Visiting restrictions relaxed across Cwm Taf Morgannwg

We are delighted to be able to further relax visiting restrictions from Thursday June 2, 2022.

Even though we have been able to make changes throughout 2022, we have always understood how hard it has been having visiting restrictions in place for our patients, and for you, as their family and loved ones. 

We want to thank you again for your patience and understanding which has helped us get to where we are today. Please know that the extremely difficult decisions we made around visiting were always made with safety as a priority; that of our patients, our communities and our staff.

Our new guidance is as follows:

  • Visiting will be between the hours of 2:00pm – 5:00pm and then again between 6:00pm and 7:00pm (including weekends and bank holidays).
  • Each patient can have a maximum of two visitors per day for up to one hour in duration.
  • You will still need to book a visiting slot directly with the relevant ward.
  • There are different rules for maternity services (more below).
  • Essential carers are not classified as a visitor and should not be included in the daily visiting allocation.

Please have a look through our frequently asked questions below for further guidance around wearing face masks, taking lateral flow tests and how to book a visiting slot.

Q: Does this include all your hospitals and all of your wards?

Yes, although the guidance is different for maternity: Changes to maternity visiting – Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board (nhs.wales).  We have already reverted to our pre-COVID visiting times in our Maternity Services units.

This means that a single nominated birth partner will be able to remain in our settings throughout the day (10am – 8:30pm). 

This includes our antenatal wards, during the inclusion of labour and on our postnatal wards.

They may be occasions when we have to close a ward due to infection prevention and control.  If that happens our teams will risk assess whether visiting can take place during that ward closure. 

Q: How do I book a visiting slot?

You should arrange a visit in advance directly with the ward. 

This will usually be by phone. 

Please be patient when you call, our staff will be answering the phones alongside their regular duties of caring for your family member/loved one. 

Q:  How far do I have to book in advance?

The more notice you can give your ward the better.  As they have been throughout the pandemic, our staff will try to be as flexible as possible, but please remember, in the example of a six-bed ward, not all six patients will be able to have visitors at the same time.  This is why we will operate a booking system. 

Q: Do the two visitors have to visit at the same time?

Two visitors can visit at the same time, but equally can book two separate appointments within the same day.  However, please note this is subject to availability.  For example, visitor one visits between 2pm and 3pm and visitor two visits between 6pm and 7pm. 

Q: Do I have to wear a face mask when I’m visiting?

It is no longer a legal requirement for visitors to wear a face mask or covering when entering one of our healthcare settings.

There are some areas of our hospitals where we will ask and encourage you to wear a face mask in order to protect our patients.  They are as follows:

  • If you are visiting a patient who is a known to have, or suspected of having COVID-19
  • If you are visiting a patient with a respiratory infection
  • If you are visiting a patient who is at high risk of infection or remains at a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19 (immunosuppressed patients

We will continue to support anyone wishing to wear a face mask during their visit, and will have masks available for you at our hospital entrances, wards and departments.

We would ask that you regularly use the alcohol hand gel available at our hospitals, and wash your hands with soap and water when you get the opportunity to do so.

Q: Do I have to take a lateral flow test before I visit?

No.  You are no longer required to take a lateral flow test before visiting our hospitals.

Q: Will I be allowed to visit if I have COVID-19 like symptoms or feel generally unwell?

No.  You should not visit if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

You should not visit us if you are unwell as this could put the person you are visiting at risk.

Passing your illness, whether it is COVID-19 or another respiratory disease, onto your loved ones and other patients could cause them to become seriously ill and slow their recovery.

Q: Are the visiting rules the same for essential carers?

Essential carers and essential support assistants, such as interpreters, are not classified as visitors. Please discuss this with your health professional.

Q: Can I bring supplies for the person I’m visiting (pyjamas/toiletries)?  What about food?

Yes, you can bring supplies with you. You can also bring food and snacks (in moderation), but we advise against bringing home-made or home-cooked meals for the patient.

Q: Will I be allowed to go anywhere else in the hospital when I visit? (Toilets, Café)

Yes, although we ask all visitors to navigate our hospitals with a purpose and a destination – you should not walk around for the sake of walking around.

Q: I have an outpatient appointment – can someone come with me?

Yes, as part of being able to relax our visiting restrictions, one other person can now accompany you to an outpatient appointment.

Q: I need to attend your emergency department – can someone come with me?

Yes, one other person can now accompany you in ED.  Please be aware, at times of high demand, we may have to ask the person with you to wait elsewhere to free up space in the waiting area.  Both of you will be asked to wear a mask while in our Emergency Department.

Q:  How do you make these decisions on visiting?

Relaxing visiting restrictions has been a high priority for the Health Board throughout the pandemic. Restrictions are reviewed weekly by a dedicated team made up of clinical staff from across the Health Board, with representation from Public Health Wales. We know how important visiting is to the mental health and wellbeing of our patients and their loved ones, but we have to balance that benefit with the risk of Covid infection to the vulnerable and unwell people we care for.

We will continue to review the visiting rules regularly over the coming weeks.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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