Visiting or attending hospital during Covid

A view of Royal Surrey County Hospital

Before visiting the visitor should:

  • Contact the ward/department/service setting to discuss appropriate local arrangements. This will include doing a risk assessment.
  • Take a lateral flow test, regardless of vaccination status and provide proof of a negative result.
  • Have received at least one vaccination, where possible, and provide proof of this. 

All visitors must always wear a face covering, including when entering and moving through the healthcare setting, unless medically exempt for which evidence should be provided.

Anyone showing any symptoms of Covid-19 should not visit. This is essential for infection prevention and control. If visitors display symptoms of Covid-19 or have a positive test result they should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If they have symptoms of Covid-19, they should arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible, even if they’ve had one or more doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. Anyone feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for Covid-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster, should not visit.

To keep our staff and patients safe we ask you to observe the rules of hands, face, space. Please ensure you sanitise your hands and put on a surgical mask upon arrival at our hospitals. Please make sure you keep a two metre distance from others, wherever possible.

When visiting patients, please minimise the number of personal belongings you bring with you. If you would like to bring items in for patients, please refer to the list of acceptable items as set out in the Drop-off Service section below.

Visiting information for Royal Surrey, and our community hospitals

Visiting information from 4/1/22

The safety of our patients, staff and visitors is our priority and therefore the Trust has taken the decision to review visiting guidance over the winter period. These changes will support our aim to reduce the potential for covid-19 transmission from the community into the hospital. This will enable us to safely support patients accessing hospital services during periods of high operational pressures.

We understand how important it is for patients to have an opportunity to meet with their loved ones while in hospital, but with the impact of the new covid-19 variant 'omicron', and the resultant rising cases of community transmission, we have needed to change our visiting guidance. From 17 December the following will be implemented: 

  • Adult inpatient visiting – End of Life and carers visiting only. Visitors must book in via the ward. Each visitor must have a risk assessment and wear the appropriate PPE.
  • Carers of adult inpatients - flexible visiting is in place for carers of those with Learning Disabilities, Dementia and additional needs e.g. interpreters – please contact the nurse in charge for the area you wish to visit to discuss visiting arrangements. For those attending outpatients appointments reasonable adjustments can be made to support those with additional needs. Please highlight this to the department you are attending before your visit.
  • End of life care - daily visits are to be agreed by the matron or nurse in charge for up to four people.
  • Emergency Department (adults) - End of Life and carers visiting only. Unless End of Life or a carer, visitors cannot follow the patient onto the ward. All patients and visitors will be asked to fill out a risk assessment on arrival for track and trace purposes. Please bear with us as this may take time when booking in. All patients and visitors will need to wear a mask at all times within the Emergency Department (ED) unless proven to be exempt. We are required to keep observing the 2m social distance rule within the ED so capacity is reduced.
  • Emergency Department (Paediatrics) - we currently ask that only one parent accompanies their child and where possible no siblings accompany patients into ED. All adults are required to wear a mask on arrival and fill out the risk assessment for Covid.
  • ICU – visiting patients on ICU is still restricted. We will always try and facilitate visiting for patients undergoing end of life care, and patients who have carers.
    When a patient is critically unwell or has come off the enhanced recovery pathway after surgery, one named visitor will be considered on a case by case basis.
    Please be mindful that we reserve the right to restrict visitors to ICU to protect patients with immune suppression, the risk of infection to visitors, or to reflect any changes in local and national infection control guidance.
  • Outpatient appointments - one visitor may accompany an adult if assistance is needed.
  • Visitors for business - can now enter the Trust premises by appointment only. Each visitor must have a risk assessment and wear the appropriate PPE.

If you have anything you would like to drop off to a patient, please use our Patient Property Drop-off service (you can find more information below).

Haslemere and Milford Community sites

  • Adult inpatient visiting – End of Life and carers visiting only. Visitors must book in via the ward. Each visitor must have a risk assessment and wear the appropriate PPE.

Ward specific rules

Hascombe Ward

  • One dedicated parent is allowed to visit per patient. They must have negative lateral flow tests. No siblings or grandparents allowed. This is under constant review.

Special Care Baby Unit

  • One parent can stay with their baby on the unit. The other may visit at any time. Both parents must have negative lateral flow tests. Grandparents are able to book a visit with a negative lateral flow test.

Maternity

  • One partner from the same household is welcome to attend the 12 and 20 weeks ultrasound scan only.
  • One partner to support women on the Antenatal Ward during the daytime.
  • One partner to support the woman on the Postnatal Ward from 9am - 8pm.
  • Two birth partners are welcome to accompany any women while they are on the delivery suite - this is not dependant on stage of labour.
  • Lateral flow test to be completed for every visit to outpatients and in-patient settings. Please upload to the Government portal and be prepared to show evidence of this to a staff member on arrival.
  • Read more about maternity visiting restrictions here.

What we're doing to keep you safe

All of our staff will be wearing the relevant level of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) depending on where you are in the hospital, and whether you are an outpatient or inpatient. If you do not think that they are wearing correct PPE or following the guidelines, please speak to them.

You can read more information relating to Covid-19 and what we're doing as a Trust by clicking here.

Find out how you can stay in touch with your loved ones

We know this is a difficult time for relatives who are unable to visit patients so we are doing everything we can to help you stay connected with your loved ones while they are in our care.

You can find out how you can stay in touch with your loved ones, including a Virtual Visit, on our Message to a Loved One page here.

Drop-off service

Our property drop off service allows family and friends to bring in personal items for relatives at Royal Surrey County Hospital and is currently available from 9am to 12noon, Monday to Friday

There is a booking line for appointments for our main hospital, which is available 9am to 12noon, Monday to Friday, with an answerphone for outside of these times.  

Only one appointment will be offered per week, for those unable to visit (exceptional circumstances considered). If your friend or family member is able to visit please ensure property exchange is completed during these visits, not through this service. Please do not bring in large or bulky items as items will need to fit in to a bedside locker. Large suitcases and bags will not be accepted, nor will other large items such as blankets or pillows.

Please do not arrive at this service without a booked appointment to allow a safe service provision.  Further guidance on items permitted and the process for dropping off property will be provided when you speak to the call operator. To call the line, the number is 07979540102.

For patients in Milford Hospital or Haslemere Hospital please contact the wards directly.

Please help us minimise the risk by only bringing essential items from the below list:

Essential Items

  • Mobile phone/ tablet/ laptop and charger.
  • Wash Items.
  • Nightwear two - three sets.
  • Day clothes - two - three sets.
  • One pair of slippers or shoes well fitting.
  • Medication.
  • Dentures.
  • Glasses.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Small personal item or photo.

Non-Essential Items – these will not be accepted

  • Food (of any kind – including fruit).
  • Drinks.
  • Sweets or Chocolates.
  • Cash.
  • Soft items such as pillows/blankets.