Changes to inpatient and outpatient visiting from Friday 8 July

7 Jul 2022

Reflecting the increased number of patients with COVID-19 across the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily restrict visiting across our Eastern services (the RD&E Wonford and our community hospitals across Eastern Devon). Please note that there are no restrictions in place across our Northern services at this time.

In addition, across the whole of the Royal Devon, including all of our Northern services, visitors are required to wear a facemask or covering in patient-facing clinical areas.

Please read on for more information.

Changes to visiting

While visiting will remain in place across our Eastern services, to help us better manage infection control risks, the following changes will be effective from tomorrow, Friday 8 July 2022:

  • Adult inpatients (including critical care): may have two visitors at a time for one hour only during a 24-hour period.  Bookings are not required, but visiting across the ward/bay should be staggered to ensure social distancing.
  • Maternity:
    • on the labour ward, one birth partner can be with the woman/birthing person, 24/7
    • for inpatients on the ante/postnatal ward, one person can visit 9am-8pm
    • for outpatients, one adult can visit for the duration of the appointment but must wait outside until the appointment starts
    • for community hospital settings, one adult can support
  • Children inpatients: may have one parent or carer resident with the child, and a second parent/carer can visit. No siblings are allowed.
  • NNU: may have both parents only.
  • Outpatients and day treatment units/ED: Patients may be accompanied by one person where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, care, emotional, religious, or spiritual care needs

Patients with increased needs

We know that for some of our patients, a one-hour visit isn’t enough to maintain their wellbeing.

If the following applies to your relative, we may be able to arrange extended visiting so you can provide emotional and practical support:

  • has a cognitive impairment caused by learning disability, dementia, or delirium
  • has complex emotional support needs due to mental health or neurological issues
  • has complex sensory and communication support needs
  • is on an end of life pathway

Please discuss this with ward staff when visiting and we will do what we can to enable you to spend more time with your relative.

Facemasks and coverings

Across all of our sites across Eastern and Northern Devon, all visitors must wear a facemask or covering, unless medically exempt, in patient-facing clinical areas. Mask wearing is not required in non-patient facing areas such as corridors, restrooms and catering outlets, but remains a personal choice and is encouraged.

Please help us

Please help us to help you and your loved one by not attending if you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection (such as diarrhoea and vomiting).

Staying in touch in other ways

We appreciate how hard separation can be for families and patients and we have a number of measures in place to ensure contact is maintained if people can’t visit. This includes:

  • passing messages between the patient and those important to them, supported by hospital staff and voluntary services
  • having central email arrangements, with laminated messages/photographs delivered to patients
  • taking delivery of a phone for patients from their families/friends
  • supporting the use of devices as an alternative to face-to-face visiting
  • For enhanced family liaison arrangements, please contact:
Close Changes to inpatient and outpatient visiting from Friday 8 July


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Last updated: July 07, 2022