Update to Local Visiting Arrangements

31st December 2021

Due to the continued pressures on our hospitals and care facilities and the significant increase in confirmed cases of Covid-19, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust regrets that it has had to review current visiting arrangements and will implement further visiting restrictions from today, 31 December 2021. This decision has been made to protect our patients, staff and visitors.

We recognise the benefits visiting brings for our patients and their loved ones while in our care. We will try to support visiting where possible and in line with local risk assessments. Visiting arrangements are as follows:

  • Only one of two nominated visitors will be permitted twice a week, unless local risk assessments for the area advise that this cannot be safely accommodated. Should this be the case, alternative virtual visiting will be supported.
  • Following a risk assessment at ward level, only one of these two nominated people will be permitted to visit at any time throughout the patient’s stay in hospital.
  • You must not visit any of our facilities if you have any symptoms of Covid-19.
  • All visiting must be booked in advance through the Nurse in Charge on the ward.
  • A visiting record book must be kept updated.
  • The Nurse in Charge must communicate the changes to visiting arrangements to all staff and patients.
  • Virtual visiting remains the preferred option as this reduces the risk of spread of Covid-19.
  • Virtual visiting may be booked through either:
    • the Patient Liaison Service via the Trust Switchboard
    • a request at ward level
  • The Patient Liaison Service operates from 9am to 7pm, seven days a week

The Trust will continue to facilitate visiting in special circumstances:

  • vulnerable patients – where an advocate is required
  • elderly patients – where an advocate is required
  • end of life care
  • inpatients in the Children’s Hospital
  • inpatients in the Maternity Hospital