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Latest visitor guidance

Introduction of rapid lateral flow tests for all visitors

We are introducing rapid lateral flow tests to all visitors, over the age of 16, to our Inpatient Unit. This will be in addition to our existing infection prevention and control measures, such as temperature checks on arrival, hand sanitising, use of personal protective equipment, and physical distancing. Please read the visitor guidance below, so that you know what to expect for your visit.

We are incredibly proud to have recently won a prestigious Royal College of Nursing infection control award for our hard work keeping patients and the wider community safe. We have confidence this is the right course of action.

Before you visit

Before you arrive, please take a lateral flow test.

Once at the hospice, we will ask you to provide evidence of a negative result. You can provide proof of your test result as a printed document, a text or email that you can show on your phone, or by showing the physical test strip.

Unfortunately, without proof of a negative test result, you will be unable to visit your friend or relative.

Please remember to log your test result online or by calling the phone number in your test kit’s instructions.

On the day of your visit

Once you have shown proof of your negative test result, you will undergo the usual infection control procedures. We will then take you to visit your loved one.

If you need help completing a lateral flow test, our reception staff will be able to provide support from 8.30am – 5pm. Outside of these times, our ward will be able to help.

If you have any further questions or queries about visiting loved ones, please get in touch with us.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation. We will continue to work hard to support and improve meaningful visits with your loved ones.

Frequently asked questions

COVID
Do I have to do a test to be able to visit my relative or friend?
Yes, lateral flow tests are now mandatory, and you must show a negative result to visit your friend or relative.
 
Testing is important to help us to identify people who might be carrying COVID but not showing symptoms. Testing may not identify everyone that is currently infectious. But alongside wearing PPE and following other infection prevention and control measures, testing helps us to keep your loved ones safe.
Do I need to take a test before every visit?

Yes, you must take a test each day you visit. If you are visiting more than once in a day, we ask you to do a test once before your first visit of the day. You will not need to test before every visit you make in one day.

How do I order lateral flow test kits?

You can order free tests online or collect them from your local pharmacy. You can also order over the phone by calling 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.

What does the result mean?

The result will affect whether you can visit in the following ways:

Positive – you will not be able to visit except in exceptional circumstances, such as your loved one is in the last days of life. Our staff will make this decision on a case-by-case basis by our staff. If you do test positive, then you and anyone you live with must self-isolate immediately, preventing further transmission of the virus. You should also get a PCR test to confirm your result as soon as possible. You can book your PCR test online.

Invalid – Take another test. If the retest is invalid then book a PCR test using the link above.

Negative – Your visit will be able to go ahead if you follow all other infection control measures. It is possible that you may still have COVID. So, we will need to make sure you continue to social distance, wear a face mask and use hand sanitiser.

You must log all results online, positive or negative, or by calling the phone number included in your testing kit instructions.

Will I need to take a test if my friend or relative is imminently dying?

We will always support visits in exceptional circumstances, such as the very end of life. Ashgate staff will work with you to plan end of life visiting carefully, to ensure visiting happens throughout your loved one’s stay.

If the person is in the last week of their life, then the medical staff will complete a Recognising Dying Form. This will allow the partner, children, and parents of that patient to visit.

I’ve been fully vaccinated; do I still need to take a test?

Yes. NHS advice currently states that you should continue to behave in exactly the same way once you have had your vaccine as you did before you had it. This is because there is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.

I don’t have any COVID symptoms; do I still need to take a test?

Yes. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID do not have symptoms. So, a test that detects these otherwise hidden cases is a very useful tool for tackling the virus.

Are there any exclusions to taking the test?

Visitor testing is now mandatory to visit a friend or relative at Ashgate Hospice. But, the following exclusions apply:

  • children under the age of 16
  • children already using twice-weekly tests as part of their school LFD testing programme may provide evidence of their negative tests before visiting Ashgate Hospice
  • those who have had a confirmed diagnosis of COVID (by PCR test) within the previous 90 days are exempt from taking a test.  You must show proof of the confirmed diagnosis, including the date.

Those included within these exclusions will still be expected to follow all other infection prevention and control procedures.

Does the introduction of lateral flow tests mean that my relative or friend can receive an increased number of visitors?

No, patients will continue to receive two named visitors only for the duration of their stay with Ashgate Hospice. We are unable to allow more named visitors than this as the risk of transmission increases significantly, for our patients, their visitors, and for our own staff and volunteers.

If the patient has a dependent child, then they can visit. They must enter and leave the hospice via patio doors into their parent’s bedroom to reduce the risk of infection.

If the person you are visiting is in the last week of their life, then the medical staff will complete a Recognising Dying Form. This will allow for the partner, children, and parents of that patient to visit.

But, if the patient wishes to name four alternative individuals to visit to those above, then we will respect their wishes.

The hospice remains open for visitors 24 hours a day.

I thought COVID infections were going down? Why do I have to take a test?

COVID is still a very dangerous disease, especially to our patients who are at higher risk of complications. This is because their diagnoses and treatments can leave their immune systems weakened. The immune system protects the body against illness and infection caused by viruses like COVID.