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4 February 2022

Visiting restrictions changed to allow 1 visitor a day from Monday 7th February


Media release

Patients in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals will be able to have one visitor a day from Monday 7th February as long as the visitor has a negative lateral flow test.

Some of the restrictions on visiting at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals will be eased from Monday 7th February following careful review of the current COVID situation.

From Monday, patients will be able to have 1 visitor a day but the visitor is being asked to make an appointment to visit and have a negative lateral flow test before they arrive at the hospital to help limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The restriction of visits being for only a hour will also be lifted. Carers will be welcome in addition to visitors and asked to make individualised arrangements with the nurse in charge on the ward.

Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are aware that we still have relatively high rates of infection in the community but also feel this has to be balanced with the importance of visiting for patients’ wellbeing. We are seeing the start of a decline in cases and the majority of people are now double vaccinated which we know reduces the risk of serious infection. With this in mind we think it is appropriate to allow limited visiting once again but with the precaution of asking visitors to book an appointment time so that we can reduce the number of visitors in a ward at any one time and also each visitor will be asked to show evidence that they have a negative lateral flow test on the day. Evidence can take the form of a formal text message notification reporting a negative result from the NHS, a photograph of the negative lateral flow result (date stamped) or, in the case of visitors without access to a digital device, the test itself (in a plastic bag). We are sorry but visitors will not be permitted to access the ward without this. Everyone coming to our hospitals is also still required to wear a mask, and we have masks available at entrances if anyone forgets.

We are very aware that there will be exceptional circumstances whereby it is appropriate for flexibility in terms of visiting such as end of life and we will be sensitive to these circumstances whilst still trying to keep the risk of transmission as low as possible. We would ask relatives to speak with the ward staff to discuss the options in these cases.

We will continue to review the situation and will ease visiting restrictions further as soon as we can.”

Full details of the new visiting arrangements are below and on the Trust website www.sth.nhs.uk

• One person can visit a patient each day (more visitors may be agreed in exceptional circumstances), subject to evidence of a negative Lateral Flow test. Carers will be welcome in addition to visitors

• Visiting will be permitted between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week, however the visitor will need to make an appointment to visit by contacting the ward and the ward will need to see evidence of a negative Lateral Flow test. Evidence can be in the form of a text message notification reporting a negative result from the NHS, a photograph of the negative lateral flow result (date stamped) or, in the case of visitors without access to a digital device, the test itself (in a plastic bag). Visitors will not be permitted to access the ward without this.

• Patients on COVID wards will not be permitted to have visitors. This is because we need to keep the potential exposure to COVID-19 as low as possible to prevent spread of the virus or indeed take it onto wards which might then prevent patients from having their operation. Patients will be informed if their ward is allowing visiting. There may be exceptional circumstances where visiting can be allowed and these should be discussed with the nurse in charge

• Visiting in A&E will be decided on an individual patient basis because of space limitations to enable social distancing and potential spread of the virus. Staff in the department will be able to advise patients and relatives if they are able to visit.

• Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit unless in exceptional circumstances.

• Visitors must wash their hands on entry/exit

• Visitors must wear a mask – masks will be provided if a visitor does not have one

• It is strongly recommended that only those who are fully vaccinated should visit.

• Visitors with symptoms of Covid/respiratory illness or diarrhoea and vomiting are not permitted to visit.

• Patients will be asked not to stray from the bedspace of the person they are visiting unless absolutely necessary.

Jessop Wing visiting
• Two birthing partners are allowed to be present during labour and birth.
• Children are not permitted to visit.
• A birthing/nominated partner can visit on the antenatal and postnatal wards by arrangement with the ward
• A partner or a nominated support person can attend all scan appointments and antenatal appointments. Partners will be asked to wait outside antenatal clinic and Labour Ward Assessment Unit and will be called in at the appointment time to limit the number of people in our waiting rooms.
• Two parents can visit the Neonatal Unit with negative COVID-19 PCR testing weekly.
• All women and nominated partner must have a negative lateral flow test on the day prior to attending
• All women and visitors must wear a mask, socially distance, wash hands on entry and exit to Jessop Wing.



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