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 5 November 2020

Posted on: Thursday 5 Nov 2020

Visiting arrangements – updated on Thursday 5 November

In light of announcement around national lockdown we have unfortunately reduced had to alter our visitor guidance. From Thursday 5 November, until further notice, no visitors for inpatients will be permitted.

This is apart from the following exceptions:

  • Patients at end of life
  • Instances where difficult conversations need to take place
  • For patients with physical or cognitive impairment
  • Long stay patients

All of these exceptions will be at the discretion of the shift lead. We thank you for your understanding.

Guidance for visitors

Visitors must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) – a mask and a visor. These will be provided on arrival at the ward. There is no need for visitors to self/household isolate for 14 days after visiting (because a mask and visor is worn and good hand hygiene is followed).

Visitors to the hospital will not be admitted onto wards to see relatives if they are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19, as well as flu or diarrhoea and vomiting. This will allow us to maintain patient safety at all times and prevent the spread of infection.

If visitors are waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test, they will need to return on receipt of these results, provided they are negative. Equally, if visitors have been contacted by Test and Trace to inform them that they are required to isolate at home, they will need to wait for the isolation period to be finished before being allowed to visit a relative.

We will also not be able to admit any visitors who have returned from international travel to countries with a 14 day quarantine period, until that period is finished.

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.


We are able to facilitate a parent on Woodlands Children’s Ward and both parents on our Special Care Baby Unit. If difficult conversations are unfortunately needed or a child is critically ill, then both parents are welcome on Woodlands.

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 23 December 2020

Unfortunately, in line with the national lockdown, we have made the decision to tighten visiting restrictions in Maternity Services. This is a decision we’ve taken reluctantly because we know how important visitors are and we know how much it means for partners to be present at key stages of pregnancy and birth. However, we have to play our part in reducing contacts and minimising potential spread of Covid-19. We hope you understand why we’re doing this.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities, individuals and teams remain our absolute priority.

Antenatal and postnatal admissions (and Maternity Assessment Centre)

Only one person is permitted to visit. A visiting slot between either 10-12pm or 2-4pm will be allocated to you in the morning by the midwife in charge.

If you are being discharged home you will not be allocated a visiting slot on that day.

If you are attending for an induction of labour your partner can attend with you.

No children will be permitted to visit.

Please could we kindly ask that face masks and visors be worn for the entirety of your visit on Pannal Ward and that these are not removed. If you have any concerns regarding this please speak with the midwife in charge.

Thank you.

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 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.

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.

Outpatient areas

Partners can attend for all Outpatient Appointments.

Ultrasound appointments

As from Wednesday 23 December, we are allowing partners at all 12 week and 20 week scans. We will review partners at all other scans in the new year.

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.