HEALTH MATTERS: New Hospital Visiting Guidelines

By Lucy Ashton

From 19 July, 2021, all patients in our hospitals in NHSGGC (where possible) will be able to benefit from support of at least two people from the same household at the same time. If not from the same household and physical distancing cannot be maintained, visits can take place separately.

We welcome support from family and friends in hospital; we know that this is a vital support to patients, not least with nutrition, healing, recovery and overall quality of care.  We however need to make sure our patients, families and staff are as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, so visiting needs to continue to be carefully managed.

At present only family and friends chosen by the patient or their guardian, carer or power of attorney can visit.  If this is you, please contact the ward to arrange a visit in advance, so we can be sure our wards and hospital sites do not become overcrowded and allow everyone to follow the physical distancing rules. A list of telephone numbers can be found for all wards and departments on the NHSGGC website link here.

There may however be some circumstances where it is still not safe for a patient to have a visitor; if this is the case, we will tell you why and keep it under review where possible.

To help keep everyone safe, we strongly recommend that all visitors have a Voluntary Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting and then undertaken these twice per week for as long as you are the named visitor.  This is optional. Information on how to order Lateral Flow Tests is on the Scottish Government’s website or tests can be collected from COVID testing centres in the afternoon or early evening or from the asymptomatic test facilities across NHSGGC – these can be found here.  If you do not wish to have a test or are not able to test this will not be an obstacle to a visit.

When visiting the hospital please do not bring additional family and friends with you unless you are a carer accompanying a family member or a parent accompanying a child.

When visiting the hospital, people must: 

  • Wash their hands or use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving clinical areas
  • Wear a face covering/mask at all times, unless you are exempt for this
  • Respect social distancing measures at all times
  • Take the stairs if possible to avoid congregating in left lobbies and communal areas
  • Contact the ward to discuss arrangements before visiting

You MUST NOT attend if you are unwell, if you are a household contact or have been otherwise informed that they are a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 and have been advised to self-isolate or have to self-isolate for another reason (e.g. travel from a country requiring quarantine).

Test and Protect

Ward staff will ask you to complete your contact details on arrival at the ward.  This is to enable public health colleagues to contact you if necessary if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Virtual Visiting Service

If you cannot visit in person, please use technology such as social media and phone calls to stay in touch. If you would like to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ (video call) with a friend or family member in one of our hospitals please contact the ward directly. Further information about this service is available here.

All wards have iPads specially set up to enable ‘virtual visits’ (video call) allowing patients to see and talk to the people who matter to them using FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or NHS Near Me.

Thank you so much for your cooperation. We look forward to continuing to welcome family members and friends where possible back into our hospitals to support patients.

Leave a Reply