Visiting Us

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Update to Family Presence Information

Updated November 23, 2020

During this crucial point in the pandemic, we need families and our community to partner with us in the fight against COVID-19. As such, we have made the very difficult decision to limit the number of visitors in the hospital. Effective Monday November 23rd, 2020 only 1 designated visitor/partner-in-care will be permitted to pre-schedule a visit on an inpatient unit. Inpatients who are with us for a short stay (admitted for 3 days or less) will not be permitted to have a visitor unless there are special circumstances, which may be discussed with the health care team.

Thank you for your understanding and unwavering support during this unprecedented time.

Email a Patient

We value the vital role that families and partners-in-care contribute to the healing and wellbeing of our patients and appreciate how difficult this is for everyone.

To assist any family and friends looking to further connect with their loved one, Lakeridge Health is supporting and encouraging virtual and telephone calls as staying connected is an important part of healing. We offer a free messaging service called Email a Patient where you can send a personalized electronic message that will be printed and read to your loved one.

 Frequently Asked Questions regarding Family Presence at Lakeridge Health

Can I come to the hospital to visit my loved one?

Effective Monday November 23rd, one designated individual will be permitted to visit their loved one admitted to the hospital.

In most cases, the designated family member/partner-in-care can visit their loved one on an inpatient unit, by calling the unit in advance to schedule an appointment to visit.  In order to give all inpatients the opportunity to see their loved one, practice physical distancing and to maintain the safest possible environment for everyone, only 1 family member/partner-in-care will be able attend the hospital per visit.

Please note that inpatients who are with us for a short stay (admitted for 3 days or less) will not be permitted to have a visitor unless there are special circumstances, which may be discussed with the health care team.

 

The outpatient programs will continue to follow the visitor exceptions which were effective on June 12, 2020.  These exceptions are:

  • Birthing partner of a woman in labour
  • Pediatric patients
  • Patients who have a cognitive impairment or mental health condition and escalating
  • behaviours 
  • Physical or mental/intellectual/ developmental disabilities
  • For patients where English is not their primary language and there is a significant language barrier preventing the ongoing provision of safe and effective care
  • Primary Caregiver for patients that require extensive support 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, there may be changes at any time regarding Family Presence to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our patients, teams and community.

 

What is important for me to know in order to safely visit the hospital?

We need your commitment to adhere to our safe visiting guidelines.  This includes the following:

1.)   Masks must always be worn while in the hospital or on hospital property (i.e. while in parking garage, walking to the entrance).

2.)   No food or drink is to be brought into the hospital.

3.)   Absolutely no eating or drinking while in the hospital.

4.)   No flowers are to be brought into the hospital.

We are screening everyone that comes to Lakeridge Health to ensure those entering are feeling well and free of illness.  This includes all of the Lakeridge Health team.  Please follow the signage to the screening entrance.

Once the screening questions are successfully passed, the family member/partner-in-care will be asked to perform hand hygiene and will be given a mask which is to be worn for the entire duration of the visit.  You may wear your own mask so long as it covers your mouth and nose.

The family member/partner-in-care must remain in the designated visiting area until the end of the visit when they are ready to exit the hospital.

 

How can I schedule an appointment to visit my loved one on an inpatient unit?

All visits must be scheduled in advance by speaking to a member of the healthcare team on the unit.  Before booking your first visit, staff will outline key information with you over the phone to help you prepare for your scheduled visit.  Please do not schedule a visit if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.

 

Where can I find more information on Compassionate entry for travellers and limited release from quarantine?

For more information, please visit:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice/compassionate-entry-limited-release-from-quarantine.html

 

Will there be an opportunity to receive updates regarding an inpatient’s condition from a Physician or member of the healthcare team when visiting?

Please note that the physician and healthcare team may not be available during the family member/partner-in-care’s scheduled visit to the hospital.  We are committed to working in partnership with families and partners-in-care and would be happy to follow up in a phone call if we are unavailable to speak in person.

 

Are there any time restrictions when visiting my loved one in the hospital?

It is our priority to ensure that all inpatient’s have an equal opportunity to see their loved ones.  In order to physically distance, there is a need to limit the volumes of visitors in each care area.  As a result, we will be scheduling 45-60-minute visits.  There may be exceptions when inpatients will be granted a visitor for a longer duration.  Please speak with a member of the healthcare team to inquire about the exceptions for longer visit durations.

 

Are those who are allowed to visit able to use the washrooms in the hospital?

Yes, they may use designated washrooms in public areas (i.e. food court); however, families/partners-in-care are not permitted to use the washroom in a patient room or staff washrooms.  Whenever possible, all family members/partners-in-care are encouraged to use the washroom before or after coming to the hospital.

 

Can families/partners-in-care bring in belongings for a patient?

Personal items may be dropped off to the screening centres at any of the hospitals.  Please note that a family/partner-in-care will not be permitted to enter past the screening entrance unless they have booked a scheduled visit.

 

I am supposed to attend a family meeting; can I come in for that?

We want to make sure family meetings will continue. Meetings will be organized via telephone or virtually. A member of the healthcare team will contact you to make arrangements.

 

For any other questions, please speak with a member of the healthcare team.  Thank you for your patience and support in keeping everyone safe.

 What you can do to keep yourself and others safe

 Family Presence During COVID-19

Everyone that enters the hospital will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, asked to perform hand hygiene, and will be provided with a mask. Please ensure to practice physical distancing during your visit.

In addition, to assist any family and friends looking to further connect with their loved one, Lakeridge Health is supporting and encouraging virtual and telephone calls as staying connected is an important part of healing. We offer a free messaging service called Email a Patient where you can send a personalized electronic message that will be printed and read to your loved one.

 Screening when Entering

For those able to visit within the visitor protocols, we are screening at all entrances of Lakeridge Health hospitals to ensure everyone entering is well and free of illness. This includes all of the Lakeridge Health team. Anyone who is unwell will not be allowed to enter the hospital as ultimately this protects everyone.

 Other Visitor-Related Information

Where to Stay

The Region of Durham maintains a list of local accommodations for you to choose from.

What to do in an Emergency

If there is an emergency at one of our hospital sites, we will make an overhead announcement. Please stay calm and follow the instructions of our staff.

Fire Safety

If there is a fire at one of our hospital sites, you will hear an overhead announcement for "code red". Please stay calm and follow the instructions of our staff. Do not use the elevators or try to leave on your own, as fire doors will be closed.

All of our staff receive mandatory fire-safety training and participate in fire drills regularly.

We're a Smoke-Free Environment

In compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Electronic Cigarettes Act and Regulations, Lakeridge Health prohibits the use of any form of smoking or the use/vaping of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on any of its properties.