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NHS Trusts restrict hospital visiting as a precautionary step

The NHS in Gloucestershire has announced that it is restricting visiting to hospitals as a precautionary step from tomorrow (Saturday 14 March, 2020).

Trust leaders say that the action is a responsible and proactive measure to take as part of Covid-19 preparedness.

The policy will apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, Cheltenham General Hospital and seven community hospitals in the county – Cirencester, The Dilke (Cinderford), Lydney, North Cotswolds (Moreton-in-Marsh), Stroud, Tewkesbury and The Vale (Dursley).

Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust that manages Cheltenham General Hospital and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital said:

“The number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients and that is true right across the NHS in Gloucestershire.

We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for some patients and their loved ones, but at the same time I think there will be real understanding of why we are taking this precautionary and responsible step.”

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust that manages the seven community hospitals in the county said:

“Whilst the current number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is low in the county, it is right that we plan ahead and take proportionate actions that are in the best interests of patient care and safety.

We also need to support our excellent hospital staff across the NHS in Gloucestershire so they can continue to focus all their efforts on the people they are caring for.”

Restrictions:

Visiting hours at Cheltenham General Hospital, Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and the Community Hospitals are restricted to 1pm – 6pm (7 days a week)

Those who should NOT visit the hospitals:

  • People with a fever, cough, shortness of breath
  • People with symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Children and young people under the age of 16
  • People over the age of 70 and/or with a long term health condition are advised to carefully consider their health and wellbeing and speak to ward staff before planning a visit.

Also:

  • Only one visitor per patient per visit (maximum of two visitors a day). The Trusts are requesting that the visitor (single point of contact) shares information with other family and friends
  • All visitors are asked to follow infection control advice from ward staff.

Trust leaders will monitor the policy closely and regularly review the restrictions. Patients and the public will be informed when restrictions are lifted.

Maternity wards and units

  • Only one person will be able to accompany women in labour and we are asking that no other members of family or friends attend our units
  • Partners only to visit on the Maternity Ward, Delivery Suite and our Birth Units
  • No children or young people under 16 to visit
  • All visitors are asked to follow infection control advice from ward staff

Children’s Ward at GRH

Open visiting with the following restrictions:

  • Only one visitor per child (maximum of two visitors per day)
  • Visiting to children’s wards is restricted to parents/ carers only
  • No siblings or young people under the age of 16 should visit
  • All visitors are asked to follow infection control advice from ward staff

Compassionate grounds

Exceptions may be made for relatives hoping to visit on compassionate grounds. These visitors are being asked to telephone the ward and speak to staff if they wish to visit outside the specified hours.

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