People will be able to visit loved ones in hospital more frequently from Monday in South Cumbria as health bosses announce a relaxation of rules from Monday.
Patients staying longer than seven days in certain wards at Furness General Hospital, Millom Community Hospital and the Royal Lancaster Infirmary have been able to designate a visitor for some time.
From Monday, visiting will now open to patients across the Morecambe Bay trust who have stayed longer than seven days on any adult hospital wards, including if they transfer to one of trust’s hospitals.
Visits will be limited to three per week and each patient will initially have one designated visitor.
Visiting to the organisation’s hospital sites throughout the pandemic has been permitted for the following situations:
- Patients at the end of life
- Those who are providing care for a loved one as part of the John’s Campaign for people with dementia
- Parents/guardians of children
- Birthing partners
- Exceptional circumstances
Sue Smith, executive chief nurse and deputy chief executive for the trust, said: “We recognise the beneficial and therapeutic nature of visiting on patients.
“Our initial trial has been successful, so we are opening this up to more people. We will keep this under review with a view to opening up visiting still further as circumstances allow.”
To ensure large groups of visitors are not arriving at the hospitals at the same time and enable social distancing guidance to be followed, wards are offering staggered visiting times.
To find out more about visiting times on each ward and to organise a visit, loved ones should ring the ward their loved one is staying in, or the main hospital switchboard number on 01539 732288 and they will be transferred to the appropriate ward/department.
The ward clerk will directly book visitor requests.
Bookings will be taken between the hours of 10am and noon Monday to Friday.
Patients will only be allowed one designated visitor and only one booking at a time can be made other than a Friday when arrangements for weekend and the following Monday can be made.
Visitors will be advised to complete lateral flow tests and complete twice weekly testing during weeks that they are visiting their loved ones.
Visitors are required to wear surgical masks (unless exempt) at all times and regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitiser – especially on arrival and leaving the ward areas.
Information sheets will be available on the ward and at the main entrances for visitors to support them in visiting safely.