27 January 2022
Following an update given to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, visiting restrictions for visitors on adult wards at the Hospital will be lifted in time to allow visitors to see patients commencing tonight, the evening of Thursday 27 January. Social visiting will also be reintroduced on mental health wards.
Visiting to the Hospital is not possible on Thursday afternoon as staff need to allow time to prepare for visiting to return in a safe way for patients, staff and visitors.
The amount of Covid circulating in the community is decreasing as is community transmission, allowing visiting to be reinstated.
Visitors coming to see a loved one must observe the following guidelines:
Only 2 named visitors are permitted per patient and only one of those visitors is to attend at any one time and must only visit one patient while in the Hospital. Staff on wards will keep a record of those named visitors
Visitors must not be subject to any self-isolation requirements or have symptoms associated with Covid 19
Visitors must strictly adhere to hand hygiene with alcohol gel on entrances to clinical areas and must wear facemasks over the nose at all times
Visitors are asked to support all HCS staff as we work collectively to re-introduce visiting safely
- Regarding visits to patients who are receiving end of life care, this will be considered on an individual basis, as is the current case. Staff will be monitoring who visits as details of named visitors will be recorded. Regarding visits to mental health wards, the ward should be contacted to make arrangements.
For someone who is a patient for an extended period, who may request more than two visitors, staff would carefully assess the impact on the patient and risk but would be advised by the Infection Prevention and Control team as overall numbers of visitors do need to be carefully monitored.
The reintroduction of visiting will be kept under review.
Everyone is encouraged to take an LFT before they visit the Hospital or any adult mental health wards and anyone with any symptoms of Covid must not visit.
Visiting was temporarily suspended on 12 January following reports that several inpatients in the Hospital tested positive for Covid-19 after a very small number of visitors came in with symptoms.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf said: "I and my Council of Ministers colleagues are pleased that visiting has been reinstated following a temporary restriction which we know has been difficult for loved ones and patients. However, the decision to temporarily restrict visiting was taken after serious consideration. The return of visiting is great news for patients and their friends and family. I would ask all visitors to be respectful of staff who are doing all they can for patients under difficult circumstances, and to observe all guidelines which have been put in place."
Deputy Chief Nurse Claire Thompson said: "We know that having visitors makes a huge difference to our patients. Please help us by visiting someone only if you are a named visitor. Our staff across HCS have done an amazing job and I thank them all for all they have done and continue to do for patients."