Niagara Health is adding opportunities to welcome back more visitors to inpatient units and Support Persons to same-day appointments and procedures in the hospital.
“Having a loved one present in the hospital has a positive impact on the well-being of our patients,” says Heather Paterson, Interim Executive Vice President of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Executive at Niagara Health. “Since June 24, over 15,000 visitors and Support Persons have already been able to spend time with their loved ones in the hospital. With the current low number of COVID-19 cases in the community and the increasing vaccination rates across the region, we look forward to continuing the rollout our phased approach to welcome back more visitors and Support Persons.”
Today, we are expanding visitor guidelines to include:
- Inpatient units: Up to two visitors at a patient’s bedside during visiting hours (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Outpatient clinics and appointments: All patients can now bring one Support Person with them (previously this was in exceptional circumstances only).
- Childbirth: Up to two people at a patient’s bedside at a time, to be coordinated between Support Person and visitors.
- Neonatal ICU: Two parents and/or caregivers can be designated visitors and can visit anytime together.
- Spiritual Care Visitors: Faith community leaders who are registered with Niagara Health can visit 24/7 with all their congregants and/or parishioners who are in the hospital, instead of scheduling separate trips to the hospital for each patient. Learn more about our Spiritual and Religious Care services.
Everyone entering the hospital; including those who have been vaccinated; must pass COVID-19 screening, wear a mask, practice hand hygiene and physical distance when possible.
These changes mean that patients no longer need to rely on phone or video calls with family and loved ones to stay in touch. For the last year, Niagara Health supported virtual visits by offering free TV, phone and internet in patient rooms. Now that face-to-face visits are returning, this temporary free service is ending. Going forward, patients who are admitted to a room in the hospital will access TV, phone and internet for a fee during their stay.
Today’s changes are part of our gradual and phased approach to increasing family presence in the hospital. These changes began in June with one visitor at a time in inpatient units and last week adding that all patients can bring a Support Person to Emergency and Urgent Care services.
Visit our website for Visitor Information and learn about programs for family and loved ones to support patients.