Spotlight

Guidance for visiting our hospitals and units during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Updated guidance for visiting our hospitals and units – from 16 December 2020

Following an increase in COVID-19 cases in healthcare settings in Somerset, and for the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, we are restricting visiting on our wards to these exceptional circumstances:

  • For patients receiving end of life care
  • For carers of patients with specific needs that require the support of a carer (e.g. patients with dementia)
  • A parent or guardian accompanying their child
  • Maternity visiting remains unchanged.

Visiting in these exceptional circumstances should be agreed with the ward team or the family liaison team before travelling.

However, we know how important it is for patients to maintain contact with family and friends. We will support our patients to make use of any telephone, video calls and mobile phones, to keep in touch with loved ones. Our hospitals have relaxed the rules around video calls to help keep people connected during this difficult time.

Family liaison team

Please contact our family liaison team for support, or to discuss exceptional circumstances, or for assistance with communication with wards

  • 01823 344308 or 01823 344406 (7 days a week 09.00-17.00).

Patient messaging service Our patient messaging service can help you to keep in contact with your loved ones.

If you’d like to send a message to a friend or loved one, please send a text or voicemail to the patient experience team, who will pass on your message (in the form of a handwritten card).

  • Simply call or text 07525 968409, along with the name of the patient and their location (if known)
  • Or send your text and/or a photo by email to: myvoice@somersetft.nhs.uk
  • Please include: relatives’ name, patient name, date of birth, and ward name (if known)

We hope this helps you let your loved ones know you are thinking of them.

We know this is a challenging time and all of us at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust thank you for playing your part in keeping our patients, staff and community safe.

Visiting our children’s unit

Only parents or guardians should visit our children’s unit and neonatal unit and this is limited to one visitor per patient at a time.

Visiting our maternity unit

We have not made any changes to maternity visiting. Current arrangements can be found here.

Attending our emergency department (A&E) and minor injuries units

Patients coming to the emergency department (A&E) at Musgrove Park Hospital or one of the seven minor injuries units in Somerset should please come inside the buildings alone where you possibly can. Children can be accompanied by one adult. If there are exceptional circumstances please speak to the nurse in charge to discuss these.

Visiting our mental health wards

Seeing friends, family and carers is so important to the wellbeing and recovery of our patients and we aim to support their visits to our ward. For this to happen we will always carry out an assessment of each patient’s individual needs to enable the visit.

Attending outpatient appointments

If you are coming for an outpatient appointment we would encourage you to please come alone as we have limited space in our waiting areas. We do understand that there are some circumstances when you may need to bring a friend, family member or carer with you for emotional or physical support so we will try to accommodate this where possible. Please arrive no earlier than five minutes before your appointment

Family liaison team

Please contact our family liaison team on 01823 344308 or 01823 344406 (seven days a week, from 09.00 to 17.00) to book a visit in exceptional circumstances or for help communicating with our wards.

Patient messaging service

We are encouraging people to embrace technology and keep in touch using their own mobile phone to call and message. Our hospitals and units have relaxed the rules around video calls to help keep people connected during this difficult time.

If your loved one is unable to use a mobile phone or video call, our patient messaging service can help you to keep in contact with them. If you wish to send a message to a friend or loved one, just send a text or voicemail to our patient experience team, who will pass on your message in the form of a handwritten card via our clinical teams.

Simply call or text 07525 968409, along with the name of the patient and their location (if known) and we will pass the message on. Or you can send in a photo by email to: myvoice@somersetft.nhs.uk.

Please include: your name, the patient’s name, date of birth, and ward name (if known)

We hope this helps you let your loved ones know you are thinking of them.

Thank you

We know this is a challenging time and we thank you for playing your part to keep our patients, colleagues and our community safe.

We will keep visiting under review and will update this page when we are able to change the arrangements in the near future.