVID-19 infection, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Visitors will be expected to wear the appropriate level of respiratory PPE during their visit (especially if the patient has tested positive for COVID-19); the ward staff will help with this.
  • Access to virtual visiting devices, for WhatsApp video calls, remain in place for all patients upon request.
  • Woodpecker and Neptune Wards and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) care for COVID-19-positive patients on a regular basis.
  • There may also be occasions when other wards are caring for individual COVID-19-positive patients in isolation rooms.
    To maintain patient confidentiality, you will only be informed of this if you are requesting a visit to a patient in isolation.

We ask for your support with meticulous infection control practices while visiting, to help us reduce the possibility of the spread of infection.

Accompanying others into hospital

Maternity Services

We are pleased to inform all pregnant women, birthing people and their families that from Wednesday 19 May 2021, in line with recent guidance we have made the following changes: 

  • All women/birthing people can have up to two birth supporters accompany them in labour to our Delivery Suite and the White Horse Birth Centre
  • All women/birthing people can have one person visit them on Hazel ward between 9.00am and 9.00pm 

Please be reminded that these changes do not apply to Gynaecology appointments and all other outpatient appointments. 

When visiting, you are politely requested to keep your movements within the hospital to a minimum.

Please bring plenty of supplies with you and continue to wear a face covering at all times.

As per Government guidance, we would encourage all women, birthing people and their households to undertake twice weekly COVID 19 testing.

For information on how you can order the testing kits, please see the UK Government website: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests.

Please speak to your midwife if you need any further information or support.

Please see also Maternity Services: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Further information.

Acting as a nominated birthing partner

One person can be nominated to accompany a woman giving birth.

For further information, please see Maternity Services.

Accompanying a vulnerable patient with a physical or mental disability

Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs.

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.  

Outpatients and antenatal visits

One birthing partner can attend all pre-natal scans. 

Both the mother and her partner will need to have a lateral flow test at Great Western Hospital before the appointment. Children should not attend. 

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.