Booked patient visiting times resume at community hospitals and mental health wards
With rising Covid vaccinations and falling virus cases, we can resume limited visiting times – and are allowing one designated visitor only for each patient for one hour a day – but sessions must be booked. Please don’t turn up without prior agreement.
Oxford Health has resumed pre-booked limited visiting hours at our community hospitals on Mondays to Fridays.
We are permitting one designated visitor for each patient for the duration of their stay, meaning a dedicated family member can visit for one hour once a day via a booking system at our hospitals in Abingdon, Bicester, City, Didcot, Wallingford and Witney and at our mental health wards in Oxford.
This is in line with national guidance, regarding social distance, good basic infection prevention and control measures and appropriate use of protective equipment, including face coverings and, in certain circumstances, gloves and apron.
- Visits will not be allowed on to a ward where there are Covid positive patients. You will be informed if there is any exception to this rule by the ward.
- No child under the age of 16 will be able to visit.
- Visiting is available from Monday to Friday, not including bank holidays.
- Times will be booked in advance by staff on the ward, who will contact named next of kin to arrange the appointment.
We take infection control and prevention very seriously and all visitors will be asked to wear fluid resistant masks, sanitise hands, and observe social distancing at all times.
Visits will only be permitted to those who are well.
Anyone exhibiting any features of coronavirus will not be allowed access.
Thank you for helping us keep our patients safe.
If you are not able to visit for any reason, all the wards have a patient phone which you are more than welcome to call. The numbers will be given to you when your relative or friend is admitted to ensure you are able to stay in contact during their stay.
We can also provide your family member or friend with an iPad so you are able to undertake a video call. Ward staff will always be available during your visit to offer support and advice and to answer any questions that you have.
Oxford Health also has a Letters to a Loved One service. Family and friends can have their message printed off and delivered or read out at the bedside. You can email or send a Word attachment and even include a digital photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I book a slot?
When a patient is admitted to hospital, a member of staff on the ward will contact you to arrange a suitable time for you to visit. Please ensure you provide us with a phone number that will be answered. If the phone goes into answerphone a message will be left and we will wait for you to contact us.
Can I choose a time to come?
Sorry, no. Slots are allocated depending on capacity and the availability of staff to support your visit. We want to make sure we spread visits evenly and fairly across a ward or hospital site.
Do I need to bring any personal protective equipment (PPE)?
We will provide you with the following:
- Fluid resistant surgical face mask
- Plastic apron
- In special circumstances where visiting is permitted to a patient who is Covid positive, visitors will also be asked to wear gloves.
All visitors will be reminded to wash and dry their hands thoroughly before using the alcohol gel provided prior to entering and leaving the ward. All PPE provided must be disposed of appropriately.
Why can I only visit for an hour?
Safety is key in terms of allowing more people into our hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. By limiting visiting to an hour, we keep the number of visitors to a safe level and it also ensures that everyone gets an equal amount of time.
Can I bring a child with me?
No, unfortunately we cannot accommodate this. But if the child is 16 and over and we have parental/guardian consent, a visit can be arranged.
This is a trial policy, and we would really like to know how your visit went.
To leave feedback or for more information, please email PatientExperience.CommunityServices@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk
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Published: 23 March 2021