Over recent weeks the number of people arriving at the hospital wanting to visit relatives and friends or enjoy on-site facilities such as the shop and cafe has increased. This has meant that staff have, reluctantly, had to turn visitors away on arrival.
Chief Nurse, Mary Aubrey said: “Whilst we fully understand that patients and relatives desperately want to see their family members, the health and safety of everyone must come first. This includes people wanting to enjoy our onsite refreshments.
“We recognise how important it is for our patients and their loved ones to stay in touch during this difficult time and there are ways that families can still have contact but we must continue to restrict visiting and be vigilant and protect our patients whilst coronavirus is in general circulation.”
People wanting to visit a person in hospital will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit. This arrangement should be discussed and agreed in advance with the Ward Sister and the visitor will be issued with a valid permission to visit card.
To help families and loved ones stay connected with people in hospital, each ward has a telephone system in place so patients can use an iPad or mobile phone to contact loved ones. The Trust has also been running a Message to Loved Ones Service and an Essential Items delivery service via the main reception.
People attending hospital appointments should attend alone unless in exceptional circumstances in which case one carer is permitted. People are asked to provide their appointment letter on arrival and Marshals are located at the main hospital entrances to ensure the reason for their visit is valid.
Mary Aubrey continued: “Our careful visiting policy has been in place throughout the pandemic and is under continuous review. As soon as we feel it is safe to relax measures we will look forward to welcoming visitors back to the hospital site but, in the meantime, we ask people for their understanding and support as we continue to take all necessary precautions to keep people safe.”