Coronavirus/Covid-19 key information for patients and visitors

Click/tap here for key public-relevant Coronavirus/Covid-19 information for patients, visitors and members of the public.

Hospital visitor guidance – updated 29 June 2020

Posted on: Monday 29 Jun 2020

Visiting arrangements – new on 29 June

With immediate effect, visiting for all inpatients is now allowed. This must be one visitor per patient between 2-4pm each day. Visitors need to book prior to visiting by calling the relevant ward and complete a Covid-19 questionnaire (staff will provide this as part of the call to the ward). 

Visitors must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) – a mask, a visor, gloves and an apron. This will be provided on arrival at the ward.

Patients who are in the categories below may still have flexible visiting at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge.

Extra information about specific patient groups:

Patients at End of Life
These patients should be allowed open visiting where possible. One, or a maximum or two, visitors at a time may visit throughout the day (and night if appropriate) and it can be different members of the family.

Patients with a Learning Disability
Each patient should be assessed and visiting discussed with their immediate family. You may need to seek advice from Ben Haywood-Noble if you are unsure if visitors would be beneficial. Visiting times should be allowed on an individual basis depending on the patient’s needs.

Patients with Dementia
Each patient should be assessed as to whether or not receiving a visitor would be beneficial to their wellbeing. If you are unsure please discuss with medical staff and/or Matron.

Long stay patients
Some patients have been apart from their family for a long time and have had no other means of communication. Following a discussion with the family a visiting time should be allocated for up to one hour with one visitor.

Wearing of masks when coming to hospital – new on 15 June

This is an update about the use of face coverings when coming to Harrogate District Hospital and/or Ripon Community Hospital.

People infected with Covid-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are introducing new measures to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From today, Monday 15 June 2020, you will need to wear a face mask when you come to hospital as a visitor or patient. Surgical face masks are available for patients and visitors at all entrances, and must be worn at all times while in hospital. If worn on arrival, please remove your own face covering and store safely in your bag/pocket and put on a fresh mask. There is no need to wear gloves.

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of Covid-19 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 mask at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

To keep the numbers of people coming into hospital to a minimum, please come alone if possible. If you need to come with a carer/relative, please ring the department you’re visiting before the day of your visit to discuss your requirements.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face mask while in the hospital setting.

If you have any questions or queries please speak with a member of staff.

Thank you for your understanding.

Community services

In the community, colleagues are aiming for a minimal number of visits, instead using technology to facilitate remote appointments. We know that many teams are doing this already and that is much appreciated.

Maternity Services – updated 18 June 2020

We are very pleased to be able to start welcoming visitors back. We appreciate how hard it has been to keep in touch with loved ones who are in hospital with these restrictions in place. We’d like to thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities, individuals and teams remain our absolute priority, and with that in mind, we will begin to introduce visiting to our department in phases and will continue to review our policy.

To ensure that we can maintain our levels of safety for everyone, it is important for everyone to follow the expert national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of COVID-19, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.

If you have any of the following symptoms you should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others:

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

The two metre social distancing rule should be adhered to throughout the hospital wherever possible. Please may we ask that you adhere to this during your visit, including all communal areas and lifts. You may witness that this is not possible for staff when caring for patients.

Maternity Assessment Centre

Women should telephone maternity assessment before attending and attend alone unless advised otherwise by the midwife during the telephone consultation.

Delivery Suite

One birthing partner can stay during labour and delivery up until discharge/transfer from delivery suite. The swapping of birthing partners is not permitted. If a named birth partner develops symptoms of Covid-19 then women can bring a different birth partner who is symptom free and in a position to self-isolate for 14 days.

Pannal Ward

You will be allocated a time in the day for your birth partner to visit for up to one hour which will be between either 11am-12pm or 3pm-4pm. This will enable us to ensure that we can maintain adequate social distancing within the department. If we are discharging you home, we will not allocate a visiting slot to you for that day.

Induction of labour: One birth partner can attend for the first two hours at the commencement of induction of labour. Following this the same birthing partner can attend for up to one hour once a day on subsequent days.

Antenatal inpatient admissions: One birth partner can attend for up to one hour once a day.

Postnatal care admissions: One birth partner can attend for up to one hour once a day.

At present no children will be permitted access to the ward area.

Outpatient areas

Women should attend alone unless in exceptional circumstances or agreed with the midwife in charge.

Ultrasound appointments

At this point, there are no changes to ultrasound appointments. You will still be required to attend alone. We continue to review this with relevant professional leads and partners across West Yorkshire and Harrogate.

What to expect when you visit our hospital

Please enter the hospital via the Main Entrance or the Strayside Wing ground floor entrance. Whichever entrance you use, please sanitise your hands and put on a mask (we will provide one). The mask must not be touched once applied/removed while in the corridors, communal areas and when visiting on the ward.

Clean your hands using the disinfectant hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where available:

  • on arrival to the hospital on entering the ward/department
  • when putting on or taking off any personal protective equipment (PPE) or face coverings
  • on leaving the patients bed space
  • on leaving the ward or department
  • on leaving the hospital building
  • as soon as you get home

Please bring as few belongings as possible to minimise the risk of infection.

Please go straight home after your visit, do not visit any other areas of the hospital.

You will not be required to self-isolate following your visit, as your risk from virus transmission will have been minimised by following the visiting guidance.

If at any point following your visit you display symptoms of Covid-19 you should follow the NHS guidance about self-isolating.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

For detailed Maternity Services advice, guidance please click/tap here.