Patient Visitation Rules

REVISED (MARCH 21, 2020) – Talking points for reception, administration and volunteers.

Please use the following points if you are asked about the change in visitation rules at our acute, community, long-term care and assisted-living sites:

  • In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is working closely with the Ministry of Health to protect the health of everyone in B.C., including seniors living in long-term care homes.
  • We are restricting all visitors to essential visits only.
  • Essential visits include:
    • Compassionate care (e.g. end of life, critical illness)
    • Visits paramount to patient/client/resident care and well-being, such as assistance with feeding or mobility
    • Existing registered volunteers providing services related to the above
  • We hope you understand these new rules are in place to protect the health of our patients, clients, residents, staff and physicians.
  • We will advise the public when these new rules are lifted.
  • Please check our website for up-to-date information.

COVID-19 visitation conversation guide

VCH’s current visitation policy was updated to provide clarity for staff and families, including for long-term care. Despite a more relaxed visitation policy, not being able to see a loved one at such a critical time can be upsetting. Families may understandably feel isolated, sad, frustrated, confused, helpless, or angry and may verbalize this in their interactions with staff. This is a stressful time for all concerned and exacerbated by these limitations.

Although we may not be able to change the outcome, we can communicate compassionately, effectively and consistently throughout the organization. We can use communication strategies that promote respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration.

Click here to read or download the conversation guide and learn about granting exceptions, facilitating visits and restricting visits.