Coronavirus Visitor Update
Updated: 30th July 2021
During the current outbreak of Covid-19 we have had to restrict access to the hospice building for family members and friends of patients on the Inpatient Unit to ensure that our patients, staff and volunteers working within the Hospice are safe. These will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis and may change depending on the national and/or local infection rate and guidance.
Patients will be asked to identify their five named visitors and advise the clinical teams. Nominated visitors must be an immediate family member (spouse/partner/parent/child or other personal support) and only two of these can visit the patient at any one time. Whilst we recognise the distress this may cause, please do not attempt to come to the hospice if you are not the nominated visitor as this will divert our staff from delivering care to our patients.
Visitors cannot be rotated unless they develop symptoms of COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate, and any change in visitor must be agreed with the Nurse-in-Charge.
Every time a visitor attends the hospice they will be asked to complete a Covid-19 Screening Questionnaire to help us identify if there are any reasons why they should not be visiting i.e. COVID-19 symptoms or if they are required to isolate in accordance with Public Health England guidance, and names and contact details will be checked, recorded and stored in support of infection prevention and control. Personal information will be held by Bolton Hospice for a period of 21 days, following which it will be destroyed in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
To support visiting, the Department of Health and Social Care have rolled out new rapid flow tests to hospices to test visitors. This will enable Bolton Hospice to offer regular twice weekly testing of visitors, to support safe visits with loved ones. If you are accompanying the person on the day of their admission, the test will be offered and completed when you attend the hospice. Adults able to provide proof of negative lateral flow test results such as one carried out at work, and as part of regular twice weekly testing, can show their email/text message or a screenshot of this as confirmation and will be required to provide evidence of each test result to continue to be issued with a visitor’s pass.
We will ask you to do a throat and nose swab and then will let you know your result in 30 minutes. We will ask you to complete the swabbing yourself, supervised by a member of staff.
The test will take no longer than 10 minutes and the results will be available after 30 minutes. You will not be able to wait in the building for your results and must return to your car. If you have travelled by public transport then please speak with the tester who will discuss alternative options. If you have a negative test result, or can provide relevant exemption evidence, a visitor’s pass will be issued.
All patients will be screened and a swab sample taken on admission to determine their Covid-19 status, which is usually within 24 hours. If a patient has been confirmed as positive for COVID-19 then unfortunately no visitors will be permitted for a period of 14 days. This time period is different to members of the public in the community, following guidance from Infection Control.
Anyone showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit. This is essential for infection prevention and control that if visitors display symptoms of COVID-19 they will be asked to leave, self-isolate at home and organise a test; and self-isolate until the results of the test are back in line with Government Guidance.
The only exceptional circumstance for visiting a patient with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 will be if the patient is entering the last days and hours of life. At this time, if possible, we will offer an opportunity for the patient’s nominated visitors to visit the hospice to say goodbye.
VISITOR GUIDANCE FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF COVID-19 POSITIVE AND COVID-19 SUSPECTED PATIENT:
All named visitors must self-isolate following the death of a patient with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, as per isolation guidelines detailed above.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.