Visiting at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust continues to be temporarily suspended due to the increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in the local community.
After careful review, they are lifting the visiting restrictions from 7 February 2022. Visiting must be arranged in advance with the ward and is restricted to inpatient areas only.
The hospital trust, which covers Watford General Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Hemel Hempstead Hospital, restricted visiting in adult inpatient areas on Saturday 1 January 2022 for an initial period of two weeks.
Having carefully reviewed the situation, the trust have decided to keep restrictions in place for a further two weeks until the end of January.
The trust will continue to closely monitor the local situation, and the decision will be reviewed again at the beginning February with a view to reinstating visiting.
Tracey Carter, the trust’s Chief Nurse, said: “We recognise how important visiting is for patients and their families. However, the increase in cases locally does now pose a greater risk and we feel that it is now necessary to restrict visiting to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible. We hope to be able to ease these restrictions as soon as we can do this safely.”
In exceptional circumstances, for example when visiting children or patients receiving end of life care, visiting arrangements can be made in advance by contacting the ward directly.
No visitors will be allowed on any of our hospital sites apart from in the following exceptional circumstances:
- The patient is receiving end of life care.
- The patient is in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
- The patient is a child on a paediatric ward, being visited by their parents or an appropriate adult.
- The patient has a mental health issue, where not having a family member present would cause distress to the patient.
- The patient has dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not having a family member present would cause distress to the patient.
Important: In these exceptional circumstances, restrictions will still apply, so relatives must:
- Contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements, complete a risk assessment and agree the visit
- All visitors, in exceptional circumstances, must complete a lateral flow test and have evidence of a negative result, prior to visiting. Lateral flow tests can be ordered here or by calling 119.
- Anyone entering our hospital sites must wear a face mask to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
- Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or feeling poorly must not visit, even if the symptoms are mild or intermittent.
Please note that visiting arrangements for our maternity services will not be affected by these changes.