We recently held a virtual coffee morning where parents were able to ask questions about the new rules for hospital visits. This article summarises the information shared at the meeting.
What are the rules around parents visiting hospitals with children?
The general rule is that only one parent is allowed to accompany their child. However, in circumstances where there is the need for two parents, families need to advise the hospital in advance so they are aware. Parents need to contact PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) on 0114 271 7594 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What if my child is admitted to hospital?
One parent is allowed to stay. However, they will look at individual cases if there is a need for two parents to stay, especially for longer-term admissions where they are committed to working with families.
Is Treetops parent overnight accommodation open?
Yes, but only the rooms with private bathrooms. There are no shared facililties. However, all the new rooms in the hospital have their own beds and private facilities.
What do parents do about meals if staying overnight?
All the parent rooms on wards have their own microwaves so parents can use those.
What are the rules around face coverings?
Face masks must be worn when visiting the hospital by anyone over the age of three. However, there are exceptions: if your child will not wear one due to their disability or additional needs, parents need to mention this to the security staff at the hospital entrance and they won’t be forced to wear it. This also applies if the child or young person won’t allow the parent to wear one. However, parents need to be aware that they may be asked multiple times by different to staff to put one on, as staff have been advised to ensure masks are worn. Parents will need to just keep explaining why. Downloading and printing off one of these exemption cards may help.
Do we need to bring our own masks?
Yes, wherever possible. Masks are not readily available at the hospital so can’t be guaranteed.
What will staff look like?
Staff will be wearing full PPE in all face-to-face appointments and on wards. These will be changed after each appointment. There is lots of information and resources, including videos, available on the Sheffield Children’s Hospital. website.
Are the toilet facilities open in the different departments?
Yes. There are enhanced cleaning procedures to make it safe for families.
What are the procedures at Ryegate?
The automatic doors leading to the reception are not in use. Families need to wait in their car and ring reception. (The number will be on the letter sent to parents). If you are travelling by public transport or taxi, there is a parents’ room in the therapy block that families can wait in. In the main block, one family is able to wait in the waiting area. If more than one family need it at the same time, an alternative room will be used or social distancing in the waiting room. Click here to watch a video about the new arrangements.
What if my young person is under the adult hospital?
The government has issued guidance stating that, if a patient has a learning disability or autism, another adult will be allowed to stay with them, even if the patient is showing symptoms of Covid-19 or tests positive for Covid-19. Staff on the wards may not be aware of this guidance, so it is advisable to take it with you and speak to the ward beforehand, especially if there is the need for a private room. Parents should explain what the consequences may be if a private room is not offered.