Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals Visiting Restrictions - Important COVID-19 Update
To protect patients, visitors and staff visiting restrictions will remain in place to most areas at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals until further notice. Please click here for the answers to frequently asked questions on the visiting arrangements.
For guides to each hospital, please click on the links below:
We have introduced these measures to reduce the number of people passing through the hospital sites and offer the maximum opportunity to reduce transmission of COVID-19.
In line with these measures, we have closed off access to our disabled car park and this space is temporarily being used for ambulances arriving at the Emergency Department.
We would like to thank all patients and visitors for their support, patience and co-operation. We appreciate these restrictions and measures will cause concern but our focus is to maintain patient safety and prevent spread of infection.
COVID-19 - ASPH visiting restrictions and IPC measures for outpatients
In December 2021, we announced that visiting restrictions were introduced at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals due to the emergence of the Omicron variant and the rise in Covid cases. These measures were put in place to reduce footfall within our hospital sites and to help minimise the risk of transmission to protect patients and the team.
We also introduced a new Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measure for all members of the public to undertake a lateral flow test no more than 48 hours before entering any of our hospital sites, which includes visitors and outpatients.
These changes mean that visiting is no longer permitted for adult inpatients at Ashford or St Peter’s hospitals, unless they have a registered carer or are end of life. Details of situations and departments where visiting is permitted can be seen in this graphic.
Children’s wards, maternity, A&E and ITU are managing the situation locally, so for more specific guidance, queries or information, please speak with the relevant department.
For situations where visiting is permitted, there is a dedicated telephone line manned by a volunteer, for visitors to book a time to see their loved one - the number is 01932 723318. The visiting booking line is open Monday to Friday, 09:30 - 1600. If any visitors need to book a visiting slot outside of those hours, they will need to contact the relevant ward directly.
We understand how difficult this will be, so we have set up some initiatives to allow family and friends to keep in contact with inpatients:
- Inpatient item drop off, St Peter’s: if you would like to deliver items for a loved one who is an inpatient at St Peter’s, please bring these items in a labelled bag to the Main Reception at St Peter’s Hospital. The Front of House team will then arrange for a porter to deliver them to the ward. We cannot accept items that are delivered to any other entrance.
- Patient enquiries, Ashford: if you would like to enquire about a patient who is currently receiving inpatient treatment at Ashford, please call 01784 884488.
This situation will be constantly reviewed and further visiting changes may occur depending on Covid-19 incidence within our community and also transmission rates.
Please watch this short video for more information.
Thanks for your continued support and cooperation.
Andrea Lewis RRC
Wearing Face Masks in our Hospitals
All patients, visitors, and staff are expected to use a new surgical mask issued by the checkpoint teams when they arrive at all hospital sites. If you are wearing your own face covering or mask you will be asked to remove this and use a new mask for the duration of your visit. The mask must cover your mouth and nose and be worn at all times, unless your clinician asks you to remove it.
There are checkpoints by each entrance and you will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided and have your temperature taken (by a forehead thermometer). On exit, please dispose of the mask in the clinical waste bin provided and sanitise your hands.
It is expected that everyone on the hospital sites wears a mask with the following exceptions, in line with national guidance:
- children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
Lateral Flow Testing for Members of the Public
We currently have a number of Infection Prevention and Control measures in place within Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals. To help prevent the spread of Covid-19 within our hospitals we ask that all members of the public undertake a lateral flow test no more than 48 hours before coming into the hospital. This is to help keep patients, visitors, and our team as safe as possible.
Information for Inpatients
Information about ward routines and facilities can be found in our “Welcome to your Ward” booklet, which you will be given when you arrive on the ward.
- Why have I been admitted and how long will I be in hospital?
- Which ward will I be admitted to?
- What will happen when I arrive on my Ward?
- What do I do if I have any allergy?
- How can I identify Hospital Staff?
- What happens when I give consent for an operation?
- Will I be with other patients of the same sex?
- Patient meals
- The Ward at night
- Moving to another ward or hospital
- What if I would like to have private care?
- Patients / visitors who wish to make recordings
Why have I been admitted and how long will I be in hospital?
You will receive a full explanation as to why you have been admitted to hospital, advised of assessments and investigations e.g. X-ray, blood tests, visits from other professionals. To plan for your discharge, you and your carer will be informed by your consultant or at your preoperative assessment, how long you are likely to be in hospital including outcomes of each these assessments.
Which ward will I be admitted to?
If you are coming into hospital for a planned operation you will come in to the Admissions Lounge prior to surgery. The Admissions Lounge is situated adjacent to Heron Ward, Level 3, main building. Following your operation / treatment you will be taken to a ward appropriate to your needs.
What will happen when I arrive on my Ward?
When you arrive on your ward, a member of the ward team will welcome you and help you to settle in.
Whilst there is no objection to you leaving the ward, for your own safety we would ask that you check with ward staff before you go and when you return.
In the interests of your personal safety, you will be given an identity bracelet to wear during your stay. Please check that your details are correct and inform a member of the ward staff if they are not.
What do I do if I have any allergy?
If you have any allergies please ensure the Ward Manager or Nurse in Charge are informed of this as soon as you are admitted. Please also discuss this with the doctors looking after you. Ward staff will give you a red bracelet to wear to alert anyone involved with your care to your allergy.
How can I identify Hospital Staff?
All staff within the Trust are issued with name badges and photographic ID cards which should be visible at all times. If staff are not appropriately identified then you should ask them to show you their identification and to wear it appropriately.
Do not allow anyone who does not have identification to treat you, take any details from you or have access to/remove your property. If you have any concerns please inform a member of staff.
Our Matrons are responsible for the quality of care that we provide. They wear bright red uniforms and are easily identified. Our Matrons visit their wards every day and you are free to speak to them whenever you see them. The nursing staff can also contact your Matron if you wish to see them specifically.
What happens when I give consent for an operation?
Patients who need to have an operation will have the purpose, risks and benefits of the procedure explained to them by their consultant or a member of his / her team.
It is important to us that you understand the treatment options available to you and staff caring for you will work closely with you to ensure you understand the plan for your care, including operations or any available alternative treatments (this includes no treatment). These options will be discussed and explored with you and information to help you make decisions will be provided.
If you feel you would like more information or that you do not really understand your options, please ask to speak with your Consultant or a member of their Team.
Once you have decided to have an operation, you will be offered a copy of a consent form for signature. An anaesthetist will see you on the day of your operation and will discuss the anaesthesia, recovery and pain relief.
Will I be with other patients of the same sex?
At Ashford and St. Peter’s Trust, we are committed to respecting the privacy and dignity of our patients and work to ensure that men and women do not share sleeping accommodation and bathroom facilities. Some wards are either male or female. Other Wards are designated by specialty to provide the highest standard of care. These Wards are mixed gender but consist of bays that are single sex only, with either en-suite or nearby single sex bathrooms.
This hospital operates a zero tolerance to allowing men and women to share sleeping accommodation. However, in very exceptional circumstances, due to clinical need, it may be necessary to transfer you to a mixed gender area. You and your family will be consulted prior to this and arrangements will be made to ensure you do not remain in this area for more than 12 hours.
Patients admitted to our critical care areas, such as the Intensive Care Unit, require a much higher level of care due to their critical condition and so these areas are not single sex. Your privacy and dignity is of the utmost importance to us so staff in these areas will do all they can to meet these requirements.
If you are unhappy with your sleeping area or bathroom facilities from a privacy and dignity point of view please speak with the Ward Manager or Matron.
Information about meal times is available in the “Welcome to your Ward” leaflet, which you will be given on admission. Our daily menus are available by clicking here.
If light snacks are brought in by your relatives, please ensure that ‘sell by’ dates are valid and that the food package is marked with your name.
It is Trust policy not to store food in fridges, so please avoid chilled goods and short-term perishables.
There are no facilities on wards for reheating food.
The Ward at night
Hospitals are busy places, providing 24-hour patient care. Your comfort, rest and sleep is very important, however essential nursing and medical activity does continue throughout the night. Ward staff will make every effort to minimise disruption to patients during the night. Please do not hesitate to let the Ward Manager or Nurse in Charge know if you are disturbed by noise at night.
Moving to another ward or hospital
You may be moved to another bay, ward, or hospital if:
- You are not on the ward of the Consultant who is treating you and responsible for your care.
- You are due to be discharged or transferred from hospital shortly and you no longer require an acute bed.
- There is a change in your medical care requirements.
Staff will keep you fully informed and involved if there is a need to move you to a different location.
We try to ensure no moves take place after 22.00 hours.
Cleaning is carried out “in-house” and catering is provided by an external company. If you have any comments about these services please inform the Ward Manager or Nurse in Charge.
What if I would like to have private care?
For patients at St. Peter’s Hospital, the adjacent Runnymede Hospital or Nuffield Hospital provide private care.
If you would like to use existing private insurance or have any other enquiries please ask the ward / department staff who will notify the Head of Capacity Management or, alternatively, please notify your Consultant’s secretary.
Patients / visitors who wish to make recordings
It is Trust policy, with the Ward Manager’s consent, to allow patients/visitors to photograph or film themselves whilst on Trust premises. However, under no circumstances are patients/visitors allowed to make any recording which might include another patient/visitor/member of staff without their express consent. Trust staff have the right to ask patients/visitors to refrain from making recordings if they deem it to be inappropriate in any way.