Message to our Community banner

Message to our Community: Visitor policy update effective July 13

We are making changes to SHN’s Essential Visitor/Care Partner Policy

At SHN, we strive to ensure a safe environment for our patients, family members, and health care workers throughout the evolving COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to deliver compassionate care.

In light of the recent guidance from the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health on beginning to resume visitors in acute care settings, SHN has made updates to our Essential Visitor/Care Partner policy. Visiting will continue to be restricted at SHN — however, we are expanding some of our criteria for exceptions where physical visitation is absolutely necessary.

Guidelines for Essential Visitor/Care Partners

Currently, we are allowing Essential Visitors or Care Partners at SHN based on compassionate care, where in-person visits are necessary for a patient’s fundamental care needs, mental health, and emotional support.

Beginning July 13, the following patients will be able to designate an Essential Visitor or Care Partner:

  • Patients with significant behavioural and cognitive challenge (1 support person)
  • Paediatric or NICU patients (1 support person)
  • Women in labour and post-partum care (1 support person)
  • Patients within the last two weeks of end-of-life care (up to 3 visitors)
  • Patients requiring sudden major surgery with an extended length of stay of more than three days (1 visitor within a few hours before surgery)

Additional guidelines for visiting:

  • Visiting hours at SHN will be from 1 to 7 p.m.
  • All visits must be scheduled with the patient’s care team. This schedule will be shared with the entrance screening team, who will screen visitors each time they visit and ask for proof of identification.
  • Visitors must wear a mask at all times, and should always maintain 6 feet (2 metres) between themselves and the patient.
  • Designated visitors are allowed to visit a maximum of twice per week, except for the support person accompanying pediatric/NICU patients and women in labour and post-partum care.
  • Each patient can only have 1 visitor for an hour on their scheduled day, unless otherwise specified.
  • Due to the high risk to visitors, patients and staff, visitation will be prohibited for all suspect and confirmed COVID-19 positive patients.
  • Any visitation outside of regular visiting hours or other special requests will require review and approval from program leadership on a case-by-case basis.

We will continue to revise our Essential Visitor/Care Partner policy in alignment with recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Ontario Health. We will also continuously review the feedback from families and staff, and collaborate with local leaders and patient and family advisors to revise the visitation policy.

We appreciate how visits from family, caregivers and others contribute greatly to our patients’ quality of life and well-being. Whenever possible, we encourage family members to conduct visits with patients virtually using mobile devices and the free WiFi available at the hospital. Please speak with the health care team for support with these virtual visits, and borrowing a mobile device for patients who do not have their own phone or tablet. Learn more about video chat tools.

Thank you in advance for your support, understanding, and patience as we resume visiting while preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

We look forward to seeing you again.

Stay updated at www.shn.ca/visiting.

About the Author :