This week, all adult inpatient wards across Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) have reintroduced visiting.
The much-anticipated announcement comes as Milton Keynes has seen continuously low case coronavirus case numbers and a falling infection rate.
However, visiting on the wards is by appointment only and restricted to one visitor, per patient, for 45 minutes (one hour in total including 15 mins for arrival and departure) with a limit placed on how many visitors will be allowed on a ward and its bays at any one time.
Milton Keynes Hospital has said that all visitors will need to book an appointment by calling the ward between 0930hrs to 1130hrs.
Visitors will then be given a booking reference number to gain access to the ward at the agreed visiting time. Visitors should only attend at the agreed time, and only if they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms and have an appropriate face covering (with exemptions taken into account).
Visiting hours are from 1400hrs to 1900hrs each day.
A spokesperson for the hospital said: "If a visit is required outside of these hours or for longer than an hour because patients require the support of a carer, are at the end of their life, or are in maternity and paediatrics please discuss this with the nurse in charge of that area."
Anyone with a COVID positive test or showing symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste) should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
All visitors must observe good hand hygiene (handwashing) to reduce risks to the visitor, other patients and staff.
What can I expect when I am visiting a loved one in hospital?
- You will need to arrange your visit in advance. Prior to visiting, a member of staff will ask you about any high-risk conditions you or members of your household may have. Depending on your answers, you may be advised not to visit.
- If your visit is agreed, you will be given instructions on where to go and who to ask for on your arrival at the hospital.
- If you are unable to visit in person, please talk to the staff about arranging a virtual video visit.
- All visitors must always wear a face covering, including when entering and moving through the healthcare setting. Visitors will be asked to wear a surgical facemask if visiting a high-risk area or a patient with suspected/known COVID-19
- If you are parents/guardians, you must always wear a face covering when entering and moving through the healthcare setting and when a healthcare professional is treating your child/young person. If you are with your child and/or young person and within your ‘family bubble’ inside rooms or physical environments that afford separation, you can remove your face covering.
- Transport: you should arrange to be driven to and from the hospital by a member of your household, if possible, to minimise the risk of exposure to others:
- You should bring as few personal belongings as possible with you, e.g. bags, handbags, electronic devices, gifts and food for the patient.
- You should remove your outer clothing, e.g. coat or jacket, roll up your sleeves and clean your hands.