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Patients & Visitors

Visitor Policy

ALL VISITORS MUST BE SYMPTOM FREE AND NOT UNDER ANY SELF-ISOLATION CONDITIONS. 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 are shielding for any reason.

Effective from 6 July 2020, all services provided by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust are fully open, but visiting restrictions remain in place. Anyone attending our hospitals must wear a face covering and patients are permitted one visitor at a specified hour each day. Please refer to the following detailed guidance:

  • Each patient is allowed one visitor (close family or loved one only). Two visitors from the same household or bubble may be allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as for patients receiving end of life care or where the visitor themselves needs assistance – this must be arranged with the nurse in charge of the ward in advance by telephone.
  • Each ward is assigned an hour per day for visiting to manage visitor numbers within the hospital sites. Please refer to details below for specific ward visiting times:

Maidstone Hospital Ward visiting times:

  • Acute Stroke Unit/Cornwallis Ward/Edith Cavell: 2pm – 3pm daily
  • John Day Ward/Chronic Pain Unit/Intensive Care Unit: 3pm – 4pm daily
  • Chaucer Ward/Coronary Care Unit/Culpepper Ward/Whatman Ward: 4pm – 5pm daily
  • Pye Oliver Ward/Mercer Ward: 5pm – 6pm daily

Tunbridge Wells Hospital Ward visiting times:

  • Ward 10/20/30:  2pm – 3pm daily
  • Intensive Care Unit/Ward 11/Ward 31: 3pm – 4pm daily
  • Ward 12/Antenatal/Ward 32: 4pm – 5pm daily
  • Coronary Care Unit/Ward 2/Ward 33: 5pm – 6pm daily

 

  • Ward 32 – For elective patients on Ward 32 (Tunbridge Wells Hospital) only one visitor from the patient’s household is allowed.
  • Chronic Pain Unit – For patients on the Chronic Pain Unit (Maidstone Hospital) only one visitor from the patient’s household is allowed.
  • Covid wards – No visiting is permitted on Covid wards except in compassionate circumstances (such as patients receiving end of life care). This includes the Acute Medical Unit and Acute Assessment Unit at both hospital sites.
  • Lord North Ward – Due to the vulnerability of the patients, no visiting is permitted on Lord North Ward at Maidstone Hospital, except in compassionate circumstances.
  • Maternity Departments – Partners of people/parents in labour are to be able to stay throughout labour including in the early stages of labour and during induction of labour on the antenatal ward. The same partner can remain until discharge from post-natal ward. For people/parents in the antenatal ward, but not in labour, only the nominated birth partner may visit. 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.
  • Paediatric Wards – one parent/carer to be with the child as agreed with ward staff.
  • Outpatients – due to social distancing in the waiting areas of Outpatients it is not possible to allow outpatients to have an accompanying person. Only those requiring assistance, and children, may bring an accompanying person.
  • All visitors must enter by the main entrance at Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital and have their temperature checked.
  • Face coverings/masks must be worn – masks will be supplied if the visitor arrives without a face covering.
  • Hand hygiene – All visitors will be instructed on hand hygiene by ward staff, which should be performed at the beginning and end of each visit. Gloves are not needed for visitors. Visitors who arrive on the ward wearing gloves must remove them to avoid contamination risk.
  • 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.
  • In bays, curtains are to be drawn during visits to provide a physical barrier between beds and visitors.
  • 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 that refreshments are still available to buy from the League of Friends shop, Costa and the M & S Food Hall at Maidstone Hospital and WHSmith, Costa at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

General information 

Here at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, the safety and well-being of our staff, patients and visitors is our priority and our teams across the organisation have been working hard to adapt our sites to ensure your safety when attending any of our sites during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We understand people may have concerns about attending a hospital appointment or undergoing surgery during these challenging times, but we want to assure you our hospitals are safe thanks to the additional infection prevention and social distancing measures we have put in place across our sites. Watch our video below to see what changes we have made to keep you safe when attending our sites.

 

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.

View our Accessibility Statement published on 23 September 2020. 

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