Visitors

Important information for visitors

Updated 3 July 2020

All wards are still closed to visitors in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

We are continuing the current restrictions to visiting within our Trust until it is safe to re-instate limited visiting. Visitors will only be allowed in the exceptional circumstances identified below. This has been a difficult decision to make but we feel we cannot prevent the risk of spreading the infection if we allow visitors back to our hospitals.

Visitors will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, including: 

  • For patients at the end of their lives 
  • One regular carer for a patient with additional needs, such as a patient with dementia, autism, learning disability or other impairments. In these cases, the visitor will go through the same COVID-19 shielding (14 days of isolation) and testing procedure as the patient (you can ask the ward nurse for further information on this) 
  • One parent/guardian for a child. 

More information about patients with additional needs

Patients with additional needs include those who need a carer/family member to help with communication, and/or to meet their health or social care needs.

For example, patients with a learning disability, autism, advanced dementia or other impairments, which may mean they have difficulty following medical advice and treatment without the support of a family member or carer.

Family members or carers who plan to visit someone who needs additional support, are asked to tell members of the clinical team before the patient comes into hospital or tell them as soon as possible if the patient’s visit to hospital is unplanned.

Before visiting a patient with additional needs, family members or carers need to:

1. Make sure the visit is agreed with the ward nurse in charge before visiting.

2. Complete COVID-19 screening measures – a symptoms questionnaire with staff and a temperature check when entering the hospital. The ward nurse will help to arrange this.

3. Arrive at the hospital wearing a face covering and keep it on when moving through our buildings. Follow other personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance where needed.

You must also: 

  • Not come to the hospital if you are feeling unwell, including cold or flu symptoms
  • Wash or gel your hands as soon as you enter a ward or unit
  • Follow the additional measures that will be requested by our staff if you are visiting a patient with an infection
  • Not belong to the high-risk group identified by Public Health England as those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus
  • Follow NHS guidance related to how to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus.

We understand how important the support of family and friends can be for patients in their recovery while they are in hospital so while visiting restrictions are in place, patients are encouraged to use 'virtual visiting' to ensure contact with friends and family is maintained. Ward staff will try to make sure patients have access to, and support with, electronic devices such as iPads and smartphones, whenever needed. We have a small supply in the hospital, but please bring your own where possible.

We will regularly review visiting arrangements. We thank you for co-operating with us during this time.    


Help us protect your loved ones

Please do not visit if you have a cough, cold or any other infectious illness – you could pass it on to a patient.

Visitors who have suffered with symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting in the previous 48 hours are asked not to visit and to refrain from visiting for a further 72 hours. This restriction helps safeguard our patients from the risk of infection.

Children

It is not advisable to bring babies or very small children onto surgical wards. Again, this is because of infection risks. However, if you have no choice, please ensure they are supervised at all times. When children become noisy or upset, we may have to ask you to leave as this can disturb patients.

Flowers

Unfortunately, flowers are not allowed in some areas of the hospital. This is because the stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria could be transferred from the water to surgical wounds or intravenous lines (drips), causing serious infection. 

Flowers and plants are not allowed in the intensive care unit, or high dependency unit.

Smoking

Royal Brompton Hospital is smoke free so please help us to protect the patients by not smoking immediately before visiting. Patients who smoke will be offered nicotine replacement support while in hospital and you can help by supporting them in their efforts to quit.

For support quitting, contact your GP practice or the NHS stop smoking service on 0800 0221 4332.

Help to fight infection

You will doubtless have read in the news about hospital-acquired infections like MRSA. We tackle these infections very seriously and have a good track record in this area. You will see alcohol pump dispensers at the entrance to each ward and at patients’ bedsides. We ask you to do your bit by using these when you enter the ward or at the bedside.

Read more about infection prevention.

Overnight accommodation

We have accommodation available for visitors if there is a need to stay overnight. 

Find out visitor accommodation rates for Royal Brompton Hospital.

Find out visitor accommodation rates for Harefield Hospital