Visiting guidance for our inpatient wards, care homes, rehabilitation services, and all other 24/7 services

We expect and encourage services to facilitate visits aligned with the way we used to support visits before we had enhanced infection, prevention, and control protections in place, but to do so in a risk-managed way. This is in response to reduced levels of covid in circulation and reduced risk to all.

We know the huge contribution that visiting makes to the wellbeing and the person-centred care of people; lack of access to visitors causes distress to people using service, their families, and carers.

In principle, visitors will now be supported to see their loves ones within normal visiting hours, with no limit on length of visiting times or location. This will be risk assessed locally in line with Infection, Prevention and Control guidance paying attention to people’s vulnerabilities.

Local arrangements for visiting should be clearly communicated to all people and clearly displayed at each ward entrance. The following applies to all:

  • Anyone showing any symptoms of COVID-19 should not visit. This is essential for infection prevention and control
  • Anyone feeling unwell, should not visit
  • Where a face-to-face visit is not advised due to the above then virtual visits should continue be supported and facilitated
  • All visitors must adhere with excellent hand hygiene before entering the ward/hospital
  • Visitors and people using the service and escorting staff can, of course choose to wear a face mask during their visit.  The ward will provide a face mask if the visitor arrives without one where appropriate.  If we are going to ask visitors to wear a facemask it will be for a good reason to i.e if their loved one has vulnerabilities or if there is a high level of virus in circulation.

Issued by NHSE June 2022.  This guidance supersedes all previous versions.