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Visiting hours

COVID-19 (coronavirus) – New visitor guidance

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.

General information 

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust operates open visiting hours between 8am to 8pm, seven days a week. This is at the discretion of the nurse in charge, who will advise you accordingly. Some of our wards do have different visiting hours, such as the Stroke units and Intensive Care Units. Please check the times via our A-Z Wards before you visit.

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