Please find below useful information to read before visiting a friend or relative in hospital.
Meal times matter - information for visitors
At LTHT we recognise that food and drink is essential for our patients' wellbeing and recovery.
Many of our wards operate a protected mealtimes policy. This means that we try to ensure our patients are able to eat and enjoy their meals without unnecessary interruption and our ward staff are able to focus their time on assisting patients to eat and monitoring their nutrition.
Patients will still be able to see a doctor or other healthcare professional if they urgently need to and pre-arranged or urgent investigations or treatments will still take place.
How visitors can help
If you are visiting a ward displaying a Protected Mealtimes Poster, please respect this request and visit relatives or friends outside of these times where possible.
Visitors are very welcome to come onto the ward at mealtimes if they wish to provide assistance or encouragement with meals to their friend or family member.
If you are not supporting your friend or family member with their meal, you may wish to use this time to visit one of our food outlets for a meal or drink yourselves.
Visitors should avoid ringing the ward at mealtimes, this will enable a calm atmosphere where the nursing teams can focus on assisting their patients with uninterrupted time to eat and enjoy their meal.
Please ask the nurse in charge for more information on ward mealtimes
- Wash your hands or use the alcohol hand rub at the entrance to wards or departments when you arrive and when you leave
- Do not visit if you have been in contact with someone who has had diarrhoea or vomiting within the last 2 days or if you feel unwell
- Do not sit or lie on hospital beds
- Do not touch wounds, dressings or drips and drains
- Please do not bring in foods for your friend or relative that require reheating. We are unable to reheat food due to food hygiene regulations
You and members of your family or close friends should be asking questions about your friend/relative’s care. There is no such thing as a silly question.
You should feel free to ask any questions you feel appropriate. If you have any anxieties or fears about your friend/ relative’s treatment you must discuss these with the patient’s doctor. Other member’s of staff are not in a position to answer these types of questions - they can arrange for you to talk to a doctor.
If your question is about the ward environment or more general care please ask a nurse who will be happy to assist you as soon as they have finished their present task.
Please do not ask questions of nursing or medical staff when they are administering drugs to patients.
A few basic questions you should ask about the care of your friend or relative include:
- Which consultant is in charge of their treatment?
- Who is the Matron responsible for their care?
- Who are the Ward sisters in charge of this ward?
- What medication are they on?
- What side effects can they expect from this medication?
- How do I find out about the after-care they will require?
All our staff should be bare below the elbow at all times in clinical areas. If you see a member of staff who is not please feel free to ask them why not and if this is on a ward tell the Sister or Matron immediately.
The information you are given will depend upon your relationship with the patient. Our staff may have to ask questions to establish your relationship with the patient - so please be prepared for this. If we are in doubt we will not give out information about a patient.