Visiting will again be permitted on most wards at Addenbrooke’s Hospital from today (Monday 6 July 2020), although some restrictions apply.
Visiting restrictions to Addenbrooke’s wards eased from today
In March this year, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made the difficult decision to curb all visiting to the hospital to prevent the infection from spreading in line with national policy on Covid-19.
Now, with the infection levels falling, the Trust will be allowing one visitor per patient on the majority of its wards. This visit can be for a maximum of two hours and needs to be booked in advance with the ward.
This policy is designed to minimise the potential spread of the infection.
Giles Thorpe, Deputy Chief Nurse, said: “Our main priority at the hospital has always been the safety of our patients and our staff. As the number of people infected with Covid-19 begins to fall we feel we are in a position to ease visiting restrictions slightly to allow our patients to see a visitor for up to two hours a day.
“We understand families often want to visit people as a group, but unfortunately we can’t allow this under the present circumstances. Thank you for bearing with us, we know it’s difficult for many families and friends at this time.”
A carer will be classed as the visitor due to social distancing rules. Should a family member wish to visit, the carer may swap out of the clinical area in order to support the family visiting.
Visitors will not be permitted to enter the hospital if they:
- have symptoms of coronavirus, or have been asked to isolate for 14 days due to exposure to someone with symptoms
- are feeling unwell in any way
- have been sent guidance to ‘shield’ or are within a ‘high risk group’, or
- are under the age of 16. Children should not accompany adults to the site, unless it is for treatment or clinic appointments.
Anyone who is able to attend will be asked to wash or sanitise their hands, maintain two metre social distancing and wear a face covering. If anyone arrives at the hospital without a face covering, a medical grade face mask will be provided in emergencies.
If anyone is unable to arrange a visit, or feels uncomfortable about doing so, they can continue to use the Letters from Loved Ones service set up by the Patient Advice Liaison Services (PALS).
To help maintain the highest levels of safety visiting will NOT be allowed on wards where Covid-19 patients are being treated.
The Trust says: "To ensure the safest environment possible for our patients and staff, we are unfortunately unable to increase visiting within maternity services, or allow visiting on our antenatal or postnatal ward.
"However, from Monday 6 July, birthing partners will be able to remain with the woman giving birth until:
- they are transferred onto a postnatal ward
- OR for up tosix hours if they are staying for further monitoring
- OR until discharge where this happens within six hours of the birth.
"Women attending for a first appointment in our fetal medicine unit, or attending the Rainbow clinic can attend with a partner of choice.
"In the case of a home birth, a single birth partner is allowed to be with the pregnant mother throughout the time they are being attended by their midwife."
Visiting in other areas of the hospital is as follows:
Elective Surgery Ward
Visitors for patients who have been asked to ‘shield’ for 14 days prior to surgery should be someone from their social bubble, ideally from the same household, and must wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as directed by the ward team. This is to ensure these patients are protected as much as possible from the transmission of coronavirus.
Additional visitor restrictions are in place for intensive care units.
End of life care
When patients are near the end of life, the hospital will consider allowing two visitors on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that social distancing can be maintained for the safety of other patients, relatives and staff.
Outpatients are asked to attend appointments unaccompanied unless there are exceptional circumstances. More information is available here
Emergency department / A&E
Patients attending A&E should be unaccompanied unless there are exceptional circumstances (for example a child or an individual who needs a carer).
On the children’s wards and in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) one parent will be allowed to be with a child (under 18) at any one time.
Information about out Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is available here
Specific caring roles
Where carers are needed to ensure the safe care of a patient on the ward (such as patients who have dementia, delirium or learning disabilities) the decision to admit one carer will be authorised by the nurse in charge/ ward leader. A local agreement will be reached on the length of time that carers will stay and support the patient. Anyone who falls into this category must wear their carer’s passport (ID badge) which is available on the wards.
The Trust will continue to review its visiting rules to maximise opportunities to visit patients while always ensuring everyone’s safety.
Cambridge University Hospitals is one of the largest and best known trusts in the country. As the local hospital for our community we deliver care through Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals.