While Government restrictions were eased from Monday 19 July, the safety of those inside our hospitals remains our top priority. Visiting at both Queen’s and King George hospitals is still therefore suspended until further notice, to help us protect our patients and staff.
The exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted, are listed below (we are also asking visitors to take a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test before coming to our hospitals - read more about this further down this page):
- You are a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.
- You are an essential carer for someone with; a mental health issue, dementia, a learning disability or autism.
- You are visiting a patient who has been in for longer than one week.
It should be the same visitor each day to limit the risk of infection, however, at the discretion of the ward manager / matron it may be possible for a patient to have a different visitor on different days (this is agreed on a case-by-case basis and may vary on different wards) – all visitors must be agreed and registered with the ward in advance.
End of life care
Two visitors – immediate family members and/or carers – are permitted.
The following visitor arrangements apply
- One visitor (the birthing partner) can visit our antenatal, postnatal and Coral wards between 1pm and 8pm and can stay for as long as they wish during this time. Children are not allowed to visit.
- If a child is born outside of these visiting hours, the birthing partner will be able to remain on the labour ward.
- If you have had an elective caesarean your birthing partner can stay with you while you are in our High Dependency Unit or Recovery area.
- Birthing partners can attend all maternity clinics.
- Partners are able to attend all scans. They will be asked to wait outside the department until their turn, when they will be able to accompany their loved one to their appointment.
- Our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is open 24/7 for both parents, who can be together at the cot side. Visitors must take a Lateral Flow Test beforehand and confirm a negative test on arrival.
- Antenatal services at King George Hospital
- Our antenatal service at King George Hospital is now located on the ground floor while we manage the pandemic.
- Download the map showing the new antenatal entrance: King George Hospital external map [pdf] 156KB
We are currently looking at how we can safely extend our visiting policy further, in light of the new guidance; please be aware it is also stipulated that any changes must be able to be done in a safe way, in line with national infection prevention and control guidelines.
Please take a rapid lateral flow test before visiting us
Visitors are strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test prior to visiting our hospitals (no earlier than 24 hours before their visit).
The Delta variant now accounts for nearly all Covid-19 cases in the community and is 60 per cent more infectious than the previous strain, which means the risk of it spreading to patients from visitors is significantly increased, especially as it is still possible to have the virus with no or very mild symptoms.
We have a responsibility to keep our vulnerable patients, staff and visitors as safe as possible, and our infection prevention and control processes have never been more critical. Therefore we are asking that before you visit your loved ones, please take a lateral flow test, and do your best to keep them and everyone else safe.
Visitors will be asked for proof of their negative test result when arriving at our hospitals.
Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests are free and can be obtained in a number of ways:
How to order rapid lateral flow tests online
To order rapid lateral flow tests to be sent to your home, visit the Governmnent website.
You can order one pack per day. Each pack contains seven tests.
How to collect rapid lateral flow tests in person
You might be able to:
- collect tests from a pharmacy
- collect tests from a designated community centre, such as a library
- get a test at a testing site
You can collect two packs at a time (14 tests in total).
How to order rapid lateral flow tests by phone
- If you cannot order online or collect in person, call 119.
- Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.
After your test packs arrive
- Take a rapid lateral flow test no earlier than 24 hours before visiting our hospitals.
- Report your results online the day you take the test. You must record whatever the result is.
- When you visit our hospitals you will be asked to show your negative result – please do not bring your actual test kit to the hospital – an email or text message confirmation of your uploaded result is sufficient.
Children who go to primary school or younger children do not need to test.
What to do if your test result is positive
If you or anyone in your household tests positive:
- Everyone in the household must self-isolate immediately.
- The person who tests positive must get a PCR test to confirm the result (a PCR test is a different type of Covid-19 test).
- You must NOT attend our hospital to visit someone.
How rapid lateral flow tests work
- Around 1 in 3 people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms.
- Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.
- The test usually involves taking a sample from your tonsils (or where they would have been) and from your nose, using a swab. You can get a result in 30 minutes.
Other important information
Our ward managers will ensure all patients have a named relative and allocate a time for people to call to keep in touch on a daily basis. Please remember not to come to our hospital if you have a cough, cold, flu-like symptoms or any infectious illness like diarrhoea and vomiting.
We appreciate how important it is to be able to stay in touch with your relatives, so we’ve launched our ‘Thinking of you’ service, so you can send them a letter and some photos.
You can also drop off items such as toiletries and reading materials to our main entrance desk - make sure they are packaged safely with the name and ward clearly marked on them, and we will get them to your loved ones.
We kindly ask that you do not bring food into our hospitals for patients. This is for health and safety reasons as we cannot guarantee how it will be stored or when it will be delivered, and our staff are not legally allowed to heat food that has been brought in. However, if you do decide to bring food in, please understand that the Trust cannot accept liability for the way food from outside has been stored and/or prepped.
We will continue to monitor the situation.