Who can visit?

In most circumstances only two visitors may attend the hospital. However in some situations we may allow additional members of the immediate family. This would need to be discussed with the nurse in charge of the unit.

We can only allow two visitors at the bed-space at one time and so the visitors would need to swap during the visit if more than two were present. This is so we can continue to safely attend to your relative during the visit.

You must not visit the hospital if; you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you have been in contact with somebody with COVID-19 or have travelled abroad in the past two weeks.

If you have underlying health conditions which put you more risk of being seriously ill with COVID-19, we would recommend that you do not visit the hospital.

Visitors must be over 16 years of age.

How long is the visit?

The visit at the bed-space is limited to 30 minutes.

Visits may be arranged in advance but are not confirmed until you receive a call on the morning of the visit. This is because circumstances can change rapidly within critical care and our ability to facilitate the visit cannot be guaranteed. We understand how much these visits mean and would only cancel a visit if we absolutely had to.

You will be given a specific time to attend the hospital. It is important that you arrive at this time. It may not be possible for us to facilitate the visit if you do not arrive at the arranged time.

Before you visit

Please make sure you have had something to eat and drink before you visit. The PPE you need to wear is hot and it is important you are well hydrated.

What you should bring

Bring as few items as possible with you to the visit as we have limited space to put clothing and bags. Although we don’t need you to bring anything, you may like to bring your relatives usual shower gel, scent or razor. Please don’t bring clothes or towels unless specifically requested.

When you arrive outside the main entrance of the hospital you should call the unit you have arranged to visit. (Security may not allow you into the hospital.) We will send someone down to meet you and escort you to the unit.

There are public toilets near the reception area to the main hospital which you may use on the way up to the unit (there are no public toilets on the critical care unit itself).

The bed-side visit

To enter the critical care unit you will need to wear full PPE. Currently this is an FFP3 mask (a thicker and tighter mask to the regular masks you may have worn), a visor, a gown and gloves. We will assist you in putting this on. A nurse will accompany you into the unit and take you to the bed-side. You will be able to hold your relative’s hand and we can explain some of the things you see at the bed-side if you wish.

It is very important that you tell us if you are feeling unwell or faint so we can help you out of the unit safely.

There is a specific process for removing the PPE and exiting the unit safely and a nurse will talk you through this at the end of the visit.

We will let you know five minutes before the 30 minutes has passed. It may be that you do not want to stay for the full 30 minutes, in which case just let the nurse know that you would like to end the visit.

Depending on the circumstances we may be able to give you a face to face update at the beginning or end of your bed-side visit. We are still aiming to limit face to face contact to protect you and our staff so the decision regarding this will be made by the multidisciplinary team responsible for the patient.