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The use of face coverings when coming to hospital at RDASH
In line with the recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we have introduced new measures to keep visitors, patients, and our colleagues safe.
Since Monday, 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.
What does this mean for me?
We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and our colleagues.
Face coverings can be cloth and/ or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.
If you are using your own face covering please take it home with you.
If you do not have a face covering a face covering or mask will be provided by the hospital on arrival.
These will be available through reception colleagues during the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday – Friday.
Out of hours, a member of the ward staff will greet you and provide you with a face mask.
You will be asked by one of our colleagues to dispose of the face mask as you exit the building in the waste bin provided.
If you have been shielding and was provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.
For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.
If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our colleagues have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.
All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.
Latest visitor guidance
Visiting has been suspended in all inpatient areas (except for patients receiving end of life care) unless there are exceptional circumstances.
We are really sorry to have to take this drastic action.
Why are we doing this?
We have had to do this because of two reasons:
- We are in national lockdown
- The high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases across South Yorkshire and the Humber.
This move is to safeguard vulnerable patients and our colleagues. We would only place a restriction on visiting if it was really necessary.
We believe that families and carers play an essential role in the health and wellbeing of our inpatients.
We appreciate how difficult it is for you not to be able to see your loved ones.
When will the Trust’s visitor guidance be reviewed?
This guidance will continue in place unless public health or national guidance changes significantly.
We will review the guidance at least once a month whatever is happening nationally.
Is there a process I can follow if I believe there are exceptional circumstances that apply to my situation?
If you believe that your family situation needs a special consideration by the Trust there is a process so that you can apply for ‘Exceptional visitor status’.
Please discuss this with the relevant ward manager who will pass your request on to senior managers within the Trust. These managers will consider the case and give a final opinion on the request which will be communicated back to you.
If you are permitted to visit under these arrangements you must wear personal protective equipment at all times. You may be asked questions that will help us asses the risk of you having or passing on a potential COVID-19 infection.
How can I carry on keeping in touch with my loved ones?
Our patients have access to iPads, laptops and telephones.
We will make every effort to use alternative methods of communication such as video calls, FaceTime, and Skype as well as support telephone calls so that people can keep in touch with their loved ones.
Can I bring in and take away my loved one’s clothing?
We have had requests from some families to bring in patient’s own clothing, and remove their clothing for laundry purposes.
We are able to facilitate this but in order to limit the numbers of people attending the hospital at any one time, this will be by prior appointment only.
We are making arrangements for a drop off and collection point to be set up.
St John’s Hospice
Changes to visiting at the hospice (12 February 2021)
Our hospice is reintroducing visiting for patients who are admitted for symptom management and/ or deteriorating in health. Visitors will be screened and given appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to wear. One visitor will be able to stay for up to three hours in total in a 24 hour period. A different visitor may visit on another day. This is subject to change and hospice colleagues will continue to encourage other forms of communication such as phone and facetime.
There is no change to the current visiting arrangements for patients in the last days of their life.