Western Trust COVID19 Visiting Guidance

Revised Visiting Guidance for Western Trust Care Facilities from Monday 1 March 2021

1 March 2021

Following guidance set out by the Department of Health, the Western Trust has confirmed changes to visiting arrangements for all care settings, which will apply from Monday 1 March.

The measures have been agreed after all four UK Chief Medical Officers recommended that the Regional Alert Level should move back from Level 5 to Level 4 with immediate effect.

As a result, the visiting restrictions for all care settings across Northern Ireland will revert to those applying at Level 4 from Monday 1 March 2021. Click here for full details of new visiting guidance.

All Western Trust COVID19 updates will be on the Western Trust Website COVID-19 Updates page.

See below information for Exception Circumstances.


  • General Hospital (including ICU)

    Only one family member or carer to be permitted access to visit.

    Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).

  • Hospice Facilities

    One family member or carer to be permitted access to visit where the environment is COVID secure for up to one hour daily

    Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).

  • Emergency Departments

    One person only to accompany the patient where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff.

  • Outpatients Departments

    Where necessary for the patient to attend face to face appointment only one person to accompany where patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff.

  • Paediatric/Neonatal Hospital Settings

    Neonatal unit:
    One of two nominated parents/caregivers can be accommodated at any given time

    Paediatrics:
    Any child admitted can be accompanied by one of two nominated parents/caregivers at any given time for the duration of the stay

  • X Ray Departments

    One person only to accompany the patient where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff.

  • Cancer/Burns/Renal Units

    One visitor to be permitted to visit where the environment is COVID secure  for up to one hour per week.

    Where the person visiting requires assistance and is accompanied by a carer and this can be accommodated within social distancing guidance then a second person may be admitted (prior arrangement with ward staff is essential).

  • Day Procedure Units

    One person only to accompany the patient where the patient is unable to understand or communicate with staff

  • Care Homes

    Where the home is not in an outbreak, visiting for residents should be arranged using well-ventilated designated rooms/visiting pods, with additional visiting arranged as outdoor visits, window visits and virtually supported visits.

    Where visits can only take place in a resident’s own room, this should be arranged where this can be accommodated within social distancing.

    End of life visiting can take place in a resident’s own room as agreed with the care home manager.

    Please refer to Appendix 5 for full details, including guidance on deciding the frequency/duration of visits, visiting in an outbreak situation, and care partner arrangements.

  • Maternity Units

    Birth partner will be facilitated to accompany the pregnant woman to dating scan, early pregnancy clinic, anomaly scan, Fetal Medicine Department, when admitted to individual room for active labour (to be determined by midwife) and birth and, to visit in antenatal and postnatal wards for up to one hour once a week.

  • Mental Health Wards

    One person to visit for up to one hour once a week, or more where deemed necessary to support the mental health and wellbeing of the patient.

    Alternatives in line with visiting policies, e.g. outdoor visiting, virtual visits, designated visiting rooms etc.

  • Learning Disability Wards

    One person to visit for up to one hour once a week, or more where deemed necessary to support the mental health and wellbeing of the patient.

    Alternatives in line with visiting policies, e.g. outdoor visiting, virtual visits, designated visiting rooms etc.

  • Virtual Visiting

    You can also continue to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ with your relative or friend on a smartphone or tablet. Our hospitals have access to free Wi-Fi and our staff can help set this up. Please be patient. Our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care.

  • Children under 16

    Children under 16 are not permitted to visit.

  • Supporting Family Presence and Participation

    For updated visiting guidance, including additional information, please read ‘Trust Facilities Visiting Guidance – Supporting Family Presence & Participation with patients and/or residents during COVID 19’.

  • Zero Tolerance Policy

    Please remember that all measures being implemented are to protect patients and staff in these challenging times and everyone who visits our facilities should be respectful of all our staff who dedicate themselves to caring for others and saving lives. Please remember there is a zero tolerance policy in place across all Trust facilities, with respect to verbal and physical abuse towards any member of staff.