Visitor policy and Covid guidance at Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital
Updated 23 December 2022
With the recent increase in Covid infection rates in the community, from Wednesday 12 October we will be re-introducing face mask wearing protocols within our hospitals to help keep you, our patients and our staff safe. Please wear a face mask when entering our hospitals unless you are exempt or there is a clinical reason for you not to wear a mask.
Face masks will be made available for collection at our main entrances and we thank everyone for their co-operation.
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.
Christmas visiting policy
The bank holiday days over the Christmas and New Year period will have open visiting to allow our patients to receive visitors as flexibly as possible (25-27 December and 1-2 January).
- Visiting will be 10.00am – 8.00pm on all wards
- Staff will advise visitors of any outbreak on the ward so that they can make informed decisions about whether to visit
- Visitors who are unwell or have respiratory symptoms should not visit
- Visitors must wear a fluid-resistant surgical mask.
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 12.00pm-7.00pm.
- 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 8.00am-8.00pm
- Neonatal Unit: parents and grandparents (with parents’ consent) are welcome to visit any time. Siblings are welcome to visit between the hours of 11.30am – 5.00pm. For further details please contact the Neonatal Unit.
- 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).
Advice for visitors to Covid areas
This includes outbreak wards and quarantine patients (patients who have had contact with Covid positive individuals) on Covid outbreak wards and non-Covid outbreak wards.
- Restricted visiting (maximum of two visitors for one hour between 5-7pm) is allowed on outbreak wards for green patients and for quarantine patients on outbreak and non-outbreak wards. Any visiting outside of these times should be allowed at the manager’s/person-in-charge’s discretion, to support individual and compassionate circumstances or care needs.
- Visitors entering outbreak or quarantine areas should wear a fluid repellent surgical mask, be free of respiratory symptoms and adhere to hand hygiene
- Visiting is not generally allowed to patients with Covid unless there are compassionate circumstances.
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.
- 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: one birth partner is permitted on the ward 24/7. Open visiting is daily between 2:30pm – 4:30pm, two people at a time is recommended to reduce footfall, but this can be interchangeable. Own children are allowed onto the ward. Unfortunately, in order to minimise spread of possible infections we cannot allow any other children onto the ward. Please do not bring your child onto the ward if they are unwell.
- 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.
If you are coming in for a procedure and for some outpatient appointments you will be told if you are required to take a lateral flow device test – more information can be found here.