22/09/2021 | Press releases

Visiting patients in ESNEFT hospitals

Visitors continue to be welcomed back at hospitals run by East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) in a safe and controlled way.

Patients can nominate one visitor who will be able to see them for one hour a day for the duration of their stay. Slightly different arrangements are in place on the Trust’s maternity wards. Read more here.

From Thursday 23 September, visitors will be welcome on a ward once a patient has been in hospital for 24 hours. This has been reduced from 48 hours to support patients and their families who may find this period of separation distressing.

Continuing to have a restricted visiting policy in place will help to limit the number of people in the Trust’s hospitals and reduce the risk of spreading infection, including Coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are some exceptions, such as when a patient is receiving end of life care, which ward teams will support and discuss with families on an individual basis. More details are here.

ESNEFT’s visiting policy applies at Colchester Hospital, Ipswich Hospital, Aldeburgh Hospital, Felixstowe Hospital, Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich, Clacton Hospital and Fryatt Hospital in Harwich.

Visitors are kindly asked to remember:

  • Patients may have one visitor for one hour a day after they have been in hospital for 24 hours
  • Visits must be pre-booked with our ward teams in advance
  • Anyone in a formal caring role is encouraged to speak to the nurse in charge to discuss the ongoing care of their relative / patient and the length of time they can spend on a ward
  • The visitor must be the same for each visit for the duration of a patient’s stay (unless the visitor is a contact of a positive case of Coronavirus (COVID-19), in which case an alternative visitor can be nominated)
  • Visiting times will be staggered to keep footfall to a minimum in our hospitals
  • You will need to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) on the ward – this includes a surgical face mask over your nose and mouth, an apron, and gloves
  • Unplanned outdoor visits to see loved ones through windows / doors cannot be supported – please book your visiting slot with our ward teams
  • Visiting patients in exceptional or compassionate circumstances, including those receiving end of life care, is both encouraged and supported
  • Anyone showing symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) should not visit or accompany patients to any appointments in our hospitals
  • Anyone who has been identified as a contact of a positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) case is politely asked not to visit or accompany patients in our hospitals
  • Under current Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidelines, children are not able to visit wards, apart from in exceptional / compassionate circumstances
  • Unfortunately, visits to Coronavirus (COVID-19) wards and any bays on wards that are closed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) cannot be supported, apart from in exceptional / compassionate circumstances

ESNEFT Chief Executive Nick Hulme said: “We know how important it is for our patients to have visitors and understand these limitations are not easy, but our policy is in place for everyone’s safety.

“Coronavirus (COVID-19) hasn’t gone away and while we are still seeing hospitalisations and deaths locally, we just can’t relax the restrictions. We need to do all we can to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.

“Please do not abuse or insult our staff when you call to book a ward visit. They are just doing their jobs and are doing their very best to help our patients and their families as the pandemic continues.

“We urge everyone to follow the Hands Face Space safety advice in our hospitals and we strongly recommend all visitors take a rapid lateral flow test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) before they arrive too.

“Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding to help us limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our hospitals.”

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