Patient visiting suspended at Lincolnshire hospitals from Wednesday
Hospital bosses say these changes are in response to the rise in local infection rates as well as the increased number of COVID-19 positive patients being treated at the Trust’s hospitals.
In order to continue to protect patients and staff the Trust says it has made the “difficult decision” to suspend visiting.
Patients visiting Lincoln, Boston, Grantham or Louth hospitals for an outpatient appointment or to use the emergency services departments are reminded to come alone, or if assistance is required to only come with a maximum of one other person. All patients who need support to physically be able to attend their appointments are given guidance in their appointment letters, to ensure this can be facilitated in a safe way.
Exceptions to the visitor ban are:
* The maternity department will allow one birthing partner to attend the birth and a partner to visit women and their baby either antenatal or postnatal
* Visiting hours on maternity wards are 1pm-7pm
* Children are still not able to attend the hospitals to visit patients at this time
* Partners can attend all hospital maternity appointments
* Women and partners are encouraged to perform lateral flow tests prior to appointments.
Paediatrics and Neonatal services:
* Parents who do not show the symptoms of infection can visit their children on children’s wards and neonatal units
* Parents with a baby in neonatal care have access 24 hours a day. This includes overnight stays where accommodation allows
* Any exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.
* Visiting end of life patients
* Other exceptional circumstances (for e.g. dementia, learning disabilities, autism, and mental health).
Director of Nursing for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Dr Karen Dunderdale, said: “Restricting visiting is one of the measures we are taking to protect our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and to limit the spread of this virus.
“We know that this decision will be upsetting for those who have loved ones in hospital, but we must prioritise the safety of our patients and staff at this time.
“We have put in place some exceptions and our ward teams will work with families to ensure access in these circumstances.
“Wards will be offering the opportunity for families to talk to relatives via Skype or FaceTime where possible. Families can also take advantage of the ‘Letter to a Loved One’ scheme, full details are available on our website here: https://www.ulh.nhs.uk/news/send-a-letter-to-a-loved-one/.
“We also ask people to attend outpatient and our emergency services departments alone, this is so we can ensure that there is a safe distance for patients and staff within our departments. Please bear with us, whilst we continue to ensure the safety of our patients as well as our staff.”