WARRINGTON and Halton Teaching Hospitals are reintroducing visiting in all settings within the Trust following restrictions made in line with the COVID-19 pandemic, from tomorrow, Tuesday, with face-coverings still required.
The Trust is relaxing current guidance in inpatient settings whilst also enabling patients to be accompanied by someone important to them when attending the Emergency Department or Outpatient appointments.
For inpatient wards, visiting hours will be extended to 1pm – 4.30pm and 6pm – 8pm, and visitors will no longer need to book their visit in advance. Two visitors per patient at any one time will be welcome.
Patients attending the Emergency Department, or an Outpatients appointment can be accompanied by one person important to them. However, to support patient safety at times of overcrowding in the departments, visitors may be asked to leave for a short period.
Both inpatient visitors and people accompanying patients for Outpatients appointments or attending the Emergency Department will be required to wear a face-covering in all areas of the Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals sites at all times, unless medically exempt.
For all settings, visitors will be required to ensure good hand hygiene – regular handwashing or sanitising at all times and are asked not to attend the hospital if they are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms of COVID 19 symptoms.
Kimberley Salmon-Jamieson, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals said the new visiting guidance will provide benefits to both patients and their loved ones.
“We know the enormous contribution visiting makes to the wellbeing and care of patients, and the distress lack of access to friends and family causes to both patients and loved ones.
“Restricting visitors to patients as per the national policy request, and not allowing friends or family members to accompany patients to the Emergency Department or Outpatients appointments was not a decision taken lightly, but during the height of the COVID pandemic, the safety of our patients, staff and visitors was and continue to remain our priority at all times.
“We have been working extremely hard to reinstate our previous ‘Open Visitor Policy’ at the earliest opportunity as we know how vital companionship is for our inpatients and outpatients. We are delighted to welcome more visitors across our hospital sites – be safe and t be with your loved ones.”
The visiting guidance extends across the Warrington and Halton sites, including the Urgent Treatment Centre at Halton which provides an excellent alternative for those patients needing to attend the Emergency Department at Warrington.
There are currently 24 COVID-19 positive patients in the hospital, with none in critical care.