Wards will be welcoming visitors back into Walsall Manor Hospital from this Wednesday 16 March following a continued decrease in COVID-19 rates in the community.
All visitors will need to book a slot between 8am – 1pm on the day they wish to visit. Bookings can be made by telephoning 01922 444040 or via the online link on Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s website here https://forms.office.com/r/YtVtQAEs7K
Booking slots will open from 8am on Wednesday morning. Visits cannot be booked in advance unless in exceptional circumstances and visitors should not contact wards directly to make arrangements.
One visitor per patient per day will be allowed to come into the hospital and stay for up to an hour with their loved one or friend. They are strongly advised to have taken a COVID-19 test (Lateral Flow Test) before attending the hospital. Upon arrival they will be provided with a surgical face mask which they must keep over their mouth and nose and must sanitise their hands before reporting to the Welcome Hub in the main reception area where they will be issued with a visiting pass and asked to show a negative lateral flow result.
Free testing kits are currently available via the Government website https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests and many local pharmacies. For visitors who are unable to access a lateral flow test kit, provision is available for testing located on the hospital site near the entrance to the hospital. Social distancing is still being adhered to and visitors are asked to respect this in communal areas and lifts.
Lisa Carroll, Director of Nursing, at the Trust, said: “Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic we have supported visits on compassionate and certain other grounds and have worked hard to keep families in touch with each other through video calls. We also set up our Parcels to Patients service, delivering hundreds of essential items to the wards.
“We appreciate that even with these arrangements in place this has been a tough time for patients and their loved ones as we have all worked to keep everyone as safe as possible, including our own staff. We are now really pleased to be able to offer controlled visiting from next week.”
People attending outpatient appointments, diagnostic tests and the Emergency Department will all be able to be accompanied by one close family member or friend to support them.
Visitors will be allowed on to wards within an allocated time slot between 1pm and 7pm. Each visit will be up to one hour and must be limited to one person that day – visitors will not be able to swap around within the time slot. There will be 15 minute intervals between visiting slots to allow for appropriate cleaning and to allow for those entering and leaving the hospital. Visitors are requested to leave the hospital site immediately after their visit.
Visiting numbers have been worked out in accordance with total bed numbers on each ward and children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit unless in exceptional circumstances. If a patient has had to be moved to a different ward for any reason arrangements will be made to accommodate the visit.
Lisa added: “We thank everyone for their patience and understanding while necessary restrictions have been in place and ask them to please follow our infection prevention advice so that we can, hopefully, move towards even greater visiting opportunities in the near future.”
If you have any of the recognised symptoms of COVID-19 which are a raised temperature, new, continuous cough or loss of/change in taste or smell please do not come into the hospital. And if you have norovirus symptoms of sickness and diarrhoea you should also keep away to minimise infection risk.