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.
Changes to the visiting arrangements for patients at the end-of-life
We have made some changes to the visiting arrangements for patients at the end-of-life. We are now able to accommodate one nominated visitor for up to one hour each day or two nominated visitors on alternate days during a patients stay. The patient must still be referred and reviewed by the Specialist Palliative Care Team prior to visiting, and visits must be pre-arranged each day with the ward nursing team.
Protected rest time
We offer all our patients protected rest time after lunch, usually between 12:30 and 13:30 to help as part of the recovery process. We do not allow visiting, ward rounds or procedures to take place during this time, unless it would be detrimental to a patient not to do so.
Advice for visitors
We recognise that visiting a person in hospital plays a vital part in aiding their recovery. We encourage visitors to take part in social interaction with patients and to share in their care where appropriate.
Please respect other patients when visiting and keep noise to a minimum. We therefore ask that no more than two people visit a patient at any one time.
All visitors should use chairs provided and not use the patient’s bed to sit on.
To respect patient privacy, visitors may be asked to leave the bedside when doctors are doing their ward rounds, or when a doctor or nurse needs to provide care to a patient.
It would be helpful if you would not visit patients in the hospital if you are suffering from a cold, flu, and tummy bug or any illness you think could be passed on to patients in the hospital. If you are in any doubt please telephone the ward staff for information.