The Maternity Department has limitations in place. Read there HERE.
- Face masks must continue to be worn when you enter the building unless medically exempt.
- Please ensure you clean your hands using the hand gel provided when you enter and exit and regularly throughout your visit.
- Please maintain social distancing as you walk around the Hospital.
- Only in exceptional circumstances, you may bring one accompanying person. This must be agreed with the Nurse in Charge/Streaming nurse.
- If you are attending with a sick child only one parent/guardian may attend.
- Please do not request access to the hospital if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, unless for emergency treatment.
Visiting Patients in Hospital
We cannot facilitate visiting until the patient's 5th day in hospital for planned elective admissions, unless on compassionate grounds or end of life care. We are pleased to be able to offer visiting from the 1st day of admission for emergency and unplanned patients. We encourage you to use virtual and telephone visiting where possible.
Those wishing to visit will have to book their 1 hour time slot by calling the ward or department. We understand that trying to get through to departments / wards can sometimes be difficult, we recommend calling after the busy morning period, 11am, and ask for your patience whilst we adjust to this new way of working. (please avoid calling to book visiting slots over the weekend when there is reduced admin and clerical staff to take calls).
Visiting for general wards and departments will commence at 11am, break for meal times and finish at 20:00pm. Specialist areas may have different times, and staff will advise when you call to book your visiting slot. Maximum 2 visits per week of 1 hour at a time.
Once a slot has been allocated a visiting code will be given and symptom checker carried out. You will be required to leave your details in case we need to contact you about your visit. Please do not share you visitors access code, it is only valid for one encounter.
Below is some general practical advice and support for individuals visiting and accompanying patients at DGT:
- Transport – Arrange to drive yourself, or be driven to and from the hospital by a member of your household or bubble, if possible, to minimise the risk of exposure to others. Hospital parking is limited but available.
- Personal belongings - Bring as few personal belongings as possible with you, e.g. bags, handbags, electronic devices, gifts and only non-perishable food for the patient. Take the opportunity to take any valuables your loved one may have home for safe keeping.
- Face coverings – Face coverings or masks must be worn on entry to the hospital buildings and within the hospital and departments. If you are wearing your own cloth type face covering you must change to a hospital face mask on arrival to the ward or department, theses will be provided. If you are wearing a hospital type face mask on entry to the hospital you can keep this one on for the duration of your visit. Those who are medically exempt from wearing a face covering/mask, will only be permitted to visit on compassionate grounds for end of life visiting, and must wear a plastic visor and adhere to strict social distancing.
- Gloves - Please do not wear plastic/surgical gloves, if you are wearing gloves you will be asked to remove them. Gloves can easily cross contaminate and hand hygiene is a much more effective method. There are hand gel stations available throughout your journey through the hospital, and at entry and exit points of wards and departments.
- COVID Vaccination and testing – You need to continue to follow all the same precautions to prevent the spread of COVID even when you have been vaccinated. Although you might not get sick you could still spread it to others. We are unable to accept any community testing results as we cannot validate them.
What to do on arrival – Please report to the DGT main entrance wearing your face covering, or if exempt a visor. Hand sanitiser is available at the entrance and we advise you to use this. The team will direct you to the ward/department by the shortest possible route. Please ensure you have your one time visitor’s access code or appointment letter at hand.
Social distancing – Where possible maintain a 2 metre/6 foot space at all times
Arriving at the ward or department – sanitise with hand gel or wash your hands with soap and water on entering, staff will support you with any other instructions and guide you to your loved one. We recommend you use the hand gels provided, but if you have your own please ensure it is effective against bacteria AND viruses.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – In addition to wearing a face mask visitors may be required to wear personal protective equipment such as a plastic apron and surgical gloves if assisting with personal care. Staff will guide and support you in this. Going to the toilet and having had a small drink before putting on PPE can help avoid the need to remove it and put it back on during the visit.
Stay with your loved one - Another patient may ask you for help, it may be something simple such as passing something. If you or another patient needs assistance please call for help, or where appropriate ask your loved one, or another patient to press their call bell.
Leaving the hospital - Wash or sanitise your hands on leaving the ward/department and hospital. Only remove your mask once you have left the hospital building. Sanitise your hands following removal of your face mask, and dispose of your face mask appropriately in the bins provided at hospital exit points.
Vulnerable individuals – If you are extremely clinically vulnerable due to a medical condition or you live with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable due to a medical condition, we recommend you do not visit due to the increased risk of exposure to the virus.
Alternatives to visiting – If you are unable to visit in person, please talk to staff about arranging a virtual video or telephone visit. You can find more information about virtual and telephone visiting, or passing a message to your loved one on the following link
What not to do when visiting someone in hospital
- It's best not to sit on the patient's bed, as this can spread germs. Use the chairs provided.
- Do not put your feet on the patient's bed.
- Do not touch the patient's wounds or any medical equipment they're attached to, such as drips or catheters. This can cause infections.
- Do not use the patients' toilets. Use the hospital's public toilets.
- Do not share a patient's toiletries, tissues or hospital equipment with other patients or leave them in communal areas.
Patient property drop off
Relatives/friends are able to drop off essential items for their loved ones who are staying in our hospital, between 9.30am and 4.30pm at Darent Valley Hospital’s main entrance. Our main entrances are staffed by security so please inform them you are dropping off patient property as soon as you arrive. They will direct you to our hub where you can drop off the belongings to one of our DGT Doers.
Please make sure you clean/disinfect the items and place them in an easily cleanable bag, labelled with the patient’s name and the ward they are on.
You will be asked to complete a form on arrival which will include the patients details and your details (click here to print the form before you visit). Both you and the person receiving the items must sign the form. The property and the form will then be delivered to the ward and the receiving staff will be asked to sign the form to confirm receipt.
You may include some of the following items:
- A change of clothes and underwear
- Reading glasses, dentures and hearing aids
- Toothbrush, hairbrush and a small number of other bathroom essentials
- A small comforting personal item, eg. a photo, book or magazine.
We are unable to accept any perishable items and you will be asked to take them home with you.
Please do not deliver any items of value, please keep these safe at home. The Trust cannot take responsibility for any items lost or stolen.