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Visitor policy and COVID guidance at Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital

(updated 20 June 2022)

Although from 1 April 2022 lateral flow testing for COVID-19 is not routinely required, if you have tests available we would advise you to take one within 24 hours prior to travelling to our sites to help minimise the risk to our patients.

Visiting at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and Maidstone Hospital is limited to the following:

  • Two visitors per patient at any one time, but not restricted to only two visitors throughout the day. Visiting is permitted from 12pm-7pm.
  • Children’s Services (including attending scans and any other appointments) – one parent/carer to be with the child at all times and a second adult 8am-8pm
  • Patients requiring individual carer support – identified carers will be permitted to support these care requirements
  • Flexible visiting can be arranged for visitors with additional needs – please contact ward staff to arrange this in advance
  • Maternity Department – please visit the maternity pages for visiting information.
  • Outpatients coming into our hospitals can be accompanied by one other person AND a carer (if required).

Wherever possible we will offer virtual opportunities for patients to keep in contact with their friends and family and support the use of phone calls or video messaging.

If attending our Emergency Department please note:

  • Only one parent/guardian can accompany a child
  • One person may accompany the patient
  • If you have any respiratory symptoms you must wear a hospital issued mask at all times unless exempt
  • We DO NOT tolerate any verbal or physical abuse.

Maternity Services

  • All outpatient appointments – only one partner allowed to accompany (children are not permitted)
  • Antenatal Ward – induction of labour/early labour; one birth partner initially, then two partners when on the delivery suite. All other admissions to ward is one visitor 12pm- 7pm. Elective c-sections; one partner. Children are not permitted.
  • Triage – one birth partner can accompany.
  • Delivery suite – two birth partners. (Must wear pink wristbands provided)
  • Postnatal Ward – two birth partners can visit the ward. (These must be the same two people who were on the delivery suite and must wear pink wristbands provided). One birth partner can stay all the time, the other can visit 8am – 8pm. NB birth partners can swap times but no other visitors are allowed (children are not permitted).
  • Masks are required for some clinical situations.

All visitors must be free from symptoms of COVID.

When visiting our sites

  • Personal Protective Equipment will be provided to visitors/carers according to individual circumstances.
  • Please try and keep a two-metre distance where possible and walk on the left-hand side of the corridors.
  • Hand hygiene – all visitors will be instructed on hand hygiene by ward staff.
  • No children under 16 are permitted to visit except in compassionate circumstances. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff by telephone.
  • Visitors may only visit one patient unless in exceptional circumstances.

Please do not visit if you or any members of your household have any Covid symptoms.

Alternatives to visiting

To help keep everyone safe, we ask you to consider other ways of keeping in touch with patients such as phone calls or video messaging. Please see our guide to patient iPads and using FaceTime.

Please note, our cafes at both hospital sites remain closed to patients but refreshments are still available to buy from the League of Friends shop, Costa and the M&S Food Hall at Maidstone Hospital and from WHSmith and Costa at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

Getting essential items to patients on wards

Relatives, friends and carers can still get essential items to their loved ones who have been admitted to our hospitals during the pandemic. Should you choose to bring essential property for a patient to one of our hospitals, please make sure you clean/disinfect the items and that you place them in a clear, sealed easily cleanable bag. Please do not bring in bulky items.

When you arrive at the hospital please go to the main entrance and speak to the security team about the purpose of your visit. They will then direct you to the nearby Hub where you can hand the bag to one of our volunteers. You will not be able to access the hospital due to restrictions to non-essential visiting.

You will then be asked to complete a property checklist form, and to fill in the patient’s name, date of birth and the ward they are on. Both you and the person receiving the items must sign the form.

Once completed the volunteer will take the bag and the completed form to the ward. A member of staff will then sign the same form to say they have received the items. After wiping the bag down they will take it, along with the form, to the patient so they can check the items against the checklist. Once the checks have been completed they will then be asked to sign the form (where possible) to say they have received the items.

Please note, patient property will be accepted by The Hub between the hours of 10am and 3.30pm, seven days a week.  We are unable to accept patient property outside of these times. Any essential patient property delivered outside of these times may be refused but if accepted might result in the need to be kept in a locked cage until someone is next available to take the items to the ward.