Infection control measures for all visitors
For those visiting a patient in hospital it is important to remember that infection control measures will remain in place, including:
- Physical distancing in communal areas.
- Face coverings must be worn, unless exempt
- Hand hygiene measures will continue
- Movement around the hospital will be limited
- No use of patient WCs
- With appropriate infection control procedures in place, visitors will be able to have close contacts such as hand holding.
- Physical distancing should be adhered to in all communal areas
- Visits should not take place if the visitor has COVID-19 symptoms or is isolating.
- Catering facilities will not be available.
- Visitors should not to bring in food parcels, flowers, helium balloons or similar items.
Whilst this guidance outlines the main changes to visiting arrangements, there will likely be specific needs or circumstances where flexibility in approach is required. If this is the case, please speak to nursing staff on the ward. There will be no strict time limits applied to visits.
Patients are now permitted to have the support from at least two named visitors from the same household at the same time without any need for physical distancing between the them. If the two named visitors are not from the same household and physical distancing cannot be maintained, then visits can take place separately. The named visitors should be organised with nursing staff in advance of visiting, where possible.
Children & visiting
Children can visit adults in hospital. A child in hospital is entitled to have one or both parents or carers present to support them and can have visits from siblings or other children.
Where in-person support is not possible, a patient can be supported by alternatives such as virtual visiting using tablets or mobiles.
Visiting guidelines by department
Maternity department visiting
Labour and birth - One birth partner throughout induction, labour and birth (except during a general anaesthetic). Birth partner may go home and return.
Second birthing partner -A second birth partner, if requested, subject to local risk assessments and physical distancing. The second birth partner may be asked to leave the hospital, depending on the number of staff required in the room to conform to these measures.
Antenatal - One person can accompany the pregnant woman to all appointments. No children.
Inpatient wards - One birth partner, with time restrictions only where required to support distancing. Birth partner may go home and return. One designated visitor with a pre-arranged one hour slot may also attend. No children.
Neonatal - Both parents and one additional designated visitor. For long-stay patients (more than seven days) siblings are permitted to visit.
Paediatrics - Both parents/carers in the amber zone and one designated visitor with a prearranged one hour slot. For children in the green and red zones, please discuss visiting arrangements with the nurse in charge.
Gynaecology - One named visitor with prearranged one hour slot. No children. Early Pregnancy patients can receive one additional partner.
All designated visitors are advised to contact the ward or department to arrange visiting times. NHS Fife operates a non-smoking policy and visitors should not leave to smoke and then return to clinical areas.
Children's department visiting
From April 26th 2021 the visiting policy within the Children’s Department will be dependent on zones as follows:
Both parents/carers are welcome to visit their child in the Red zone, but we would ask that only 1 parent/carer remains resident overnight.
One parent/carer may accompany children attending the Green zone for “day surgery” procedures. Should your child require an overnight stay they will be transferred to the Amber zone in the early evening (visiting as below)
Both parents/carers are welcome to visit their child in the Amber zone, but again we would ask that only 1 parent/carer remains resident overnight. Siblings are permitted to visit in-patients in the Amber zone, but with restrictions on the total number of visitors due to the need to continue to observe social distancing. Please speak to the nurse looking after your child to arrange this.
In addition to the infection control measures for all visitors to our hospitals, the children's ward asks that when parents/carers visit their child they stay within the ward for the duration of their visit to support social distancing and reduce the number of potential contacts with staff and other patients and visitors at our entrances.
Please discuss with the nurse looking after your child if these visiting arrangements will cause you any problems and we will try to support wherever we can.
Self testing prior to visiting
When patients’ loved ones make arrangements to visit, the clinical care teams will point out that optional testing is a valuable way to promote safety and will therefore encourage testing. Universal lateral flow testing is now available for anyone in Scotland either through community testing programmes or home delivery by calling 119 or ordering online. We will draw visitors’ attention to this offer as part of preparations to support the safe re-expansion of wider hospital visiting.