Visiting our hospital

From 28 April 2022

Changes to visitor arrangements at our hospitals have been introduced in line with other public hospitals through WA.

As hospitals care for people when they are at their most vulnerable, these changes will help them, our staff and the wider community safe from the spread of COVID-19.

Please remember to respect and be patient with our staff – they are doing their best. Abuse of our staff in any form will not be tolerated.

Permitted visitor definitions

Standard visitor

Family member or friend visiting any patient in the hospital.

Essential visitor

Every essential visitor will be agreed on a case-by-case basis after an assessment by the patient’s treating team or ward. Read more below in ‘Visitor checklist’.

A permitted essential visitor is:

  • nominated labour support person
  • nominated parent/guardian of an admitted child (including a neonate/start of life)
  • nominated guardian/carer for a patient living with a disability
  • patient support person if they have a significant impact on clinical care and outcomes for a patient, for example assisting with care of a patient with dementia
  • support person (spouse, partners and other significant others) for someone who is critically ill
  • one end-of-life support person – read about exceptional compassionate visitor exemptions
  • a maximum of one accompanying essential visitor into an emergency department
  • up to 2 visitors per patient in an emergency circumstance (not an emergency department presentation)
  • a maximum of one designated guardian attending an outpatient, home or community-based appointment.

To minimise the risk of infection, it is preferable that visitors are aged 16 years and over.

Requests for children under 16 years of age to visit with an adult, within visiting number limits and during visiting hours, will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

To minimise the risk of infection, it is preferable that visitors are aged 16 years and over.

Requests for children under 16 years of age to visit with an adult, within visiting number limits and during visiting hours, will be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Visitor checklist

The checklist below outlines the steps to gaining entry to our hospitals. Full information about each of these steps is provided following the checklist.

Table 1: Visitor checklist
Requirement  Standard visitor Essential visitor
Gain approval to be an essential visitor No

Yes

Proof of double vaccination Yes, must be fully vaccinated Fully vaccinated preferred, but exemptions for unvaccinated if considered an essential visitor/carer
Wear a hospital surgical mask Yes Yes, provided.
Answer screening questions Yes Yes
Check in with ServiceWA, SafeWA or manual register Yes Yes
Rapid antigen test (RAT) screening Yes, if visiting a designated high-risk area/ward – see ‘Screening’ below for further details
Yes, if visiting a designated high-risk area/ward – see ‘Screening’ below for further details
Visiting hour limits Yes Yes, on agreement with ward
Requesting access as an essential visitor

All essential visitors must be approved before attending the hospital by the Nurse Unit Manager or Shift Coordinator.

Please contact the hospital switchboard on 6152 2222 and ask to speak with the ward nurse unit manager during business hours Monday to Friday, or outside of these hours ask to speak with the Hospital Coordinator Out of Hours.

The names of all visitors to the ward and the time of their visit will be recorded for contact tracing purposes.

Exceptional compassionate visitor exemptions

We understand there will be circumstances where a family will wish to visit to comfort and support a dying patient. This may include a person who is in isolation, is COVID-19 positive, or maybe COVID-19 positive.

Read about exceptional compassionate visitor exemptions.

Screening

You will be asked a series of questions about your health and of any visits to known exposure locations, whether you are a standard or essential visitor. It is important you answer the questions truthfully.

You will be given a visitor screening sticker on entering the hospital, which must be worn and visible for the duration of your visit.

Mandatory RAT screening is required for essential visitors to the following areas:

  • Burns
  • Cancer centres
  • Haematology
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • IV infusion centres
  • Infectious Diseases ambulatory clinic (IDAC)
  • Labour and birth suite
  • Maternal Foetal Assessment Units (MAFU)
  • Mental health units
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Oncology
  • Transplant
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Post-natal ward
  • Radiotherapy (Genesis)
  • Renal dialysis units
  • Transplant clinics.

You will be given a visitor screening sticker on entering the hospital, which must be worn and visible for the duration of your visit.

Streamlining entry for regular essential visitors

If you are an essential visitor who visits a long term patient in a high risk area on a regular basis, you will be given a visitor status and result card.

This card outlines your visiting status and results from RATs.

It is very important you keep this card safe and bring it with you every time you visit to help ensure an easy pathway when visiting.

The card looks like this: 

A sample of the front a card issued to frequent essential visitors to Fiona Stanley Hospital during COVID-19 to streamline visiting access.

A sample of the back of a card issued to frequent essential visitors to Fiona Stanley Hospital during COVID-19 to streamline visiting access.

Proof of vaccination

There are a few ways you can show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination (external site), both in a digital and paper-based form. You must have at least a double dose of the COVID-19 vaccination if you are 16 years and older.

You are strongly encouraged to prepare well in advance to avoid delays or being declined entry.

Unvaccinated essential visitors

If you are an essential visitor, we recognise there will be occasions essential visitors will not be fully vaccinated. In these circumstances, the essential unvaccinated visitor will:

  • need to wear a mask at a minimum, but this may extend to other PPE depending on need
  • be met and escorted to and from the patient’s room
  • not visit other patients or common areas of the hospital, such as cafeterias
  • follow the direction and advice of staff at all times
  • be required to undergo a rapid antigen test (RAT) if entering high risk areas or visiting vulnerable patients, with a RAT every third day for long term regular visitors.
Masks

You will be given a new surgical mask to wear upon entry to the hospital and this must be worn at all times.

When disposing of masks please remember to break the cords and place in a bin.

Visiting times

A maximum of two visitors may visit as per the advice below.

Standard visitors

Two standard visitors can visit during the following times:

  • 10am to 12pm
  • 5pm to 7pm.

Essential visitors

All visits by essential visitors are by agreement only.

If you are in COVID-19 isolation or quarantine

South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) has procedures in place to protect patients, staff and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This includes hospital visits by any person in COVID-19 isolation or quarantine for:

  • emergency care
  • planned medical care
  • maternity assessments or procedures
  • to visit on compassionate grounds
  • to visit if you are a close contact.

Read more about coming to hospital if you are in COVID-19 isolation or quarantine.

Number of visitors

A maximum of 2 visitors may visit a patient during visiting hours.

This may be either:

  • two standard visitors
  • one standard and one essential visitor.

Standard visitor

A maximum of two standard visitors may visit during nominated visiting times.

Essential visitor

Emergency department

Maximum of one essential visitor.

Maternity

One birthing partner/labour support person can be present during and immediately following birth, and/or for critical decisions regarding care. The birthing partner must have a negative RAT screening result to visit the hospital. Pregnant women are advised to identify an alternate birthing partner in the event their preferred partner screens positive for COVID-19.

Neonates, paediatrics and patients with a disability

One essential visitor present 24/7. A second visitor may attend during a time agreed by the clinical area for neonates and paediatrics.

Medical emergency

Up to two visitors per patient in an emergency circumstance (this is not an emergency department visit – see above for emergency department visitor information).

Outpatient

No visitors unless a parent or guardian is required. The support person can be on speaker phone or video call during the appointment, especially for critical clinical decisions.

Compassionate grounds

On a case-by-case basis as agreed.

Entry points

To manage the screening process the hospital has limited visitor entry points. Please follow the signage in place and/or the directions of hospital staff.