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Essential Visiting FAQs

Changes to Visiting

To make sure we are keeping you, your family, and our staff safe we have taken the difficult decision to limit visiting in some wards to ‘essential visits’ only. This is due to an increase in the number of people we are seeing who have COVID-19.

This decision has been made by senior medical, nursing, and Infection Prevention and Control teams. It is a temporary situation which we will keep under close review.

Up to date information about which wards are temporarily restricted to essential visits only is available on the NHSGGC website. Ward staff will also be able to tell you about the current visiting arrangements in that ward.

We understand the vital support that your family and friends provide and are sorry for how this will affect you and your family.  We will help you to remain in contact with them using other means as much as possible.

What is an ‘essential visit’?

The following are examples of where an ‘essential visit’ will be supported for family members:

  • You need a birth partner to support you during hospital visits.   
  • You are receiving end-of-life care – we expect this to be defined as flexibly and compassionately as possible, to support you at the end of life to spend meaningful time with your loved ones in their final days, weeks, or months.   
  • to support you with a mental health issue, or dementia, or a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause you to be distressed.   
  • to accompany a child in hospital
  • If a child is in hospital – they are entitled to have one or both parents or carers present to support them. They should also be able to have visits from siblings or other children.
  • You are receiving information about life-changing illness or treatments
  • in these or other similar situations where support from another person is essential to advocate for you, or for your wellbeing
  • you have a carer or others providing essential care or emotional support.

Our staff will take as flexible, person-centred and compassionate approach as possible in applying the essential visiting. We will apply these ‘essential visiting arrangements’ flexibly and compassionately based on your individual needs, and try to facilitate family support in any situation where it is important for family to be involved for ethical, safety or other reasons.

How will I keep in touch with my family?

We are offering ‘virtual visiting’ (video calls) for all patients.  

All wards have iPads specially set up to make video calls.  This lets you see and talk to the people who matter to you.

If you have your own mobile phone, tablet or laptop we can also help you to do this using your equipment if you are not able to do this yourself.

How will my family know that they can ask for a video call?

When we speak to your family on the phone, we will tell them that we can set up a video call with you. This information is also available on our website.

There may be times when the ward is busy, so we ask for your patience if we are not able to help with a video call immediately.

What if I need my family to bring me fresh clothes or other essential things?

When we speak with your family, we will advise them about arrangements for them to drop off any personal items and pick-up your dirty laundry.

Is there anyone else I can talk to?

Healthcare chaplains are available to offer support and a listening service between 9am – 5pm Mon – Thurs and at weekends, from Friday – Sunday 9am – 10pm. If you wish to speak with someone confidentially, please ask a member of ward staff to contact switchboard and ask for the on-call chaplain. 

There may however be some occasions when a healthcare chaplain cannot see you in person.  On these occasions, they may be able to meet with you virtually through the ‘Attend Anywhere’ App on the hospital iPad or on your own device.

What if I have any questions?

Please do not hesitate to speak to any of the ward staff if you have any questions. We are all happy to help and thank you for your patience and understanding.