We continue to closely follow the government's recommendations to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission to our patients, who are most vulnerable, visitors and our employees.
Our latest visiting guidance was updated on Friday 20th August 2021:
Restricted visiting hours to the In-Patient Unit continue in response to the government guidance and our commitment to protect our vulnerable patients. (This supersedes all previous guidance).
Each patient can have up to 5 nominated visitors who are able to visit regularly. Any children visiting (apart from babies and preschool-aged children) should be included in the maximum of 5 nominated visitors.
We are now able to accommodate visits of up to 4 hours. All patient visits should be planned in advance, with up to two nominated visitors able to attend. Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) will be undertaken upon our request.
Outdoor visits for other friends or family members over the 5 nominated visitors can be accommodated for up to 2 additional persons.
To reduce the risk of infection, there can be no more than 2 visitors at a time or over the course of one day (essential care givers are exempt from this daily limit).
Discretion will be used for requests for visiting numbers for individuals who cannot visit independently, such as children or elderly visitors.
To support effective infection prevention and control, visitors must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) including a mask provided by The Kirkwood, maintain social distancing and follow all other infection prevention and control measures during visits.
Named visitors should undertake a Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) and produce a negative COVID test twice weekly or at the request of the In-Patient Unit Manager
Visitors should not visit the In-Patient Unit if they have symptoms or suspect they have a COVID-19 infection, or are in a household that is having to isolate due to COVID-19.
When visiting the In-Patient Unit, we encourage the use of outdoor space such as our garden and bedside terraced area.
On each visit, you will be asked to use alcohol based hand gel and put on a mask and any other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) prior to entering the In-Patient Unit. The nursing team will advise if gloves and apron are required.
You will also be asked some screening questions and if it is identified that either yourself or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19 you will not be permitted entry into the building.
We ask that you remain socially distanced from members of staff and other household during your visit as per national guidance.
We may be able to make exceptions to the above guidelines if you are a key carer for someone in our care. Any exceptions will be made at the discretion of the senior nurse in charge. Please see Exceptions below for more information
Overnight stays are not currently permitted. *
Those wishing to visit patients who are in the last few days or hours of life
Visits will be allowed for nominated visitors, with no time limit on visiting.
Overnight stays are now permitted for those visiting people in the last days or hours of life.
If a patient is expected to die imminently, our team will call in two family members (this may be extended to other key family members and will be agreed by the Senior Nurse and Doctor).
We understand that every patient’s circumstances are different and, where appropriate, we may be able to make exceptions to our guidance on visiting the In-Patient Unit.
These exceptions may include instances where a patient is at greater risk of distress, such as those with learning difficulties, language difficulties or dementia. We may also make exceptions if our team believes that a patient is experiencing significant psychological distress.
All exceptions must be agreed by our Clinical Services Manager or Senior Sisters.
General Information for those wishing to visit a patient
All visitors to the In-Patient Unit will be verbally screened to check that they do not have symptoms associated with Covid-19. These symptoms include a new persistent cough, higher than normal temperature and loss of taste/smell. We will also ask if you have had any contact with people known or suspected to have Covid-19.
We will also ask you to follow our strict hand hygiene procedures and follow our guidelines on the use PPE throughout your visit, as directed by The Kirkwood team.
We know that not being able to visit as often as usual will be difficult for many of you. We hope you understand that we have not taken the decision to restrict visitors to the hospice lightly. Our priority is to make sure our patients and those looking after them are protected as much as possible, and we really appreciate your understanding.
If you or a family member is due to be admitted to our In-Patient Unit, we encourage you organise some form of communication to keep you connected during your stay. This could be via WhatsApp, Facetime or the use of a mobile phone.
We also have devices available on the In-Patient Unit to help people stay in touch with loved ones.
Please wear your facemask responsibly
When visiting the hospice, please ensure you wear your face mask at all times. Failing to wear your face mask correctly puts your loved one and our teams at risk. You can help keep our patients safe by making sure your mask is covering your mouth and nose at all times. Any exceptions to wearing a face mask must be discussed with the Sister or Nurse in charge.
Please do not visit the In-Patient Unit if you are feeling unwell
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
Stay at home (self-isolate) – do not leave your home or have visitors. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also self-isolate.
Get a test – get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, should also get a test if they have symptoms. You can find out more using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus
Please note that this guidance is subject to change and will be regularly reviewed.
Lateral Flow Testing prior to visiting encouraged but not mandatory
Kits are available from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests or IPU Admin.