Visiting suspended on all our hospital sites

Posted on in Health improvement

The NHS in the North East and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases.

The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff.

The latest information on symptoms of coronavirus infection can be found on

Hospital visiting

To protect our patients, visitors and staff  patient visiting has been suspended on all our hospital sites.

Visiting will only be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • For patients who are receiving end-of-life care (one visitor per patient)
  • For birthing partners in maternity units (one birthing partner per woman in labour)
  • For parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit (one parent or legal guardian)
  • For parents in the neonatal unit, see department for details
  • You are supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed

If you are visiting any of our hospital sites from Monday 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering – click here for more details on face coverings

Where an adult patient with a learning disability or dementia would be significantly distressed, to a level which would cause harm to the patient, reasonable adjustment to the current visiting restrictions will be considered where the persons carer requests this. This should be through the nurse in charge of the ward.

If patient with autism or a learning disability does not have a hospital passport in place and needs to come to hospital, carers need to consider completing a COVID-19 Grab and Go guide form.

Stay at home if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
  • loss, or change, to sense of smell or taste

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

How long to stay at home

  • if you have symptoms, stay at home for seven days
  • if you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms

If you live with someone who is 70 or over, has a long-term condition, is pregnant or has a weakened immune system, try to find somewhere else for them to stay for 14 days. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep away from each other as much as possible.

Visit the NHS website for more advice about staying at home.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after seven days

Use the 111 coronavirus service

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines.

Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases is thoroughly cleaned as appropriate.

Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others.

Public Health England advice

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can find the latest information and advice from Public Health England at

Catch it bin it kill it poster