12 January 2022
The Council of Ministers has agreed to a temporary restriction of visitors to Jersey’s General Hospital Adult Wards and Mental Health Wards.
This follows an update from senior clinical colleagues in Health and Community Services who reported that several inpatients in the Hospital have tested positive for Covid-19 after a very small number of visitors came in with symptoms.
The temporary restrictions will begin tomorrow (Thursday 13 January) and will be reviewed after a week.
Exceptions will be in place for people receiving end of life care, for Maternity and SCBU and other special circumstances. Anyone who feels they have special circumstances can call the relevant ward and speak to the ward manager.
The restrictions will apply to all adult wards in the General Hospital, and Mental Health Wards based at St Saviour. Adult patients attending the Emergency Department will need to go alone, and children can have one adult with them.
The decision has been taken to support the effective running of the Hospital at a time when the community transmission of COVID 19 remains high, and there is a need to protect the staff and services provided across the General Hospital and Mental Health.
Hospital staff have worked hard to maintain strict infection control but have, in some cases, been subjected to verbal abuse by a small number of visitors who have not complied with the measures put in place to protect patients and staff.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “The hospital has been delivering excellent care with minimal disruption. We need to ensure this effective running can continue. My colleagues on the Council of Ministers and I condemn the conduct of people who endanger the safety of hospital patients and staff.
“We recognise the benefits to health and wellbeing that come from receiving visitors during hospital treatment, and we deeply regret the need to announce further restrictions. We aim to reinstate normal visiting arrangements as soon as it is safe to do so.
“I am sorry that this happened, and that a small number of people have continued to visit when unwell, as this has resulted in this regrettable step.
“I am also angry to hear that clinical staff have been abused in this way. They come to work to care for Islanders and I am really proud of all that they do. We need to do all we can to make sure they are supported."
Jersey's Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor, said: “We are a small hospital on an island. As such, we take infection prevention and control incredibly seriously in all of our services. Our priority is our patients, to ensure their safety while they are in our care, and to the health and wellbeing of our staff.
“Our staff are amazing and have continued throughout the course of the pandemic to deliver care to islanders in very difficult conditions, while wearing PPE. They are doing all they can to protect patients and are regularly tested for COVID.
“We absolutely appreciate the benefits that seeing a loved one brings to people’s recovery and as such restricting visiting, even temporarily is not something we do lightly. Please be assured our clinical staff will be able to make exemptions to this in exceptional circumstances, as we have done previously.”