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Changes to inpatient visiting

As the national response to Covid-19 evolves, we regularly review the measures we take to help protect our patients, visitors, and staff. We were recently pleased to re-introduce some limited visiting for our inpatients and we are updating those arrangements based on our experiences and that of other hospitals.

From Monday, 26 April most inpatients will still be able to have one visitor for up to an hour each day, booked in advance. However, we are now clarifying that this should be the same, single named visitor for the duration of their inpatient stay.

This is to help minimise the number of people coming into our wards, and in turn minimise the chance of any infection spreading. We know that people can carry and spread Covid-19 without symptoms, so reducing contact is a key way of keeping cases low.

Slightly different arrangements apply for maternity and paediatric areas, and our ward staff will continue to have discretion in visiting arrangements for those receiving end of life care or with specific mental health needs.

From today, we are also encouraging visitors to take a lateral flow test before visiting wherever possible. This is not compulsory, but it is a great way for our visitors to help protect their loved ones. Lateral flow tests are now widely available for free to the public, via a wide range of local collection points or by post. Full details of how to get them is available here: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests

It also remains important that all visitors frequently wash their hands, wear face masks, and maintain social distancing. This applies even where you have a negative lateral flow test result, or have received the Covid-19 vaccination. While both of these are extremely helpful in tackling the virus, lateral flow tests may not detect lower levels of infection and we do not yet know how vaccination affects the spread of the disease. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms, or feel unwell in anyway, you must not visit the hospital.

We appreciate your continued support in following these measures to help keep us all safe. We know how much visiting means to both patients and their loved ones, and we do not take these measures lightly. For those unable to attend in person, we continue to offer our free Keeping In Touch service of video calls for friends and relatives.

These are a summary of the full arrangements. Please see our visiting information page for full details.

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