Update to Inpatient Visiting Arrangements and Outpatient Appointments

Adult Inpatient Visiting Suspended - updated 31st December 2021

From Friday 31st December 2021, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has taken the difficult decision to suspend adult inpatient visiting until further notice.

The suspension is due to the rising levels of Covid-19 in both the local area and within our hospitals.

We will of course be able to continue offering patients/relatives with the option of Facetime (or alternative) to speak directly with their loved ones. This can be organised directly with the ward.

Please note that the following exceptions apply:

Adult Inpatient Visiting - patients with additional support needs: 

  • Extended visiting for up to a maximum of 2 nominated people for patients receiving End of Life Care.
  • Extended visiting to one nominated person to provide carers support to patients with additional needs, including patients with a cognitive impairment / learning disability / autism / visual / auditory impairment / language barriers.

Emergency Department:

Please note: The Emergency Department is not an inpatient area.
There is no general visiting for the Emergency Department.
Patients with additional support needs may be accompanied by a single carer, and two visitors are permitted for patients receiving end of life care.‚Äč

Children’s Assessment Unit and Children's Day Case Visiting:

  • One parent / guardian can be present with their child.
    You can read our full Children’s Assessment Unit and Children's Day Case Visiting Guidance here .  

Children’s Ward Visiting:

  • Both parents / guardians can be present with their child. You can read our full Children’s Ward Visiting Guidance  here .

Maternity Unit Visiting:

  • Two birthing partners can be in attendance for labour and birth on Delivery Suite / Birth Centre.
  • One named partner can provide support on the Maternity Wards at all times.
  • One support partner can attend all hospital outpatient appointments and all scans.
  • Maternity Unit Visiting Guidance available here .
  • All pregnant women and people, including their support partners are required to arrange their own lateral flow test 24 hours before they come to attend any early pregnancy or antenatal appointment, ultrasound scan or consultation both in the hospital and community settings. Read the full Lateral Flow update here .

Neonatal Unit Visiting:

  • Both parents can be present with their child.
  • Neonatal Unit Visiting Guidance available here .
  • All women including their support partners are asked to arrange their own lateral flow test 24 hours before they come to attend any neonatal appointment. Read the full Lateral Flow update here .

All visitors who meet the above exemptions must not be Covid-19 positive, must not have Covid-19 symptoms, be awaiting the result of a PCR swab or be in a self-isolation period.

Visitors must continue to comply with Government guidelines with regards to social distancing and hand hygiene practices. All visitors, unless exempt, must also wear a face covering and any PPE that the clinical area recommends and demonstrate a negative lateral flow test on arrival to the ward/units. Lateral flow tests can be obtained free from pharmacies or ordered online via the Government website.

Outpatient appointments

  • Patients should attend outpatient appointments alone to reduce the spread of infection.
    • When patients are unable to attend alone, for example require carers support, including patients with a cognitive impairment/ learning disability/ autism/ visual/ auditory impairment/language barriers, one person may accompany the patient to the appointment.
  • If patients are concerned that the outpatient appointment could potentially involve the delivery of upsetting/distressing news, for example test results or diagnosis, this can be discussed with the nursing team in the department prior to the appointment, and arrangements made for one person to accompany them.
  • Accompanying family members/relatives/loved ones must NOT attend the hospital if they meet any of the visitor exclusion criteria including; Covid-19 symptoms, are Covid positive or are required to self-isolate.
  • All visitors are required to adhere to the Infection Control guidance displayed in the hospital. This includes observing strict 2 metre social distancing principles, the use of face masks and adhering to strict hand hygiene on entering and leaving the hospital and clinical areas.
  • If visitors are unable to wear masks due to medical reasons, please consider if visiting the hospital is absolutely necessary and if so please inform the staff

A small number of people are unable to wear masks due to underlying medical conditions. We ask our staff to promote good infection prevention practice and as such visitors not wearing a mask will be asked, using a polite approach, why this is. Please do not be offended if you are asked on more than one occasion, the staff are aiming to prevent the spread of infection.

Our staff are authorised to deny access to visitors who refuse to comply with infection control requirements including self-testing and mask-wearing. Where visitors provide evidence of medical exemption from mask-wearing, access will be granted at the discretion of staff on duty. 

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.

We will review these arrangements on a regular basis and in the context of the environment we are providing care in.