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Hospital visiting arrangements updated

1 March 2023

Family and friends can now attend hospitals to visit patients under Hywel Dda University Health Board’s revised visiting arrangements.

The new arrangements, set out below, reflect feedback received from patients, their families, and staff about their experiences during the pandemic. They apply to all inpatient areas across health board sites, including adult, paediatric and infants, mental health and community areas.  

Revised visiting arrangements:

  • Standard or core visiting hours for general wards are agreed as 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm.  
  • Open/flexible visiting is in place in critical and specialist care units such as intensive care, special care baby unit, maternity and paediatrics).  
  • Only two visitors allowed at the bedside at any one time.  
  • Visiting ‘by appointment’ is encouraged to prevent overcrowding in a bay/ward at any one time and will be adopted when there is an increased incidence of certain communicable diseases in the general population, for example, COVID-19 or influenza.  
  • If visiting ‘by appointment’ is in place, this will be communicated to patients and visitors.  
  • Ward sisters/charge nurses/midwives in charge can use their discretion to facilitate visiting outside of core hours and in exceptional circumstances. 
  • Mealtimes remain protected as quiet times, with the option for visitors/carers to make arrangements with the ward sister/charge nurse to assist with feeding as appropriate.  
  • Where appropriate ‘virtual visiting’ can be supported.  
  • Specific visiting arrangements may be introduced to prevent the transmission of infection, for example, during an outbreak of infection on the ward. 
  • All visitors are advised not to visit if unwell with a gastrointestinal or respiratory infection. 
  • Please help us to prevent the spread of infection at all times and clean your hands before and after you leave the ward. 

The health board supports anyone who chooses to wear face coverings on our sites. In line with infection prevention and control guidance, staff, patients and visitors may on occasion be required to wear face masks in certain circumstances, such as in areas dealing with respiratory infections, or to protect our most clinically vulnerable people.

Mandy Rayani, Director of Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience said: “On behalf of the health board I would firstly like to extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to our communities, our patients and their families for your understanding and adherence to the hospital visiting rules that we previously had to impose throughout the pandemic. Your diligence and awareness of the need to keep loved ones safe in hospital has been key in our efforts to fight the virus.

“We recognise the therapeutic benefits of patients receiving visitors and the contribution they can bring to overall patient well-being. I am therefore delighted to confirm that these updated visiting arrangements are now in place, enabling our patients to have visitors while protecting their privacy and dignity, and ensuring they are cared for within a safe, secure and efficient environment.”  

Hywel Dda University Health Board requests people not to visit any of its hospital sites if you: 

  • feel unwell;
  • have flu-like symptoms or a respiratory infection; 
  • currently have, or had, diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the past 48 hours; 
  • have been in contact with anyone with the above symptoms in the past 48 hours; 
  • have an existing medical condition or are on medication that puts them at risk of infection.