Eastern services visiting details

Following changes to the national testing guidance, our visitor restrictions have been updated and visitors are no longer required to complete a lateral flow test before visiting. All visitors will still be asked to wear a facemask or covering, unless medically exempt from wearing one.

If you are planning to visit, please do not come if you have any symptoms suggestive of a COVID-19 infection, however mild. These symptoms are:

  • a high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • shortness of breath
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • an aching body
  • a headache
  • a sore throat
  • a blocked or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick

We realise that these times can be distressing for patients and their loved ones, and we are sorry that we must restrict visits to hospital to protect patients and staff from COVID-19. We would like to thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding during what continues to be a challenging time.

From Friday 20 May 2022, our inpatient visitor restrictions will be:

  • Adult inpatients may have two named visitors who may visit for one hour between 11am and 7pm each day, for the duration of the inpatient stay. This can be split into two separate visits for one hour each, or the two visitors can come together for a single one-hour visit. Appointments to visit must be booked in advance by contacting the appropriate ward at least one day prior to visiting.
  • For patients who are COVID positive, clinically COVID or contacts of COVID the visitor should be the same person each day, wherever possible. Visiting to COVID wards remains at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge in exceptional circumstances only.
  • Exceptional circumstances for extended or COVID inpatient visiting include:
    • a familiar carer/relative may visit for extended periods if there are specific reasons of safety – dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly.
    • up to four visitors for patients identified as receiving end-of-life care. Patients who are at the end of their life, where death is imminent will usually be in a single room and can be supported by up to four visitors in the period of 2-3 weeks prior to death. Although up to four visitors are allowed, the four designated visitors should be encouraged to stagger their visiting, where possible, and avoid visiting at one time.
    • both parents/guardians of patient under 18 years of age where the family bubble can be maintained.
    • a relative/carer for patients who do not meet the above criteria but may require assistance with their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

Our current outpatient appointments, diagnostic testing, ED & admission area restrictions are:

  • Patients will continue to be advised that wherever possible, they should attend their appointment alone.
  • Exceptions where a patient can be accompanied by one other person are:
    • Children (under 18 years of age) – one parent or guardian.
    • Anyone with a learning disability or dementia can be accompanied by one family member/companion/carer.
    • Anyone with a disability who would not be able to access information or would require assistance during an examination – one family member/companion/carer.
    • Any patient who may need emotional support or help to understand complex information about diagnosis or treatment during an appointment may be accompanied (this should be arranged in advance).
  • For ED and our other admission areas: critically ill patients (at the discretion of the nurse in charge) can also be accompanied by one other person.
  • For outpatient appointments and diagnostic testing: if one of the above exceptions is not met but a patient feels it’s essential they’re accompanied, they will be asked to contact the department ahead of their appointment to confirm their request can be accommodated.

Our current maternity antenatal/postnatal visitor restrictions are:

  • One support person can accompany pregnant women to any scan or hospital antenatal consultant appointment. Please continue to attend community midwifery antenatal and postnatal appointments alone.
  • If a woman is being induced, they can have a partner with them between the hours of 8am to 8pm - our staff will continue to contact partners and ask them to attend the unit if, due to pain or distress, support is required outside of these times.
  • If a woman is attending triage in labour, one support person can accompany women when they are being cared for in established labour on the Birth Centre, Labour Ward or if attending for an elective caesarean section, until transfer to a postnatal ward.
  • Unless in labour, please continue to attend triage appointments alone.
  • For inpatients on the ante/postnatal ward, one nominated support person can now visit our antenatal/postnatal ward from 9am to 8pm each day. This nominated support person should be the only person who visits throughout the inpatient stay. Please note that we are unable to allow visits from children at this time.

Other ways to keep in touch:

Our Family Liaison Service can:

  • relay personal messages to and from patients who are staying on wards.
  • arrange virtual visiting with a video call to family.
  • receive essential items for patients.

Personal messages

Email your message and/or a photo to: rde-tr.pals@nhs.net with the patient name and ward. Alternatively, call: 01392 402093 and leave the message you’d like shared with your love one.

Virtual visits

If your loved one does not have a smartphone, it is sometimes possible for us to arrange a virtual visit. To see if you can use this service, please contact the team 10:00 – 16:00, Monday to Friday, on:

  • Wonford: 01392 402093 / or email rde-tr.pals@nhs.net
  • Exmouth: 01395 279684
  • Sidmouth: 01395 512482
  • Tiverton: 01884 235400

Receive essential items

All essential items should be bought in an easy to wipe clean bag which is clearly labelled with the patients name and ward.

For Wonford, the drop off point is situated in the PALS office in the Main Entrance and is available Monday to Friday: 9.30am to 4pm.

For the community hospitals, please contact the relevant hospital prior to dropping off any patient property - see the 'Our sites' page for contact details.


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Last updated: May 20, 2022