Visitors must take Covid test to enter Lincolnshire hospitals

People can book to visit patients in Lincolnshire hospitals once more, but must be able to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test taken on the day of the visit.

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No Caption ABCDE EMN-211012-103435001

From tomorrow (Thursday, February 3), managers say an updated risk-based approach to allowing visitors onto ward areas will be taken in all United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust hospitals (ULHT) - including Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital Boston and Grantham and District Hospital.

All hospital inpatient areas are currently given a classification of low, medium and high risk, reflecting patient conditions and infection prevention and control measures.

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For each level, different visiting arrangements will be in place. This will be determined at individual patient level, depending upon their risk rating and the risk level of the areas they are staying in.

To ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff, everyone coming in to visit a loved one will also have to take a lateral flow test at home before travelling to the hospital, and provide proof of a negative result. The result should be registered through the national Report a COVID-19 Test Result website.

Visitors can then opt to have a copy of the result sent as a message to their mobile phone or to an email address. This, or a copy of the result recorded on the visitor’s NHS COVID pass on the NHS app, must then be shown on arrival at the hospital’s main entrance 10-15 minutes before their booked time and prior to entering the hospital. It is anticipated there may be queues while results are checked and visitors are asked to bear with hospital staff and to have their test result ready to be verified to minimise delays. You are advised not to bring your lateral flow test as proof.

All visitors will be asked to wear a hospital-provided face mask throughout their visit.

Director of Nursing at ULHT, Dr Karen Dunderdale, said: “We understand how valuable visiting is to our patients and their loved ones and have worked incredibly hard to make this possible in a way that is as safe as can be for our patients, their visitors and our staff.

“The process is straight forward. Please call the ward your loved one is on, an appointment will be made for you if it is safe to do so, then on the day of your appointment please arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to the hospital’s main entrance where you will be asked to show evidence of your negative lateral flow test taken earlier in the day. This can be through the NHS app, a confirmation message or email on your phone or a print out of your email.

“All of our staff are really pleased to be able to do this for our patients and their loved ones as we appreciate how important this is to them. This process will be explained to visitors when they are making their booking with the ward.”

There may be local rules in place in individual areas, depending upon the environment, and patients and visitors are asked to speak to the ward directly for information.

Exceptions remain in place for maternity, paediatrics and neonatal services, as detailed below:

Maternity:

• The maternity department will allow one birthing partner to attend the birth and a partner to visit women and their baby either antenatal or postnatal.

• Visiting hours on maternity wards is 1pm-7pm.

• Children are still not able to attend the hospitals to visit patients at this time.

• Partners can attend all hospital maternity appointments.

• Women and partners are encouraged to perform lateral flow tests prior to appointments.

Paediatrics and neonatal services:

Parents who do not show the symptoms of infection can visit their children on children’s wards and neonatal units.

• Parents with a baby in neonatal care have access 24 hours a day. This includes overnight stays where accommodation allows.

• Any exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.

Compassionate grounds:

• Visiting end of life patients.

• Other exceptional circumstances (such as for patients with dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and mental health).