Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic

We know it is important for you to visit your loved ones while COVID-19 continues.

We must remain vigilant and adhere to our visiting policies in line with national guidance, helping to protect the health and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff.

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The basics

One visitor, a close family contact or somebody important to the patient is permitted to visit in exceptional circumstances which include:

  • a patient receiving end-of-life care
  • patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious, or spiritual care needs or both parents for children and young people.

 

Facemask.pngAll visitors must always wear an appropriate surgical facemask covering provided when entering and moving through the healthcare setting, unless medically exempt for which evidence should be provided.

 

wash-your-hands.pngAll visitors must observe good hand hygiene (handwashing) to reduce risks to the visitor, other patients, and staff.

 

 

You must take a lateral flow test before your visit, whatever your vaccination status, and provide evidence of a negative result on arrival.

Anyone with a COVID-positive test or showing symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste or cold type symptoms) should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.

 

What can I expect when I visit?

Before arrival

  • You will need to arrange your visit in advance.
  • A member of staff will ask you about any high-risk conditions you or members of your household may have. Depending on your answers, you may be advised not to visit.
  • You will need to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test result, regardless of vaccination status.
  • You will be given instructions on where to go and who to ask for on your arrival at the hospital.
  • If possible, to minimise the risk of exposure to others arrange to drive or be driven to and from the healthcare setting.

On arrival

  • All visitors to Dorset HealthCare sites will be asked to wear a surgical facemask unless can provide evidence of exemption.
  • You will be given instructions on the length of time that you can stay for your visit.
  • You should limit the number of personal belongings you bring with you.
  • You should remove your outer clothing, clean and dry your hands when entering.

 

During your visit

  • Limit your movement around the ward as much as possible.
  • In some areas, in addition to wearing a face covering you may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Staff will guide and support you in this if it is required. Going to the toilet and having had a small drink before putting on PPE can help avoid the need to remove it and put it back on during the visit.
  • You will be informed of how to signal if you need any support or when you would like to leave.
  • Keep your mask on until leaving the building, then put it in the bin and sanitise your hands.

After your visit

  • You do not need to self-isolate following your visit, as by performing hand hygiene and where required wearing PPE you are unlikely to present a risk to others.

 

If you are unable to visit in person, please talk to the staff about arranging a virtual visit.

Visiting sites and inpatient wards