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Visiting during the coronavirus pandemic

Visiting across UHMBT hospitals is currently permitted in all areas except on wards that are declared in COVID-19 outbreak.

A controlled booking system is in place to enable up to two named visitors per patient. Visitors are limited to three visits per week per patient, and a maximum of one hour per visit.

To ensure everyone’s safety, restrictions remain in place on wards that are declared in outbreak. Other wards where there are COVID-19 positive patients can use the controlled booking system. 

There is no change to the existing Children’s, Neonates and Maternity visiting arrangements or to previously agreed visiting arrangements for patients who fit the criteria for Johns Campaign, where there are exceptional circumstances, or the patient is at end of life. These will be assessed on a case-to-case basis.

Visiting restrictions are subject to change at short notice dependent on levels of infection. Please be aware that visits are not always guaranteed.

Visitors should not visit any health or care setting if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, or are knowingly COVID-19 positive.

A booking system is being used to avoid congestion in the hospitals. Bookings will only be taken between the hours of 10am - 12pm, Monday to Friday. Only one booking can be made at a time. Multiple bookings are not be possible, except on a Friday when visits for the weekend and following Monday can be arranged. 

In order to make a booking, visitors must call the main hospital switchboards between 10am - 12pm, Monday - Friday, to be put through to the relevant ward or department.

Infection prevention control measures, including social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing surgical masks, are still in place within the hospitals to keep Trust colleagues, visitors and patients safe.

Visiting continues to be permitted in exceptional circumstances, including the following:

  • The patient is receiving end-of-life care
  • Pregnant women are allowed to have one partner with them throughout induction or labour and whilst attending their 20 week scan. See further guidance for mums and birthing partners
  • 1 parent/carer is allowed to stay with their child or baby throughout their time in hospital.
  • The visitor is supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability, autism, or something where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. For patients with dementia, John’s campaign is available for one family member/carer to visit and support the patient as needed.

We would like to share with you the guidance on John’s Campaign for patients with dementia at UHMBT during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidance states that in all clinical settings - including, inpatients, outpatients and A&E - family members or carers are allowed onto all Trust sites to support the person with dementia.

Dianne Smith, the Trust’s Dementia Matron, is happy to talk to any members of staff who have queries about John’s Campaign.

The Trust’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with instructions regarding John’s Campaign can be viewed on this website.

The guidelines for John’s Campaign are as follows:

  • Support from family, friends and carers via John’s Campaign is restricted to one person only.
  • The family member/friend is required to wear a mask at all times. Further PPE may be required so should be discussed with the Nurse in charge.
  • Hand hygiene MUST take place on entry and exit to ward area, and before putting on and after taking off gloves and aprons.
  • Check any patient passport to confirm the carer identification and patient need (in view of current restricted visiting).
  • Issue the family/friend carer with a John’s Campaign lanyard.
  • Ask the family/friend carer if they are being paid to care for the person and check for ID (i.e. social services/private agency) Yes/No – John’s Campaign is for unpaid carers.
  • The carer must sign in and out of the ward using the Ward COVID-19 register, leaving their contact details and the name of the patient they are caring for.
  • The family/friend carer should be made aware of the COVID-19 status of the ward they and be informed of the risks of COVID-19 to themselves.
  • The family/ friend carer should spend their time with the patient they are supporting only and not move around the ward to any other patient areas.

Family, friends or carers must be reminded that they should not visit:

  • If they are COVID-19 positive
  • If they are isolating as a contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive
  • If they have been contacted by Test and Trace to say they are a contact of a COVID-19 positive person.
  • If they have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If they are shielding due to anticipated surgery.
  • If any local or national lockdown restrictions are in place preventing citizen community movement.

Get further NHS guidance on ‘Dementia Wellbeing in the COVID Pandemic’ on the Trust’s website.

Dianne also urges colleagues to please always use Mental Capacity Act principles. If any colleagues need help or support with the above, please contact Dianne Smith.

Things to remember when visiting our hospitals

Outpatients or visitors coming to the hospital will need to wear face masks to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

For some, wearing of a face mask may be difficult, and therefore all other measures must also be considered and introduced e.g. social/physical distancing, timed appointments, being seen immediately and not kept in waiting rooms. Individual risk assessments should be undertaken where required; for example, patients with mental health and learning disabilities.

To stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should avoid close contact with anyone you do not live with. This is called social distancing.

Try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble). 

There are markings and signs throughout our hospital sites to help you.

Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from illnesses including coronavirus.


  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds

  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

  • wash your hands as soon as you get home

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards