The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust has suspended visiting until further notice, to help protect patients and staff and in line with advice to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The RUH suspended visiting at the end of March, but was able to relax restrictions during the summer months, while COVID-19 cases remained relatively low.
With coronavirus cases now rising in the local community and throughout the South West, the RUH has again suspended visiting.
The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor, an immediate family member or carer, will be permitted to visit are:
- Birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour or on maternity departments or ward
- Parent or appropriate adult visiting your child
- Patients nearing end of life
- Parent or carer accompanying a vulnerable adult
People are asked to contact the ward in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.
Any inpatients with COVID-19 or awaiting test results for COVID-19 are not able to receive visitors with the exception of those who are receiving end of life care.
During this time, staff at the hospital are asking and encouraging visitors to use other methods of keeping in touch.
Each of the hospital’s wards has a mobile phone and an iPad with Whatsapp and Zoom to help keep patients in touch with loved ones through phone and video calls.
The RUH also has a dedicated ‘Keeping in Touch’ service which can pass on a message to loved ones in hospital.
Simply email [email protected] or call 01225 826984 to tell them what your message is.
Many outpatient appointments are now being held virtually, but those people who do need to attend for treatment as an adult outpatient should go into hospital alone.
Pregnant women and children attending outpatient appointments can be accompanied by one adult, but no siblings.
You must not visit in any circumstances if you have any coronavirus symptoms.
Trust Chief Executive Cara Charles-Barks said: “This has been a difficult decision for us to take, but one which will help to keep our patients and staff safe, as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the local community.
“We understand how hard this will be for many people, unable to visit their loved ones and friends in person.
“We would ask people to use phone and video calls to keep in touch and our ward staff will help to facilitate these calls whenever possible.
“We will keep these visiting restrictions under review and will make sure we publicise any future changes as and when they are made. Thank you for your understanding.”
For more information about visiting the RUH, visit: https://www.ruh.nhs.uk/patients/services/wards/visiting.asp.