LOCKDOWN UPDATE: Visiting restrictions at Oxford Health inpatient wards

LOCKDOWN UPDATE: Visiting restrictions at Oxford Health inpatient wards

Visitors not allowed unless exceptional reasons

Oxford Health will not be permitting any visitors to our community hospitals and mental health settings during lockdown – with a few exceptions.

The decision to restrict visiting has not been taken lightly, and it is recognised that this will have an impact on our patients and their loved ones across all areas of the Trust.

Community services Clinical Director Pete McGrane said: ‘As the situation in the community deteriorates and with the new variant of Covid thought to be behind the surge in positive cases, we have a duty of care to protect our patients, our staff and the public, keeping everyone as safe as possible during this critical time.’

Visits will only be permitted under exceptional circumstances and extreme caution will need to be taken.

In the difficult and upsetting circumstances where patients may be at the end of their life, the ward can enable up to one visitor per patient to spend time with their loved one.

On our mental health wards, face-to-face visiting will not be permitted unless it would have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing.

Visits in exceptional circumstances can only take place following

  • a full risk assessment to reduce likely transmission risks to patients and staff;
  • visitors must be from the patient’s support bubble
  • stringent infection prevention control measures must be followed including distancing, hand sanitising and face masks

We know that this decision to stop visiting will be upsetting for both patients and their relatives

In the meantime, families are encouraged keep in touch at a safe distance. This includes using our Letters to a Loved One service where messages can be emailed to keepintouch@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk and delivered to the bedside or read out to the patient if requested. In addition, every patient bed is allocated with an iPad or tablet with secure easy to use software, so our patients and their families can engage in video calls and messaging. Our teams can help support this.

Published: 5 January 2021