Keeping you safe when visiting

Changes to visiting and inpatient leave arrangements across Kent and Medway mental health services from 18 January 2022

As of Tuesday 18th January 2022, we will reopen visiting to patient wards and inpatient leave on our wards. 

To minimise the spread of COVID-19 and to continue to protect the safety of our patients, their loved ones and our staff, we will be following a controlled approach as follows:

If you would like to visit a patient on our wards

Visits should be made by appointment only, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

All visits will take place in a dedicated, ventilated room with enough space for safe social distancing. The maximum visiting time is one hour.

We would kindly ask that visitors:

  • Take a lateral flow test before arriving and do not visit if you or any member of your house have a positive diagnosis of COVID-19
  • Wear a face covering at all times, unless medically exempt
  • Wash and sanitise your hands before and after your visit
  • Bring as few personal belongings with you as possible, including gifts and food for the person you are visiting

If an inpatient tests positive with COVID-19

For inpatients with COVID-19, isolation has been reduced to 10 days after the onset of symptoms or their first positive COVID-19 test if they do not have any symptoms, provided the individual no longer has a fever and has no underlying severe immunosuppression.

If the patient continues to present with a fever, isolation must continue until they are fever free for 48 hours. A cough or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia), may persist in some individuals for several weeks, and are not considered an indication of ongoing infection when other symptoms have resolved. 

If an inpatient comes into contact with someone who tests positive with COVID-19

Inpatients who come into contact with a positive COVID-19 individual will need to isolate and have regular testing. This time has been reduced to 10 days.

We know this is a challenging time and all of us at Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust thank you for playing your part in keeping our patients, staff and community safe.

Our KMPT promise to you

We want to make sure you remain as safe as possible when visiting or working within our buildings. Your safety and wellbeing is of the highest importance to us and we want you to be confident we are doing everything possible to ensure you and your loved ones are being supported in the best possible way.

As part of our response to the coronavirus pandemic, we have put in place health and safety measures recommended by the government to help keep everyone as safe as we can.

These include:

  • Access to hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes in addition to existing cleaning and handwashing facilities
  • Risk assessing our buildings to certify sites as COVID-19 secure
  • Signage to help maintain 2m social distancing where possible as well as using screens or changes to our office layouts where this is difficult
  • Ensuring our staff and visitors wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as required within all our buildings including face coverings and masks as directed.

NHS patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings

Working to keep everyone safe when visiting KMPT

Our priority is to ensure the safety of our patients, visitors and staff at all times, and as people start to return to more normal ways of life, we must continue to ensure we are protecting everyone as much as possible who may be working or visiting our buildings; particularly those people who may be vulnerable to COVID-19.

While the government lifted restrictions on Monday, 19 July 2021, it has asked that everyone continues to act carefully and remain cautious in their approach to everyday life.

Public Health England has announced that its infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors. That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected. 

In line with this advice, we will be asking everyone to continue to use appropriate personal protective equipment and to socially distance as well as washing or sanitising their hands.

All visitors to KMPT sites must:

  • Wear a face covering at all times as appropriate
  • Maintain 2 metre social distancing at all times where possible
  • Wash/sanitise their hands regularly as appropriate.

Exemptions

We know some people may be exempt from wearing a mask due to health concerns. If you are, please ensure you make a member of staff aware of your exemption so you are not challenged.

Should visitors refuse to follow the guidance we have in place, unfortunately, we will be unable to allow your visit to take place for the safety of all patients, other visitors and our staff and their loved ones.

Each site may have additional measures in place and so we recommend you contact the ward direct prior to your visit.

Thank you for playing your part to keep everyone as safe as possible at this time.

To ensure everyone's safety the short video below will show you how to wear a fabric mask.

If you begin to feel unwell at anytime before your scheduled visit and believe you may have coronavirus symptoms, you must contact your healthcare professional (or the person you are meeting) and rearrange your appointment. For further information visit the NHS website here 

Do I need to wear a face mask when visiting KMPT hospital buildings?

If you are visiting any of our buildings you will need to wear a face covering. Our staff will be wearing PPE when looking after our patients to protect them and themselves.

A face covering will be provided from the reception area if you do not have suitable protection with you.

If you begin to feel unwell at anytime before your scheduled visit and believe you may have coronavirus symptoms, you must contact your healthcare professional (or the person you are meeting) and rearrange your appointment. For further information visit the NHS website here 

Social distancing - please keep 2m apart

We are still observing the 2m rule around social distancing across all of our sites. 

Please make sure you are maintaining a 2m distance at all times where possible. Signs have been installed within our buildings to help guide you.  In some areas foot signs have also been installed to help any visitors who may be living with dementia.

If you begin to feel unwell at anytime before your scheduled visit and believe you may have coronavirus symptoms, you must contact your healthcare professional (or the person you are meeting) and rearrange your appointment. For further information visit the NHS website here 

I would like to know more before I visit

Your safety and wellbeing matter to us at all times. Should you have any concerns about visiting any of our buildings, please contact the team you will be visiting. If you need additional contact details, these can be found on our services page.

We will do our very best to provide you with any information you need before welcoming you to any of our sites.

If you begin to feel unwell at anytime before your scheduled visit and believe you may have coronavirus symptoms, you must contact your healthcare professional (or the person you are meeting) and rearrange your appointment. For further information visit the NHS website here