Patient, Family & Caregiver Experience

Updated June 23, 2021 – this information is subject to change.

Please note: Our guidelines will be changing effective November 1, 2021 to include mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.  Some exceptions will be made.  All the changes can be reviewed in advance of  the November 1, 2021 implementation date.

Keeping Everyone Safe

The Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance’s (HPHA) top priority is keeping our patients, families, caregivers and staff safe during these challenging times. It is important for the hospital to maintain the practice of physical distancing and limiting the traffic going in and out of the premises. We understand that loved ones, families and caregivers are essential to the health, well-being and quality of life of our patients and HPHA is committed to supporting this.

HPHA has taken a precautionary approach for the control of COVID-19 that follows the Ministry of Health and Public Health guidelines for the healthcare sector. We value the presence of family and caregivers and have the following guidelines in place that will be monitored closely and adjusted as deemed necessary. HPHA appreciates the support from our community to adhere to these guidelines.

Family and/or Caregiver should not come to the hospital if they:

  • Are feeling unwell
  • Have been outside of Canada in last 14 days
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have been tested for COVID-19 with results pending (or unresolved) - patients coming to the hospital for testing before their operation will be permitted
  • Have had close contact with a confirmed or suspect case of COVID-19
Family member or caregiver will be actively screened prior to entry into the hospital and follow appropriate infection control guidelines at all times. Family or Caregivers are required to wear a mask and will be provided with a disposable medical grade mask that must be worn for the duration of their time at the hospital. Cloth masks will not be permitted. Wet or soiled masks must be replaced and can be obtained from health care staff.

If a family member or caregiver fails screening, they will be referred to an Assessment Centre and will not be permitted to be present with the patient. Learn more about screening by clicking here.


Family Member: as identified by the patient and may include a spouse/domestic partner, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, relative, neighbour and/or friend.

Caregiver: is a family member, friend and/or neighbour who provides support, assistance and/or care for family members and friends in need in any capacity or length of time.
To ensure Caregivers are identifiable *Caregiver badges may be obtained from the Corporate Patient Experience / Caregiver Office.

Guardian: A person appointed by a judge to take care of a minor child or incompetent adult personally and/or manage that person’s affairs.

We ask that family member, caregiver or guardian be 16 years of age or older, however special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis


Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines

Family or Caregiver Presence is supported for patients in the hospital during the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Only one family member or caregiver will be permitted per day. Presence outside of these times will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Patients in isolation or who have a COVID-19 test pending or unresolved will not be permitted family presence, however staff can assist with virtual connections.

One family member, caregiver or guardian may accompany a patient who:
  • is giving birth
  • is an infant or child attending an outpatient procedure
  • is an infant or child attending an emergency department visit
  • is experiencing a mental health crisis and requires assistance
  • requires assistance to manage their condition, disability or language barrier a caregiver badge can be obtained through the Patient Experience Office
  • is attending an outpatient appointment- Please note: Family member or caregiver may be asked to wait outside in their car while the patient receives care and treatment due to the inability to maintain physical distancing in the space. 
Emergency Department / Surgical Procedure Patients

HPHA supports one family member or caregiver only for those patients who require assistance to manage their condition, chronic illness, disability or language needs.

Patients who are critically ill

HPHA supports 2-3 essential caregivers per day, 1-2 at a time

Patients receiving end-of-life care / Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD)

HPHA supports 2-3 essential caregivers per day, 1-2 at a time

Review our Essential Caregiver Information For Palliating Patients.

Patients in Pediatrics or Special Care Nursery

HPHA supports two family members or caregivers for children and infants (whether COVID-19 positive, or not). However, in the Special Care Nursery, to support physical distancing only one person will be permitted at a time with the patient.

For all infant and children admitted with suspect or positive COVID-19, only one caregiver will be permitted.

Visit our Maternal Child Unit page for more information on these guidelines.

Time off the Inpatient Unit - Outdoors

Would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Manager of the unit where the patient is receiving care.

While in the Hospital

Public washroom access is limited, please inquire with the unit where patient is receiving care for locations. Please do not use patient washrooms.

HPHA hospitals are smoke/vape-free. Family member or Caregiver will not be permitted to come in and out for smoking/vaping or other purposes. If the family/caregiver chooses to leave the hospital grounds, they will not be permitted to return until the following day.

Guidelines for Family & Caregiver Presence while at the hospital have been created.  This will be distributed during our screening process. 

When Leaving the Hospital

Family member or Caregiver will not be permitted to linger in hallways or spend extended time in public areas such as, lobbies, waiting areas, cafeterias, and vending areas other than to make a quick food purchase or use the public washroom.

Staying Connected

HPHA is committed to patient centered care and will assist patients, family and caregivers to stay connected with free WiFi and telephone/TV services. Tablets can be made available for virtual connections as needed though our Information Technology team.

Food and Personal Items for Patients

  • Food or beverages are not permitted in patient care areas and should not be consumed in patient rooms
  • Meals, snacks and beverages are available in the coffee shop, hospital cafe and vending machine locations and may be consumed in designated areas 
  • Patients receiving chemotherapy are permitted to bring food and drink to their appointment for their own consumption
To maintain Infection Control standards and safety for our staff and patients, only the approved items listed below may be brought in for patients.
  • glasses, hearing aids and dentures
  • new toiletries only
  • new grooming items – toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes, razors
  • personal items- books, magazines, puzzle books, family photos etc.
  • mobile phone/tablet,
  • clean clothing

Special requests for non-approved items should directed to the Manager of the Unit where the patient is receiving care. 

If you have any questions or concerns with the HPHA Family & Caregiver Presence Guidelines please contact the HPHA Patient Experience Office at 1-888-275-1102 Ext. 2423. email: michelle.jones@hpha.ca

These guidelines have been reviewed and endorsed by the HPHA Patient Partners & Caregivers.

 Reviewed and endorsed by HPHA Patient Partners