Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, in order to protect vulnerable patients and staff, hospitals across Devon have taken the difficult decision to further restrict visiting to compassionate grounds and for carers only.
We appreciate how hard separation can be for families and patients and we have a number of measures in place to ensure contact is maintained. These include regular contact from staff to a designated family member, the use of iPads for ‘virtual visiting’ and our patient experience team can receive and pass on letters, drawings and cards from loved ones to patients.
From Thursday 29 October 2020 from 7pm, to reduce the risk to patients, staff and visitors, no visiting will be allowed at NDDH or South Molton Community Hospital except for:
- If there are specific reasons of safety – Dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly.
- Inpatients under the age of 18 years old – One parent/guardian only (both parents are permitted in the special care baby unit).
- At outpatient and diagnostic appointments where a patient may need emotional support they can be accompanied by one person from the same household or support bubble.
- A patient receiving end-of-life care can receive more than one visitor from the same household or support bubble within a 24 hour period.
Please note that there are no changes to maternity services restrictions. The maternity visiting and appointment restrictions, which have been in place since 2 October 2020, are as follows:
- One partner or designated individual is able to attend the dating scan (at approx 12 weeks) and the anomaly scan (at 20 weeks). They are not able to stay for any subsequent appointments with a doctor or midwife.
- All other scans, such as growth scans, should be attended alone, though exceptions can be made if we anticipate having to break bad news.
- If a woman is being induced, they can have a partner or designated individual attend with them between the hours of 10am and 6pm. Outside of these hours our staff will continue to contact partners and ask them to attend the unit if, due to pain or distress, support is required.
- One partner or designated individual may make an appointment with ward staff to visit Bassett Ward once per day for a set time between the hours of 10am and 6pm.
- If a woman is being cared for in labour ward or in theatre, they can have one birth partner with them. This is usually when they are in labour, having a caesarean or in the immediate postnatal period.
We understand these restrictions may be difficult for mums-to-be and their partners, but we’d like to reiterate that if a mum-to-be is being induced and is in pain or distress, we will contact their partner and ask them to attend, regardless of what time of day it is.
These updated visiting restrictions will be in place from tomorrow. Even under these circumstances, people should not visit if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms or should be self-isolating because they live with someone who has symptoms.
We are also advising that people should also avoid travelling where possible, and should not travel to or from areas that have been categorised in the very high alert level.
More information, including information about alternatives to visiting, can be found here on our visiting page.