17 Aug 2022

UPDATE: Visiting Guidance for Western Trust Hospitals

UPDATE: Visiting Guidance for Western Trust Hospitals

The WHSCT has released its latest visiting guidelines

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) is continuing with its current visiting guidance to hospital sites allowing for one visit, for one hour per day per patient from three nominated visitors.

Exceptions continue to apply in some areas. If the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decrease in the local community over the coming weeks, it is hoped that the Trust will move to ‘gradual easing’ of restrictions. This will be reviewed on Monday August 15 2022.

A spokesperson for the Trust said: "Our Maternity Services continue to allow one visit, one hour per day from two nominated adults at the same agreed time, however, consideration will be given outside this in exceptional or individual circumstances. This will also need to be agreed with midwife in charge.

"The Trust treats the safety of our patients, staff and everyone attending our facilities with the utmost importance and we are therefore emphasising the social responsibility our visitors have by ensuring they please continue with adherence to infection prevention and control measures in our efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into high risk and vulnerable settings. 

"We would also ask that visitors please wear a face mask (covering their nose and mouth) when inside our healthcare facilities, even when in the presence of a patient.

"It is extremely important that any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and take a LFD in line with current advice for the general population – they should not visit a hospital.

"Visitors are strongly encouraged to take a Lateral Flow test prior to visiting. It is important that all visitors who undertake LFD testing report the result of their test, irrespective of whether the LFD test is positive, negative or void.

"To report an LFD test result visitors should visit covid19-result  or alternatively phone 119 (free from mobiles and landlines) from 7am to 11pm.

"Visitors should note that despite the latest government guidance that you no longer need to self-isolate from day five, as a precautionary measure, you should avoid contact with people you know to be at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 days, especially those with a weakened immune system and/or in hospital, to make sure you are no longer infectious."

"Important information on visiting any Western Trust hospital:

  • One visitor (from three nominees) is permitted to visit for one hour, once per day.
  • The Trust treats the safety of our patients, staff and everyone attending our facilities with the utmost importance and therefore strongly advise that anyone attending any of our facilities to visit a loved one, to take a lateral flow test prior to attending.
  • Do not attend any Western Trust hospital or facility if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone who is confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  • Do not attend any Western Trust hospital or facility after Day five of testing positive. You should wait until after day 10 before visiting.
  • All infection and prevention control measures must be adhered to when attending any Western Trust hospital or facility and this includes wearing a facemask properly which covers your nose and mouth at all times. In addition you must adhere to proper hand washing and social distancing guidelines at all times when visiting.
  • Based on high risk of COVID-19 transmission it is important to note that some wards are unable to allow visiting at this time and you will be informed of this when you ring to book your visit.  
  • Depending on the continued level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, all temporary measures are subject to review.
  • There will also continue to be exceptional circumstances in respect of visiting guidance to the North West Cancer Centre, attending outpatient appointments, maternity scans, neonatal and visiting patients in end of life care. For further information, please refer to the Trust website.

"We would encourage you to keep in contact with your loved ones via Virtual Visiting arrangements. You can continue to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ with your relative or friend on a smartphone or tablet.

"Our hospitals have access to free Wi-Fi and our staff can help set this up. Please be patient as there continues to be significant staffing pressures at present and our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care at this very busy time.

"For anyone attending any Western Trust hospital or facility, we ask that you continue to work with us and please respect our staff and the guidance they give you at all times.

"There have been incidents where our staff have received verbal abuse and harassment and we would ask everyone to please refrain from such behaviour and remind everyone that we operate a Zero Tolerance policy towards abuse across our Trust.

"We would like to thank you for your cooperation in relation to all essential recent changes to our visiting arrangements. Your support helps us to provide safer care for your relatives and friends who are currently in hospital."

Updated Visiting Guidance and specific information is provided on the Western Trust Website specific page at: https://westerntrust.hscni. net/western-trust-covid-19- information-updates/western- trust-covid19-visiting- guidance/

The WHSCT will meet to review the visiting arrangements again on Monday August 15 2022.

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