Changes to visiting restrictions for our sites during the Covid-19 pandemic

Face to face visits are now being facilitated and may be booked according to the normal processes for each area. Visitors will be asked to complete a questionnaire for track and trace, sanitise their hands and wear PPE.

Recognising the vital importance of family and carer contact Virtual Visits remain available and until regulations are further relaxed to again permit general face to face visits will remain the primary visiting option. In line with Trust system changes we will be moving from Skype to Microsoft Teams as the system utilised for Virtual Visiting. Should you have any questions or require any further information please contact the relevant ward/hospital.

Ward 35 at Aintree Hospital: Visiting is temporarily suspended.

How visits will be managed

The process for booking and the manner in which visits are facilitated will remain similar to systems previously in place prior to Covid-19 however there will be some important changes and obligations for both visitors and service users who participate:

  • Only one visitor will be permitted to visit a patient at any one time or two visitors from one household
  • Cleaning procedure has been enhanced and will take place before and after the visit in the visiting suite
  • Visitors must wear face masks at all times, these will be provided if necessary. Face masks will be also worn by staff and patients throughout the visit and patients and visitors must wash their hands before and after the visit. Hand sanitiser will be provided
  • Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire on arrival capturing contact details and current health; should you experience on the day of the visit a new continuous cough, a high temperature and/or a loss of or change in taste or smell you should not visit; if you display these symptoms you should self-isolate at home and organise a test, members of your household should also self-isolate for 14 days.

Contact information for visitors and details of their travel history will be retained and in the case of a COVID-19 outbreak shared with NHS Track and Trace.

Booking a Visit

To book a visit, interested people should contact the ward/hospital for specific arrangements/details, but some sites have specific notice periods for visits to be booked (see below). 



It is expected that there will be high demand for visiting whilst the number who may visit simultaneously has been reduced to maintain safety.

The process for booking a visit will remain unchanged however you will be asked about your health and travel history to assess risk.

Notice required for visits (all other sites please contact the ward/hospital for specific arrangements/details)

  • Ashworth High Secure Hospital - 72 hours notice. Initially patients will be permitted one visit per month whilst demand is gauged
  • Rowan View medium secure unit - 48 hours notice. Initially patients will be permitted two visits per week whilst demand is gauged.
  • Rathbone Low Secure Unit - 48 hours notice. Initially patients will be permitted two visits per week whilst demand is gauged
  • Byron ward - 48 hours notice. Initially patients will be permitted two visits per week whilst demand is gauged.
  • Whalley Specialist Learning Disability site - All visiting has been suspended following the Government announcement on 30 July 2020 to increase lockdown restrictions to parts of Lancashire, unless in exceptional circumstances. 

Alternatives to Visiting

The Trust will attempt to facilitate all requests for approved visitors to visit in person in a way that protects you, the individual you visit, other patients and staff mitigating the risks of contracting COVID-19. It is important to state that visits are at your own risk. Alternative means of contact such as virtual visits remain available should you not wish to visit in person.