FOLLOWING the increased local restrictions introduced across Bradford district by the government on Thursday night, hospitals in the Bradford district are reminding everyone of the rules on hospital visiting to protect patients, staff, volunteers and visitors.
Karen Dawber, Chief Nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are asking all members of the public coming to our hospitals to wear a mask or face covering when they arrive. This will help to protect them and others. This can be a fabric, non-medical mask. In the event of an emergency, a face mask will be provided.
“We are also asking that as well as wearing a mask or face covering, visitors and outpatients continue to use the hand sanitisers provided on all our wards and departments on entering and leaving. It is vitally important to maintain good hand hygiene at all times and to wash hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
“We would also like to remind visitors to observe the two-metre social distancing rule.”
Jill Asbury, Director for Nursing at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said: “In the face of rising infection rates of Covid-19 in Bradford district it is important we continue to restrict the number of visitors to our hospital for everyone’s safety. We understand how difficult this can be; however, we must do everything we can to prevent any further spread of the virus.
“We have a variety of support services in place for our patients, relatives and carers to help families and friends to keep in touch and we would encourage people to use those. We need everyone’s help to keep our hospital environment as safe as possible for all our patients, visitors and staff.”
Visitors should also follow good hygiene practice, making sure they wash their hands before and after visiting and use hand sanitisers on the ward. They will not be able to arrange a visit if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
Both trusts have put a range of measures in place, including video calls and other technology, to support families to see and talk to loved ones.
At Bradford Teaching Hospitals the different ways to keep in touch include:
- FamilyView – a system through which families can see and speak remotely to loved ones.
- Relatives’ Line – 01274 272747 which allows a family member to phone for a daily update from a member of the clinical team, or to pass on a message.
- Thinking of you – firstname.lastname@example.org – an electronic in-box for families and friends to send goodwill messages and videos for us to play to the patients.
Airedale Hospital has also set up a range of services to support relatives, carers and families which include:
- Virtual Visiting – having a virtual visit with loved ones via a secure online link (please contact the individual ward to arrange)
- Pick up/ drop off service for patient belongings
- Sending Hugs Service where people can send photos and messages by emailing email@example.com
- Care Parcels that can be sent to loved ones during their stay
Visiting at both Trusts is only permitted in the following circumstances:
- For those receiving end-of-life care
- A birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour
- An adult accompanying their child in paediatrics or the neonatal unit (must be immediate family or a carer)
- For patients with learning disabilities or a significant cognitive impairment one family member or carer can accompany them following discussion with the ward
In these cases only one adult will be permitted. Families should contact the ward in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.
Visits are also permitted for patients who have been in hospital for 21 days or longer. This is:
- Limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient
- Up to one hour duration only