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.