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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

AlertCoronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice.

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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Visitor FAQs

We recognise the important role your family and friends play in supporting you during your stay in hospital.

Latest guidance for visitors

We recognise the important role your family and friends play in supporting you during your stay in hospital. We have missed the contribution that you've made in supporting our patients while they are in hospital.

After successfully trialling limited visiting to our hospitals between Monday and Friday, from Saturday 18 July we will be allowing visitors to our hospitals seven days a week.

The same rules still apply - one hour slots will be booked in advance by staff on the ward, who will contact named next of kin to arrange the appointment

Please do not visit our hospitals if you feel unwell, in particular if you have a temperature, a new continuous cough, a loss of taste or smell, or diarrhoea or vomiting.

Some wards will operate a little differently to this - please see below.

  • Women who are in hospital to give birth can have one birth partner only. Other areas in maternity should follow the one hour rule.
  • Children's Services (patients up to and including 17 years old) - one parent or guardian for as long as required, but no siblings.
  • Patients at the end of their life (arrangements as agreed with the ward manager or nurse).
  • Intensive care units - (arrangements as agreed with the nurse in charge)

Visiting is not allowed in the following areas:

  • Outpatient departments
  • Wards where we are treating patients with COVID-19
  • Our Emergency Departments and Emergency Assessment Units.

There are obviously exceptional circumstances that will require case-by-case assessment - please talk to the ward manager or nurse in charge.

These include child patients, patients with learning disabilities, designated carers, and patients who can't make decisions for themselves. We will consider these on a case-by-case basis.

Before your visit

Visiting times

There are four time slots for visiting:

  • 11.00am - 12.00pm
  • 12.30pm - 1.30pm
  • 2.00pm - 3.00pm
  • 3.30pm - 4.30pm

How do I book a slot?

When a patient is admitted to hospital, a member of staff from the ward they are on will call you to arrange to a time slot.

Can I choose a time to come?

Sorry, no. Slots are allocated depending on how much space is available, and to make sure we spread visitors evenly across the hospital.

Do I need to bring any personal protective equipment (PPE)?

If you have worn your own face covering for your journey, you may keep this on for the duration of your visit. If you do not have one, we will provide you with a face mask. You do not have to wear gloves. We will ask you to use hand sanitiser before and after you leave.

Outpatients and other members of the public in our hospitals are required to wear face coverings while on-site. This is in line with national guidance.

Why can I only visit for an hour?

Safety is key in terms of allowing more people into our hospitals during COVID-19. By limiting visiting to an hour, we keep the number of visitors to a safe level and it also ensures that everyone gets an equal amount of time.

Does the same visitor have to come each time?

No. A different visitor can come each day, for one hour.

Is visiting allowed on all wards?

Sorry, no. To reduce the risk of infection, we will only be allowing visitors to wards where there are no known patients with COVID-19. When a patient is admitted to hospital, we will let you know if it is possible to visit the ward they are on.

I know two patients who are in the same hospital. Can I visit them both in my one hour time slot?

Sorry, no. We are working to the 'rule of one' - so one visitor, for one patient, for one hour.

Can I bring gifts or presents?

We know that many people like to do kind things like bring gifts to people in hospital, but it's important to be mindful of infection control. Please do not bring flowers, and please make sure that your gift isn't shared with other patients. We try to keep the areas around patients' beds clear to make sure it is kept as clean as possible, so please do not bring too many gifts.

I am a carer - does this affect the existing visiting arrangements I have in place?

No, not at all. We understand and recognise that carers are central to the care and well-being of our patients and provide essential support and reassurance to patients especially when admission to hospital is needed.

We encourage all carers to continue to follow the visiting plan you already have in place and to speak with the nurse in charge if you need to discuss any changes. The nurse in charge will be happy to discuss this with you.

On the day of your visit

Where do I park?

Please use the visitor car parks on all sites. The only exception is car park 2A at the John Radcliffe Hospital, which is currently being used for staff car parking. Normal parking charges apply. Parking for holders of valid blue badges is free - please ask ward staff for details. Car parks are monitored, so please only park in designated spaces and only when you are visiting.

Where do I go when I arrive?

You need to use designated entrances to our hospitals when visiting your relative or friend. These are outlined below.

John Radcliffe Hospital

  • General visiting - main entrance
  • Visiting in the West Wing including the Children's Hospital - Children's Hospital entrance
  • Visiting for maternity, newborns, and gynaecology ' main entrance of the Women's Centre

Horton General Hospital

Main entrance - next to the Emergency Department

Churchill Hospital

  • Main entrance (near the shops)
  • Renal Unit main entrance
  • Old entrance - off Churchill Drive
  • Sobell House - the main entrance to Sobell House

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Main entrance

If you have been given a lift to the hospital, then the person who is driving should remain in their car if possible.

What happens next?

You will need to report to our designated Welcome Team. They will ask you which ward you are visiting, and give you a face mask if needed, some hand sanitiser, a coloured visitor's badge to show which time slot you are in, and an information sheet. You can then go up to the ward.

Things work a little differently at the weekend. If you have a visiting slot on a Saturday or Sunday, please make your way straight up to the ward and report to the ward co-ordinator where you can collect your visitor badge. Please make sure you wear a face covering/mask for your visit, and use hand sanitiser on entry and exit to the ward and hospital site.

If you haven't visited our hospitals before, please made sure you get directions to the ward when you make your appointment.

How do I get to the ward?

Lifts are currently restricted to two people at a time, except for NHS staff escorting a patient. Patients should be given priority. It may be quicker to use the stairs, if you can. Please keep left in corridors and on the stairs.

What do I do when I arrive on the ward?

When you arrive on the ward, please make your way to your relative or friend's bedside. We will ask you to stay in place for the duration of your visit, unless you need to use the toilet. At the end of the one hour time slot, we will ask you to leave the ward. Please keep your mask on at all times.

Can I use the toilet during my visit?

Yes, but please do not use the toilets that are for patients or staff. Please use our public toilets.

Where shall I sit?

Please do not sit on your relative or friend's bed. Please sit on the chairs provided.

What happens when I leave the ward?

Please make your way back to the entry point where you met the Welcome Team on arrival. When you reach the entry point, if you were given a face mask you will be asked to remove it and place it in the bin provided, and to use hand sanitiser. You can keep your information sheet.

Maternity Services

Please see: Maternity Services / COVID-19 / Visitors

Gynaecology Services

Please see gynaecology for more information.

Other ways of keeping in touch

I don't think I'll be able to visit my relative or friend. Are there other ways I can keep in touch with them?

Of course. You are still able to call the ward, and our wards also have mobile phones which can be taken to the bedside. We also have some tablets which people can make video calls on. Please do ask the nursing teams on the wards for more information.

We also have a 'keep in touch' service where you can send messages or photos via email, and we then print them out and deliver them to patients each day. The address is keepintouch@ouh.nhs.uk

Feedback

This is a new Policy. We would really like to know about your recent experience of visiting our hospitals.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Visiting Policy, please contact us.

Patient Experience Team: 01865 223206
Monday to Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm

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