Visiting Resumes at Local Hospitals After Infections Fall

New guidance from West Mid and Chelsea & Westminster includes Covid patients

Entrance to West Middlesex Hospital. Picture: CW+ Charity

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For some, the hardest part of the pandemic was being unable to visit a friend or loved one in hospital for days or weeks on end.

Now, two major hospitals have become the first in all of north and west London to resume visits, including to see patients who have Covid.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, run by the same NHS trust, updated their visiting rules this week to reflect the lower infection rates across the capital.

Since the winter lockdown, all hospitals had either banned visitors altogether, or made exceptions for when a person’s next of kin was dying or if a partner was in labour.

On 20 April, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust announced it had “revised its visiting guidance and is adopting a socially distanced approach to visiting”.

In non-Covid adult wards, “visiting is available from 3pm to 7pm daily from one named visitor”. For patients with dementia or a learning difficulty, one named carer will be able to visit at all hours.

In adult intensive care, one named visitor will be allowed to visit from 3pm to 7pm.

In A&E, it said, “One person can accompany a patient if they are essential as the patient’s carer or translator. If a patient is admitted to a ward area, the restrictions of that particular area will apply.”

And in children’s wards, two named members from the same household may visit the cot/bed space at a time with existing risk assessments and Temperature check, on agreement with ward team. One named member from the same household may accompany the patient to and from theatre as required in exceptional circumstances, the trust said.

For wards with Covid patients, they said: “Visiting is available from 3pm to 7pm daily from one named visitor, however we encourage family and visitors to keep in touch with the ward by telephone and use the ‘A message for you service’ for staff to pass on messages on the behalf of visitors.”

The trust also said patients who visit a ward where there are Covid patients “should then self-isolate for 10 days after their visit”, and they would have to wear “appropriate PPE” during their visit.

For more information visit the trust’s website.

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

April 24, 2021