New revised NHS Wales hospital visiting guidance during the coronavirus outbreak came into force on Monday 30 November 2020. This supersedes previously published guidance.
The revised guidance sets out the baseline for visiting in Wales during the pandemic, but allows health boards, trusts and hospices to have more flexibility to depart from the guidance.
This flexibility is due to the changing picture of coronavirus transmission across Wales, with significant variations in community transmission across different parts of the country and differences in the rate of nosocomial transmission.
The new guidelines allows Swansea Bay University Health Board to assess local factors and work with local infection prevention and control teams and Public Health Wales when agreeing visiting arrangements.
Please note, because of the current levels of COVID-19 circulating in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, we are not currently in a position to relax visiting restrictions.
Healthcare providers may depart from the guidance in response to:
1) Rising levels of COVID-19 transmission in their localities, including levels which result in a national lockdown and/or evidence of nosocomial transmission in a particular setting;
2) Or falling levels of transmission in their local area.
This means that while the health board will always do its best to support visiting, there may be times when infection control issues makes it unsafe to do so.
However if levels of COVID transmission are low in our area, we may be able to support more on-site visiting.
The revised guidance has also been amended for maternity services. Visiting in maternity services will now be based on a risk assessment approach by health boards. This will take into consideration local environmental factors such as room sizes, ability to socially distance and infection prevention and control risks in enabling partners to safely accompany pregnant women and new mothers.
All women will be supported to have at least one partner with them during active labour, birth and for the period immediately after the birth, except in an extremely limited number of circumstances.
The updated guidelines also recognise that some people may require an essential support assistant for specific additional support, e.g. a support worker or interpreter. These essential support assistants will not to be classed as visitors, in some circumstances, where people receive care and support from a family member or partner, they may nominate this person as their essential support assistant.
Please be advised that all visiting must be agreed in advance with the ward, or service during the pandemic.
Please do not visit or come onto any of sites if you are unwell, or have any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, a new, continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell. Also, do not visit if you are self-isolating.
Wash your hands and wear a face covering, and maintain a safe distance from others.