Coronavirus information for the public

Visiting Guidance - Updated 22nd November 2021

Reducing the risk of infection in our hospitals remains a top priority for WWL.

Following an extensive trial of in-patient visiting on a number of green (non-COVID-19) wards, we have revised our visiting policy to allow visiting to resume on green wards from Monday 22nd November.

Patients will be asked to nominate up to three named visitors who will be able to visit them during their stay.

Patients will not be allowed visitors until they have been in hospital for at least three days.

There may be some exceptions to this, which we will discuss with you on an individual basis. A member of staff from the ward will contact the named visitor and will be asked/given the following information.

Before the visit:

  • You will be given an allotted time that you can visit and what ward you need to come to.
  • You are being allocated a specific time slot, so you need to arrive on time – you will not be allowed to enter the ward early.
  • You will be asked for your contact details, which will be kept for 21 days and will be used for contact tracing if required.
  • You should turn off the NHS Contract tracing App on your phone during your visit.
  • You will be asked to sign a disclaimer on your arrival.
  • We will do our best, but you may not be allowed to visit every day.

Upon arrival at the hospital:

  • All visitors must always wear a surgical face mask (unless medically exempt), when entering and moving through the hospital. If you have your own mask on you will be asked to remove it, carry out hand hygiene and put on a hospital surgical face mask. Please try not to touch your mask once it is on.
  • You must wash your hands or use the hand gel before and after your visit.
  • You will have your temperature taken and recorded before admission. If you display symptoms of coronavirus, you will be kindly asked to leave.
  • You will be asked to sit on a chair at the end of the patient’s bed. You should try to keep socially distanced from others at all times, and not sit on patients’ beds or seats, share food or drink, pick up/move items that are not yours, or physically help other patients. If you wish to put things in the patient’s locker or take items home for them, please ask the staff to help you.
  • You are advised not to bring any personal items with you if possible. If you do these should be cleaned before and after the visit.
  • Each visit will be up to 45 minutes in length.
  • If the patient requires care or any investigations during the visit, we are sorry, but we will not be able to extend the visit time.

After the visit:

  • Visitors do not need to self-isolate following the visit as by performing hand hygiene and wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) they are unlikely to present a risk to those they encounter afterwards.
  • Visitors are advised to follow national guidance on self-isolation should they develop symptoms after their visit.

Virtual visiting
We recognise the importance of relatives and patients being able to communicate, especially during these challenging times. The options for virtual visiting, remains the same. Please contact the ward to arrange your virtual visit.

Message to a loved one
As a Trust we acknowledge the very difficult and distressing times our loved ones, their families, friends, and carers are experiencing at this unprecedented time. We acknowledge that it can be frustrating not being able to contact your loved one. You can send a message to the following email address: MyMessageTo.MyLovedOne@wwl.nhs.uk – we can print your message and deliver it to the ward or do our best to find an alternative method to get your message delivered.

Stay at home if you or someone in your household have Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms which are either:

a high temperature (above 37.8 degrees)
a new continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

The Law on Self-isolation

The law on self-isolation in England has changed. Close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case no longer need to self- isolate if they are either:

  • double jabbed
  • under 18

If you are a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case, you should take a PCR test instead. You must still self-isolate if you:

  • are over 18 and not yet double jabbed
  • test positive with a PCR test

If you do have symptoms, you should self isolate and take a PCR test.

For further information click here.

Maternity Visiting Update

The Maternity Service at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is working closely with our local and national partner agencies to ensure our patients, public and staff remain safe throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

We realise that this is a worrying time for pregnant women and their families. To allow us to answer any questions or concerns in relation to attending hospital to give birth, a dedicated Maternity help-line has been set up which is available Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm 01942 778616.  For any out of hours concerns please contact The Delivery Suite on 01942 778505 or 778709 and ask for the Shift Coordinator.

The Maternity Service has supported visiting for birth partners throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as a way of reducing the risk to mothers, babies and staff in order to keep them safe; this has meant that we have had to continue to restrict visiting within the Maternity Unit.

The restrictions across the Maternity Service will be reviewed regularly and will be in line with measures being taken both within Greater Manchester and Nationally and will reflect  the levels within the Wigan borough and the Wider GM area. As soon as it is safe to do so restrictions will be lifted.

Our current Maternity Visiting Policy is as follows:

  • It is recommended that both you and your support partner obtain Covid Lateral Flow Tests, that are available from the Government, to test yourselves prior to any antenatal appointments or when attending the inpatient areas of the hospital.
  • The Trust cannot accommodate any more than one support partner due to social distancing limitations within Maternity areas of the hospital.
  • Please note that no children are permitted to enter the hospital for any appointments (unless they are a patient) or for any visiting.
  • One support person is permitted to accompany a pregnant woman to their 12 week scan (NT or dating scan) and 20 week (anomaly) scan. In order to maintain strict social distancing the support partner will be required to sit outside the scan room and will be invited in towards the end of the scan appointment.
  • Support partners are currently not able to accompany women to any other clinic appointments; this is for both hospital and community appointments.
  • Women should continue to attend appointments for Day Assessment Unit on their own. If a decision is made to admit to the Delivery Suite, your nominated support partner will then be invited in or will be able to attend.
  • Women who need to attend the Maternity Triage can bring their nominated support partner with them into the department
  • Visiting Antenatal inpatients (This is women who have been admitted to hospital as an inpatient before giving birth (e.g. for close monitoring) and are being cared for on the maternity ward) is for one nominated support partner. This will be for 3 hours per day (this can be split into 2 x 1.5 hours) and they are required to be booked in advance.
  • For those women who are attending for an Induction of Labour they can attend with one nominated support partner who can stay for 2 hours. For women with the morning appointment of 10:30am their support partner will be offered a 1-2 hour visiting time for the evening. Should you not be ready for transfer to the Delivery suite the next day a 2-3 hour visiting time for the nominated support partner will be allocated. Dependent on the number of ladies having their Labour induced there may be further flexibility allowed with these times.
  • When women are transferred to the Delivery Suite for the next stage of the induction process their nominated birth partner will be contacted and invited to attend.
  • Women undergoing an Elective Caesarean Section will attend the hospital at the time they have been provided with and will be admitted to the Maternity Ward. Your chosen support partner is able to attend the Maternity Ward with you. Following surgery, partners are able to remain with the mother and baby for up to 2 hours in a separate area of the ward to facilitate bonding time together, and dependent on time of delivery may be able to return for an hour later in the day/evening.
  • When attending the hospital for labour and birth, your one nominated support partner is able to attend the Delivery suite with you. They will remain with you throughout your birth until your transfer to the postnatal ward, at which point your support partner will be required to leave the hospital. When active Labour has been confirmed you will be able to invite an additional support partner if you wish.
  • Visiting in postnatal areas will be for 3 hours per day (this can be split into 2 x 1.5 hours) and they are required to be booked in advance. If you wish the 3 hours can be split with the second nominated birth support partner.
  • We fully recognise that there are times when women will require additional family support which will be discussed and agreed on an individual basis.

Any birth partner will need to conform to the standard Trust guidance of:

  • Wearing a hospital grade surgical mask which will be supplied.
  • Having their temperature checked on attendance, if this is above 37.8 they will be asked to leave the site.
  • Keeping movement in and out of the Delivery Suite to an absolute minimum and ideally not to leave the area at all.
  • Respecting the two metre social distancing where possible.

Partners will not be allowed if they have:

  • Tested positive for Covid-19 and are currently self-isolating or are awaiting Covid-19 test results.
  • Are self-isolating because they have been in close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive
  • Have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say they have been in contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.
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