Visitors guidance - Inpatients
Visiting restrictions are being eased as the country learns to live with COVID-19.
As of Monday 4th April 2022: All inpatients to have up to two visitors for one hour each day across all of our hospital sites. Please check below guidance for facemask information.
In order to ensure the safety of our staff, patients and visitors, there will still be infection prevention measures in place.You are asked to sanitise your hands as you enter and leave the hospitals and the wards, some visitors will be asked to wear facemasks - please see below for guidance. We will also suspend visiting in any areas that have an outbreak.
In our multi bed bays, to prevent overcrowding, each bed will be allocated a dedicated timeslot for their visitors. This will be managed on each ward and patients will be encouraged to share their timeslot with family members where they are able.
Infection prevention measures in place will include:
- Suspending visiting in outbreak areas (wards in outbreak will be noted on our main location pages CIC / WCH / other locations).
- Asking visitors not to attend if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or feeling unwell.
- As with arrangements prior to the pandemic, children under 5 are discouraged from attending where possible.
- Lateral flow tests will no longer be required for visitors.
On your way in, please use the hand sanitisers found at every entrance. Check guidance below for information on facemask wearing
This advice covers visiting to all our adult inpatient units at the Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital and all of our community hospitals.
Visiting guidance to maternity and paediatrics has not changed.
- birthing partners are able to visit maternity units
- parents or legal guardians are able to visit in the children’s unit
Please also consider other ways of keeping in touch with your family and friends, such as phone calls and video calls on tablets.
All patients in our hospitals have access to our free wifi so they can keep in touch with family and friends.
If you are dropping of belongings for someone in hospital please leave these with the volunteers at the West Cumberland Hospital or the Cumberland infirmary or with the reception of the community hosptials. Members of the public are not allowed to take belongings to the wards.
Attending Outpatient hospital appointments
In keeping with NHS England recommendations in outpatients, diagnostic settings and the emergency department, patients may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support the patient with complex/difficult decision making.
Partners of pregnant women across north Cumbria are now able to attend all antenatal scans taking place at West Cumberland Hospital, The Cumberland Infirmary and Penrith Birthing Centre. The latest guidance is on our maternity pages.
You should not visit any of our locations under any circumstance if you're unwell, especially if you have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough
We ask for your help in respecting these rules.
New infection prevention guidance issued by the Chief Medical Officer on 1st June has been considered by the Trust this week and new arrangements confirmed to take effect from today (9th June 2022). The new national guidance sets out where masks are still required as a minimum.
Taking into account the higher numbers of clinically extremely vulnerable patients we are caring for the Trust has agreed that:
- Inpatients will be asked to wear masks if they are suspected/confirmed COVID or are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable
- We will continue to encourage all inpatients to wear a mask when mobilising round the clinical care settings
Outpatients/urgent and emergency care attendances:
- Patients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for emergency treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated, or offered one on arrival.
- All other patients are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference and face masks will continue to be made available.
- Visitors – will be asked to wear a mask if visiting someone who is confirmed/suspected COVID and/or is clinically extremely vulnerable. All other visitors do not need to wear a mask.
- Continued mask wearing for all clinical activity and in clinical spaces (including care homes, patients homes and outpatients)
- Masks are no longer required in staff only areas (offices, social spaces, and classrooms)
To prevent infection, we do not allow flowers on the wards or in clinical areas. If you’d like to bring a present for your friend or relative, here are a few suggestions:
- small healthy snacks
When you visit someone in hospital, always clean your hands using soap and water before you enter and leave the room or ward. We also ask that you use the alcohol hand rubs whenever you enter or leave a different area of the hospital.
Please do not visit at meal times, as patients should be able to enjoy their meal in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere without interruptions. If you wish to help your relative or friend at meal times please arrange this with us.
We try to create a calm and restful environment to help our patients recover. Please help us to keep noise levels as low as possible and do not disturb other patients. Supervise children at all times and do not allow them to run around or climb on to beds. If you’re planning to bring young children, it would be helpful to speak to the nurse in charge first.
We’ll keep family members and next of kin informed about any information the patient would like them to know. We ask that you respect that no information can be given without the patient’s consent. If you feel that you have not been given enough information, or are unsure about anything, we’ll be happy to talk things through with you.
We might ask you to leave for a short time during your visit while we care for your friend or relative. We’ll tell you when you can return to the bedside.
Violence and aggression towards staff, patients or members of the public will not be tolerated in any of our hospitals. Assault is a crime, and we’ll seek the maximum legal penalties for anyone behaving in this way.
- do not sit on the patient's bed, as this can spread germs
- do not put your feet on the patient's bed
- do not touch the patient's wounds or any medical equipment they're attached to
- do not use the patients' toilets, use the hospital's public toilets
- do not share a patient's toiletries, tissues or hospital equipment with other patients
All our hospitals are smoke free sites. This means there’s no smoking allowed anywhere on the property. This includes outside entrances and in our car parks and grounds.
You can use e-cigarettes and vapes outside the hospital, if you stand 10 metres away from the building. If you’d like help to quit smoking, support is available. Visit nhs.uk/smokefree to find out more.