COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors

COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors - updated April 2021

As we move into the next phase of lockdown on Monday 12 April, we are gradually relaxing our restrictions on visiting across our hospitals.

From Monday (12 April), each patient will be allowed one visitor.

Visiting times will be between 2-3pm and 6-7pm. However, to ensure we can maintain social distancing we will only be able to have two visitors in a bay at any one time, so this will need to be by prior arrangement with ward staff.

Not all patients can bring a visitor when attending the emergency department. To ensure the safety of both staff and patients only vulnerable patients who require complex/difficult decision making may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them. This applies to outpatients and diagnosis settings as well.

All visitors will have to adhere to all the infection control guidelines, including wearing PPE.

Patients in critical care (non-covid areas) will be allowed one visitor – but by prior arrangement with the critical care unit. Visitors are not allowed on to wards where patients have been isolating prior to admission.

We will keep these restrictions under constant review as the national guidance continues to change.

 

Outpatient appointments and cancer treatment

To manage the current Covid pandemic we have reduced our current footfall for outpatients in our hospitals and freed up staff to participate in Covid related duties.

Our current outpatient activity will continue either by telephone or virtual appointments at all sites. 

Patients requiring a face to face appointment, where possible, will be seen at one of our green sites, where there are no Covid patients, based on clinical urgency. Please be assured that social distancing measures and the use of face masks will be in place for all clinics.

We're using local independent hospitals to help us prioritise patients who have clinically urgent needs or are suspected to have cancer. All patients with suspected cancer should attend essential appointments for diagnosis or treatment.


Donations

We have been overwhelmed with the incredible support we have received from members of the public and businesses locally and nationally throughout the pandemic.

To discuss making a donation or to find out more please contact the fundraising team on 01702 435555 ext. 6401 or 01268 524900 ext. 2897 or email msecharity@southend.nhs.uk


General ward areas:

From Monday (12 April), each patient will be allowed one visitor.

Visiting times will be between 2-3pm and 6-7pm. However, to ensure we can maintain social distancing we will only be able to have two visitors in a bay at any one time, so this will need to be by prior arrangement with ward staff.


Surgical wards \ Covid wards

Unfortunately we still can’t allow visiting in our intensive care units or our Covid wards.


Green wards

No visitors are allowed on to the green wards where patients have been isolating prior to admissions.


End of Life Care:

Where patients are nearing the end of their life, two visitors can be with them at any time. 


Critical Care:

Patients in critical care (non-covid areas) will be allowed one visitor – but this needs to be by prior arrangement with the critical care unit.


Paediatrics:

One parent or carer can be with their child at any time and they are allowed to stay overnight.


Neonatal ICU:

Parents or carers will be allocated three hour slots on a rota basis. Our staff will keep you fully informed.


Maternity

All visitors to any of our maternity departments will need to have details taken, temperature checks on arrival and to wear face masks unless in a delivery room.


Labour Ward/Birthing Unit: 

Women admitted to labour ward/Midwifery Led Birthing Unit to have one birth partner accompanying for assessment. To remain with woman during birth.

Women admitted to Labour Ward for reasons outside of Labour can have one person with them during admission.


Antenatal: 

Women coming in for Induction of Labour (IOL) to have a birth partner attend for start of IOL procedure and then return home. To be called back if women is transferred to Labour Ward or if contracting and needs support during this time.

Visiting on Antenatal ward for all inpatients to be commenced two hours in the afternoon/evening. Staggered times arranged per bed number.

Only one visitor each session and this need to be a consistent visitor. Same visiting applied to antenatal patients who remain on Labour ward.

Partners accompanying for scans to continue as currently in place.

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For the latest updates on early labour, induction of labour or scan appointments,
please visit the maternity page.

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Postnatal:

Visiting to be increased from 1 hour in the afternoon/evening to 2 hours. Staggered times depending on bed numbers.

Same visiting applied to post natal patients who remain on Labour ward.


Maternity ultrasound scans (for Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals):

One person can accompany you, but care must be taken to maintain social distancing in waiting areas.


Emergency Department and Assessment Units:

When attending the emergency department the patient may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them with any complex/difficult decision making. This applies to outpatients and diagnosis settings as well.


Outpatients:

When attending an outpatient appointment, patients may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them with any complex/difficult decision making.

 

Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind. 

These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help. 

Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.