New changes to visiting rules at local south east London hospitals have come into place this week, in line with national guidance.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust have announced that adult inpatients on wards will now be allowed two named visitors, and patients nearing the end of life will be allowed four named visitors.

Visiting restrictions hit hospital patients and their families hard when coronavirus first hit hard in March 2020.

Visitors were all but banned for hospitals, even for pregnancies, and this continued to varying degrees, with a number of children spending Christmas in hospital without visitors.

But as lockdown restrictions have eased, so have those on visitors, and the local NHS trust says that since the 28 May, the next level of restrictions have been eased.

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust say they will be asking each visitor to pre-book their visit wth the ward and to come at a different time to other named visitors.

Queen Elizabeth and Lewisham Hospitals

Queen Elizabeth and Lewisham Hospitals

Visits should be limited to an hour, although exceptions can be made for patients with dementia or a learning disability.

We will also be encouraging visitors to perform a rapid Covid 19 test using a lateral flow device (LFD) at home or at a rapid test centre, report the results on the government website and bring along the email or text confirming a negative result.

If you cannot get your test outside of the Trust, there is a testing centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital as well as limited capacity to get a lateral flow test at University Hospital Lewisham:

'We will continue to ask adult patients to attend the emergency departments, cancer services and outpatient appointments alone where possible. Vulnerable patients – such as those with dementia or who have a learning disability – will be supported to attend with a carer.'

In line with national guidance, the main changes are as follows:

  • Adult inpatients on wards will be allowed two named visitors (one at a time)
  • Patients nearing the end of life will be allowed four named visitors (two at a time)

The arrangements for maternity and children remain unchanged and are as follows:

  • Women during labour or a caesarean section may be accompanied by one birthing partner
  • Women on the maternity wards can be visited by their partner or one named visitor between the hours of 10am and 10pm
  • Children under 16 on our inpatient wards can be visited by two named adults (usually parents), although not at the same time.
  • Babies in the Neonatal Unit can be visited by both parents at any time.