Temporary limits to visits at Lincolnshire’s hospitals due to coronavirus concerns

In line with national guidance, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust have temporarily changed visiting arrangements to help respond to Coronavirus and protect its staff, visitors and patients.

Pilgrim Hospital, Boston.

In a statement released this morning (Wednesday) they said: "We know that it’s important for our patients to see family and friends, but please consider if your visit is essential to help prevent the spread of infection. We are asking the public to limit visiting and to consider other ways of keeping in touch such as phone calls."

From 12pm today (Wednesday) visitors must be immediate family members or carers. Visiting will also be restricted to one hour per day, between 6pm and 7pm.

You should not visit any hospital settings if you are:

Lincoln County Hospital.

* Feeling unwell, including with cold or flu symptoms.

* Vulnerable yourself due to medication, a chronic underlying illness or are over 70 years of age.

* Under 12 years of age without the ward sister or charge nurse’s permission.

Visitors will be limited to one per patient unless the patient is receiving end of life care or the visitor needs to be accompanied (accompanying visitors should not stay in the ward or communal areas but wait elsewhere until the visit is ended).

Some exceptions will be made in some areas. For example in maternity and paediatric services.

Visiting will be limited to only essential visitors. Examples of essential visitors are:

* Paediatrics – maximum two parents/carers.

* Neonatal Unit – parents only.

* Maternity – restricted to birthing partners only.

* Emergency Department – restricted to one person if needed to provide support.

Those who are unable to make decisions for themselves, in line with the Mental Capacity Act, may be accompanied by the person most significant to them.

In some cases, such as where patients are critically ill or nearing the end of their life, hospital staff will do all they can to accommodate visiting needs.

If anyone has any questions about this guidance speak to the relevant ward manager in the first instance. A Family Liaison Team will be set up shortly within the Chaplaincy and Volunteer Teams who will be able to help get non-urgent messages to relatives.

As part of the Trust's preparedness for Coronavirus and following national guidance, it is undertaking a full review of outpatient services. This will include the possible use of telephone and video consultation appointments where appropriate and staff will be contacting suitable patients with clear guidance on what to do.

Some patients will still need to attend their appointment in person due to the nature of their condition and the care and treatment they may need. If you do need to attend a face to face appointment you are asked to come alone where possible, or if you need assistance only come with a maximum of one other person.

Do not visit any of the hospitals if you have symptoms associated with Coronavirus. Instead you should stay at home for at least seven days if you have either:

• a high temperature

And/or

• a new continuous cough.

If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.