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Visiting hours

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 Monday 6 July 2020, our visitor policy is changing 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:

  • Chaucer Ward/Acute Stroke Unit/Cornwallis Ward/Edith Cavell: 2pm – 3pm daily
  • John Day Ward/Chronic Pain Unit/Intensive Care Unit: 3pm – 4pm daily
  • 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 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.

Please note our Emergency Departments are open as usual and anyone who has coronavirus symptoms is assessed and treated by a different clinical ED team in a separate area away from patients not displaying symptoms. It is really important that people continue to seek help early if they need it.

Protected mealtimes

To ensure that we enhance and improve effective nutrition all wards have protected mealtimes, which are periods of time when routine activity on the ward is reduced so that nurses, ward based teams and catering staff can serve and supervise meals and give assistance to those patients who need help to eat and drink. Please check mealtimes with the ward staff.

We welcome visitors who wish to help their relative or friend at mealtimes, however please check with ward staff before giving assistance. Otherwise we ask that visitors come to see their relative or friend outside of mealtimes.

For more information, please speak to the Ward Manager or Matron for the ward. Alternatively read our protected mealtimes information leaflet for patients and visitors.

Preventing infections

To help us reduce the spread of infection and safeguard our patients, follow these simple tips when visiting a friend or relative at our hospitals.

  1. Please do not visit your friend or relative in hospital if you have had symptoms of diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last 48 hours, or if you have symptoms of cold or flu. This helps to reduce the risk of cross infection to our hospital patients.
  2. Plan your visit – always adhere to ward visiting times and protected meal times. These are in place to ensure that essential patient care and ward cleaning can take place.
  3. Please gel your hands when entering the ward and at the bed space where your friend or relative is and repeat this process when leaving. This helps to prevent the possible spreading of germs to our vulnerable patients.
  4. If your friend or relative is being isolated please speak to the nurse in charge for guidance before entering the room.
  5. Please do not sit on the beds – these are strictly for patients use only. This is to prevent any contamination from your clothing being transferred to the patient environment and vice versa.
  6. The Trust has no storage facilities for food, so please do not bring any perishable or high risk food into the hospitals.
  7. Please do not bring in unnecessary items for your friend or relative – they can cause clutter which makes it very difficult for cleaning staff to access all surfaces that may harbour dust and infection. Clutter makes it very difficult for cleaning staff to access all surfaces that may harbour dust and infection also in an emergency situation it could hinder emergency access.
  8. Please do not touch your friend or relative’s wound or any other device such as drips and catheters. These areas/devices are high risk for infection so should not be handled unnecessarily.
  9. If you have any concerns about the cleanliness of the hospital environment, please report these to the nurse or sister in charge as soon as possible so that prompt action can be taken.
  10. If you have any concerns about infection prevention and control issues please ask to speak to a member of the team