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Face masks no longer required by visitors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals unless by the bedside of a patient - Monday 13th June

Patients and visitors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will no longer be required to wear a face mask when attending one of the hospital sites, unless by the bedside of a patient.

Patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will also be asked to continue to wear a face mask or covering if they can tolerate it and will be provided with a face mask when admitted to the ward.

The new guidance will come into effect from Monday 13th June and will apply to all five NHS adult hospitals in Sheffield including the Northern General Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Jessop Wing, Weston Park Cancer Centre and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital.

Staff will be expected to wear a face mask when having a face-to-face clinical interaction with a patient. This will apply to all hospital sites, community settings and within patient’s homes.

Dr Jennifer Hill, Medical Director (Operations) at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have been closely monitoring the continued decline in COVID cases coming in to our hospitals and the new national guidance on infection prevention. In response to those two things, we have made the decision to reduce some restrictions at our hospitals and are therefore no longer asking visitors to wear a face mask when entering our hospitals, unless by the bedside of a patient. However, we are still asking that people continue to help us by not coming in to our hospitals if they have COVID or flu like symptoms and should continue to wash their hands regularly.”


Visiting restrictions at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals change to allow 2 visitors per visit from Monday 28th March

Some of the restrictions on visiting at the Northern General Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Weston Park Cancer Centre and Jessop Wing will be eased from Monday 28th March following new national NHS guidance and an ongoing review of the current COVID situation and the need to balance this with the impact on patients from not being able to have visitors.

So, from Monday 28th March the visiting arrangements are:

  • Patients will be able to have up to 2 visitors a day. Carers do not count as one of the two visitors and it will be at the wards discretion to allow flexibility if circumstances warrant it.
  • Visitors do not have to make an appointment to visit.
  • Visitors do not have to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test although it is still recommended that they do one if possible.
  • Visiting will be permitted between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week and there is no time limit on each visit.
  • Children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit unless in exceptional circumstances.
  • Visitors must wash their hands on entry/exit to the hospital and ward
  • 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.

COVID wards

  • Visiting can be allowed for 1 visitor up to 1 hour a day, but it is at the visitors own risk
  • A surgical face mask must be worn at all times plus/minus apron and gloves dependent on the infection.
  • Visiting must be arranged with the nurse in charge of the ward. Exceptional circumstances guidance still applies to red/outbreak wards, i.e., patients with dementia/end of life/requiring carers must still be supported to receive visitors.

Jessop Wing visiting

  • Up to two birthing partners can be present during labour and birth.
  • A birthing/nominated partner, one additional adult and your own children can visit on the antenatal and postnatal wards. Children must be always accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • A partner or a nominated support person can attend all scan appointments and antenatal appointments. There may still be times when people are required to wait outside of the waiting area to maintain safe distancing throughout the department.
  • Two parents, or one parent and an additional adult, can visit the Neonatal Unit with negative COVID-19 PCR testing provided by the Neonatal unit weekly.
  • Visitors must not attend if feeling unwell.

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. The majority of people are now double vaccinated which we know reduces the risk of serious infection and so with this in mind we think it is appropriate to allow increased visiting. 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 sorry but unless someone has a valid mask exemption they will not be allowed to visit.

We are also 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.
Full details of the new visiting arrangements are below and on the Trust website

You can find the ward telephone numbers here. If you think that exceptional circumstances apply to you and your relative, and you are unable to speak to the nurse in charge of the ward, please contact the Patient Partnership team on 0114 271 2400 between the hours of 9.30am-4pm. Out of these hours please contact the Duty Matron via the hospital switchboard on 0114 271 1900.

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