Important information about our visiting process

Whilst lockdown restrictions are being eased elsewhere, we will not be making any immediate changes to our current visiting procedures at the Hospice. Screening processes, including lateral flow testing, wearing PPE and social distancing will still be required. Although a large number of our population has received the COVID-19 vaccination, people can still contract the virus without feeling any ill effects and pass it to others. We therefore feel it is important to maintain our current guidelines in order to protect our patients, their families, our staff and the wider community.

Thank you for your continued cooperation.

For patients thought to be in the last days of life:

    • Each patient can nominate six named visitors but, due to social distancing measures, only three visitors are allowed in the patient’s room at any one time.
    • If necessary, the six visitors can be in the Hospice building at the same time and can take turns to be at the patient’s bedside. We ask that, as families and friends, you discuss arranging separate visiting times to ensure that social distancing is safely maintained around the patient’s bedside to keep the patient as safe as possible. 
    • The nominated visitors will be supported to have more flexible visiting according to the needs of the patient, this includes overnight.

For patients thought not to be at end of life:

    • Each patient can nominate up to six named visitors
    • Two visitors can be accommodated at the bedside at any one time
    • Where six visitors are planning to visit in any one day two people will be able to visit for up to two hours
    • The chosen visitors will be agreed as part of our admissions process and must remain the same throughout the patients’ stay. In exceptional circumstances these can change.

Visiting hours

Visitors can visit for one visiting session per day (up to two hours) between 10.00am and 8.00pm. You do not need to make an appointment if you are able to carry out your own Lateral Flow Test at home.

Children & visiting

  • Patients who have children under the age of 16 years do not have to count them as one of the five nominated visitors.
  • Primary school aged children do not need to undertake a Lateral Flow Test or be asked to wear a face mask.
  • Secondary school aged children who are having regular Lateral Flow Tests at school will be able to show these results as part of our screening process. If they are not carrying out Lateral Flow Tests at school then they will need to make a first visit appointment to have a Lateral Flow Test at the Hospice.
  • Face masks can be offered to secondary school aged children but not insisted upon.
  • Other children, e.g. grandchildren, can visit at the discretion of the Senior Management Team.


Pets are allowed to visit the Hospice at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge.

Food & drink

You may bring your own food and drink if you are staying for a period of time, but please be mindful that you will be expected to wear PPE at all times except when you are eating and drinking.

Virtual visiting service

We do understand how important it is for patients to remain connected with all of their loved ones and our virtual visiting service will facilitate this. We are able to organise regular Zoom, Facetime or Skype calls. We can also set these up whilst the chosen visitors are visiting, so they can share the experience, or during medical rounds, if the patient wishes. If patients do not have a phone or tablet of their own they can use a Hospice iPad. Please speak to Family Liaison to arrange your virtual visiting plans.

First Visit to the Hospice

  • You will need to make an appointment in advance of your first visit so we can carry out a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). You will need to call the Hospice on 01904 708 553 to arrange this.
  • On arrival you will be directed to the Visiting Room. Here we will take your temperature, explain about PPE use, social distancing and carry out a LFT.
  • At this first visit you will also be asked about whether you are able to complete a LFT at home. If you are able to do this at home, we will ask you to watch an information video about how to conduct a LFT and provide information on the LFT packs we will give out. This will include how to register the test for NHS Test and Trace, as you will be required to register to input your results.
  • The whole process may take up to an hour.
  • If your LFT test is positive then you must leave the Hospice immediately and arrange for a PCR (nose and throat swab self-test). The link here explains how to get this test: You will need to self-isolate until you receive the results of this test and if this test does come back positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 days at home.
  • Following a negative LFT result you will be asked to wash your hands and use the hand gel provided. You will then be provided with the necessary PPE, which consists of face mask, apron and gloves, and escorted onto the in-patient unit to begin your visit. Your allocated time will then start when you are with your relative.
  • Once you are able to conduct your own LFT, you can visit for one visiting session per day (up to four hours) without an appointment between 10.00am and 8.00pm.
  • If you are unable to manage a lateral flow test yourself, you must continue to book an appointment for timed visiting. You will complete a LFT with a member of the Hospice team. In addition, you will be asked screening questions and asked to wear the appropriate PPE.

Visiting procedures

All visitors will need to adhere to our strict visiting procedures, outlined below:

 When you arrive at the Hospice:

  • All visitors will be expected to comply with social distancing rules, this means staying 2 metres (6’) apart at all times.
  • On arrival, visitors will be asked COVID-19 screening questions and have their temperature taken.
  • In addition to the screening questions you will also be asked to show evidence of a negative LFT result. If the test carried out at home is positive then please do not come to the Hospice and follow the above guidance.
  • You will be asked to wash your hands and use the hand gel provided. You will then be provided with the necessary PPE which will include face covering, apron, and gloves.
  • We know there are some circumstances that people are not able to wear a face covering. We will be mindful and respectful of such circumstances and you will be offered a visor to wear.
  • You will then be able to go directly to the patient’s room.
  • Hand holding with patients is permitted providing visitors are wearing PPE.
  • If your visiting is interrupted for any reason (e.g. a conversation with nursing or medical staff) where possible your visiting time will be extended accordingly.
  • If you leave the in-patient unit for any reason you will be asked to remove gloves and aprons and wash your hands before leaving the patient area and don fresh when you return, if you remain in the building i.e. to go sit in the garden room you can keep the same facemask on unless instructed otherwise by the nursing team.

At the end of your visit:

  • Remove your apron and gloves but please keep your face covering on. You will also be asked to wash your hands and use hand gel.
  • Once in the reception area you will be asked to remove your face covering and dispose of it in the designated PPE bin.
  • Please use the hand gel provided when exiting the Hospice.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Self-Isolation Guidance

Do not leave home if you or anyone else in your household has symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate due to contact with COVID-19. The main symptoms of Covid-19 are the recent onset of any of the following:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough it may be worse than usual)
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

If you have any of these symptoms, however mild, OR you have received a positive test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Do not come to the Hospice.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, you feel breathless and it’s getting worse, or your symptoms get worse and you’re not sure what to do use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms, then all other household members who remain well must follow the government guidance about being a COVID-19 contact. If you are a contact of someone with COVID-19 please follow the government guidance on self-isolation and swabbing prior to visiting the Hospice.

Our smoking policy

St Leonard’s Hospice is strictly a no smoking site and we do not allow smoking either inside the building or outside in the Hospice grounds. This applies to both patients and their visitors. This policy is explained to all patients as part of our admissions process. Nicotine therapy is available to those requiring it.

If you have any questions prior to visiting, please get in touch with our team.

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