Visitor restrictions to remain amid rising COVID cases

Saturday 25 June 2022 13:00

AS the number of cases of COVID-19 has increased both in the community and in our hospitals, the Western Trust has confirmed it will continue with visiting to hospital sites allowing for one visit, for one hour per day per patient from three nominated visitors.

Exceptions will also continue to apply in some areas. All temporary visiting restrictions will be reviewed again on Monday, July 4.

The Trust also confirmed that Maternity Services continue to allow one visit, one hour per day from two nominated adults at the same agreed time, however consideration will be given outside this in exceptional or individual circumstances.

This will also need to be agreed with midwife in charge.

A spokesperson said: "The Trust treats the safety of our patients, staff and everyone attending our facilities with the utmost importance and we are therefore emphasising the social responsibility our visitors have by ensuring they please continue with adherence to infection prevention and control measures in our efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 into high risk and vulnerable settings.

"Whilst testing using Lateral Flow Devices (LFD) is optional it is encouraged as a valuable, additional mitigation to enhance safety.

"We would also ask that visitors please wear a face mask when inside our healthcare facilities, even when in the presence of a patient.

"It is extremely important that any individual displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and take a LFD in line with current advice for the general population - they should not visit a hospital.

"Visitors who choose to avail of LFD testing should test prior to visiting. This can be up to a maximum of twice weekly in their own home.

"It is important that all visitors who undertake LFD testing report the result of their test, irrespective of whether the LFD test is positive, negative or void."

To report an LFD test result visitors should visit or alternatively phone 119 (free from mobiles and landlines) from 7am to 11pm.

The spokesperson added: "All infection and prevention control measures must be adhered to when attending any Western Trust hospital or facility and this includes wearing a facemask properly which covers your nose and mouth at all times.

"In addition you must adhere to proper hand washing and social distancing guidelines at all times when visiting.

"Based on high risk of COVID-19 transmission it is important to note that some wards are unable to allow visiting at this time and you will be informed of this when you ring to book your visit. "

There will also continue to be exceptional circumstances in respect of visiting guidance to the North West Cancer Centre, attending outpatient appointments, maternity scans, neonatal and visiting patients in end of life care.

For further information, please refer to the Trust website.

"We would encourage you to keep in contact with your loved ones via virtual visiting arrangements," the Trust spokesperson added.

"You can continue to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ with your relative or friend on a smartphone or tablet. Our hospitals have access to free Wi-Fi and our staff can help set this up.

"Please be patient as there continues to be significant staffing pressures at present and our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care at this very busy time.

"For anyone attending any Western Trust hospital or facility, we ask that you continue to work with us and please respect our staff and the guidance they give you at all times.

"There have been incidents where our staff have received verbal abuse and harassment and we would ask everyone to please refrain from such behaviour and remind everyone that we operate a zero tolerance policy towards abuse across our Trust.

"We would like to thank you for your cooperation in relation to all essential recent changes to our visiting arrangements.

"Your support helps us to provide safer care for your relatives and friends who are currently in hospital."

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