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Derriford Hospital reintroduces limited visiting

We are reintroducing some limited visiting at Derriford Hospital from Monday 12 April in a safe and COVID-compliant way. This is in line with updated guidance from NHS England and the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Where visiting is allowed on general wards, we have a Rule of 1. This means one visitor for one hour, once a day, per patient.

Each bed in our ward bays has an allocated visiting hour. This is to ensure there is a maximum of one visitor per bay at any one time. Patients in side rooms will also be allocated a visiting hour by the ward manager. The patient is asked to nominate one person to be their visitor to visit during their allocated hour.

Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus should not visit, nor should anyone who has been in contact with some confirmed or showing symptoms even if these are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others. If the visitors have symptoms they should isolate for 10 days and organise a test; members of the household should also isolate.

Visitors will be asked to comply with measures to limit the spread of the virus by wearing a surgical face mask, sanitising their hands on entering and exiting the ward and observing 2m social distancing.  All visitors are required to report to the nurse in charge before entering the patient bed areas.  Visitors will be asked to provide the ward with their contact details for the purposes of track and trace.

Compassionate visiting: under compassionate circumstances, for example, where a patient is at the end of their life or in other exceptional circumstances, the ward manager has the discretion to extend visiting.

Patients who are positive for COVID cannot have visitors, except under compassionate circumstances.

There are exceptions - please see list below for further details[i]  - and the ward manager retains discretion for compassionate visiting.

This approach will be reviewed in line with NHS and Government guidelines and local Public Health advice and we reserve the right to temporarily stop visiting in any ward or area affected by an outbreak.

Visiting in maternity

  • We welcome partners of women requiring support through antenatal and scan attendances, induction of labour, during labour, as well as in the postnatal period. 
  • A partner can attend each appointment with the woman; however will need to wait in a waiting area or car until called.  Partners can attend at all times for a triage assessment or in labour. 
  • One support partner can attend the postnatal ward for a two hour slot each day.

Paediatrics areas

  • For outpatients, one parent or guardian will be allowed to attend, with the ability to allow two (from a family bubble) if appropriate in discussion with the consultant.
  • In the Children’s Assessment Unit, one parent or guardian will be permitted, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • When a child is admitted, one parent or guardian can be in attendance. A second parent/ carer will be offered a flexible hour slot to visit.

In line with our Carers’ Policy, we will give a choice on whether the carer wishes to take on/continue with their caring role while the person is in hospital.  We will ensure that they have the access and support necessary to enable them to provide care should they so choose.  The time allowed on the ward may be limited.


[1] Exceptions are listed below:

  • Patient receiving end-of-life care.
  • A familiar carer/parent or guardian/supporter/personal assistant
  • Both parents/guardians where the family bubble can be maintained
  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs.
  • Patients who may require additional measures to reduce the risk of infection because they are immunocompromised, for example, undergoing transplant, stem cell treatment, etc.
  • In addition, it may be necessary to suspend visiting on other wards if there is an increased risk of infection

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