Northern Health & Social Care Trust: Amended Visiting Restrictions
From today, visiting restrictions have eased in certain circumstances, however, transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high so some level of visiting restrictions must remain. The policies aim to balance all the potential risks against the unintended harm to patients and residents in respect of, safety and quality of care, quality of life, continuity of care, outcomes, and emotional and psychological distress.
General Hospital including ICU
One nominated family member or carer to be permitted access to visit face-to-face per week, where we can facilitate a COVID-19 secure environment. Prior arrangement with ward staff is essential. Where the person visiting requires assistance this should be discussed in advance with the nurse in charge.
Birth partner will be facilitated to accompany the pregnant woman to dating scan, early pregnancy clinic, anomaly scan, Fetal Medicine Department, when admitted to individual room for active labour (to be determined by midwife) and birth and, to visit in antenatal and postnatal wards for up to one hour once a week.
Paediatric and Neonatal
Any child admitted can be accompanied by one of two nominated parents / caregivers at any given time for the duration of the stay.
Mental Health and Learning Disability
One person to visit for up to one hour once a week, or more where deemed necessary to support the mental health and wellbeing of the patient. Alternatives in line with visiting policies, e.g. outdoor visiting, virtual visits, designated visiting rooms etc.
Emergency Departments, X-Ray and Day Procedure Units
One person can be facilitated to accompany the patient only where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff.
Outpatient departments (OPD)
Only where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff one person can be facilitated to accompany the patient.
Cancer, burns and renal units
One visitor to be permitted to visit where the environment is COVID secure for up to one hour per week. Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer, and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance, then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).
One family member of carer to be permitted access to visit, where the environment is COVID secure, for up to one hour daily. Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer, and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance, then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).
Where the home is not in an outbreak, visiting for residents should be arranged using well-ventilated designated rooms/visiting pods, with additional visiting arranged as outdoor visits, window visits and virtually supported visits. Where visits can only take place in a resident's own room, this should be arranged where this can be accommodated within social distancing. End of life visiting can take place in a resident's own room as agreed with the care home manager. Please refer to Guidance for full details, including deciding the frequency/duration of visits, visiting in an outbreak situation, and care partner arrangements.