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Patients & Visitors

COVID-19 New Visitors Policy 

Protecting our patients and those who care for them is our top priority during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

As of 8am on Thursday 26 March 2020, NO VISITORS will be allowed in our hospitals until further notice, with the exception of:

  • Patients receiving end of life care – one visitor permitted for one hour. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff by telephone.
  • Patients prior to needing ventilation – one visitor for a limited period of time. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff by telephone.
  • Paediatric Wards – one parent/carer to be with the child as agreed with ward staff.
  • Maternity Departments – one birthing partner on labour ward. One supporting partner on the Postnatal Ward – must be the same as the birthing partner. NO visitors on the Antenatal Ward. NO visitor/partner to attend scan or any antenatal appointment. NO children permitted in any Maternity Departments.
  • Neonatal Unit – one parent only at any time. NO siblings.
  • Patients requiring individual carer support – carers will be permitted in agreement with ward staff.

VISITORS MUST BE SYMPTOM FREE AND NOT UNDER ANY SELF-ISOLATION CONDITIONS

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to visitors/carers according to individual circumstances.

DO NOT enter our hospitals under any circumstances if you are unwell – especially if you have a high temperature or a new continuous cough, or you have a chronic illness, or you are aged 70 or older regardless of medical conditions.

Please note our emergency departments are operating as normal and people should continue to follow standard care guidelines around when to attend. People who need to attend for urgent or emergency care and who have a new-onset cough or fever should let staff know as soon as they arrive so that they can be appropriately managed.

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.

General information 

We aim to provide high quality care in a safe and clean environment. Our staff are guided by our values of putting our patients first and making sure everyone is treated with dignity and respect at all times.

We offer single sex wards at Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital has single en-suite rooms on all wards. Single sex accommodation may be provided in single sex wards and single sex bays or rooms within mixed wards. Download our Declaration of Compliance.

In exceptional circumstances in which a patient needs urgent or specialist care in areas such as Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Stroke Unit or recovery, mixing men and women may be unavoidable. We will work to resolve such situations as quickly as possible and will keep patients and their families informed about our actions. During these times, our priority will be to maintain patients’ privacy and dignity.

If you have any concerns about privacy and dignity, please speak to the ward sister/charge nurse in the first instance or the matron for the area. Alternatively, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01622 224960.

Our visiting hours are 8am to 8pm. Some wards may have different visiting hours so do check individual wards via the A-Z Wards. Please note: carers are welcome – there is a culture of supporting open visiting on all wards within the Trust, which includes consideration of overnight stays at the ward manager’s discretion. As part of the Trust’s Best Care Programme we are committed to supporting people with dementia and their carers. We work collaboratively with Involve Kent and Carers First.

From 1 August 2018, our hospitals at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells are smoke-free. This means no-one will be able to smoke anywhere on-site. You can find out more here.

As of April 2019, we are delighted to be able to offer our patients picture menus through the use of iPads on our wards at both sites. The picture menus are great for helping patients with communication difficulties select the food they want to eat, giving them both independence and choice.

Patient access to treatment

Read our policy on patient referral to treatment (RTT) access and waiting times. The policy encompasses procedures for managing patient access to RTT services from booking, notice requirements, patients’ choice and waiting list management for all stages of a referral to treatment, including discharge to primary care or other provider.

MTW makes every effort to ensure that referrals are handled efficiently and equitably, in line with national guidance, and to ensure that the patient’s best interests and wishes are at the forefront of the way the Trust operates.

Do you need an interpreter?

If you need to use an interpreter when you visit the Hospital for an appointment or procedure, please contact the number on your appointment letter to arrange this.  Please provide as much notice as possible.  This includes people needing British Sign Language and Hands On/Hands Over interpreting.

Reducing infections

We pride ourselves on having very low infection rates.

However, we need your help to make sure we keep infection rates down. Please help us protect our patients by making sure you use the gel provided in all areas of our hospitals to clean your hands. There are also wash hand basins close to every bed for everyone to use before and after they come into contact with patients.

Handy tips on how to prevent and reduce the spread of infections can be found on our visiting hours page.

Or you can read more about how we’re preventing infections in Our quality story.

Keeping safe while staying in our hospitals