Local hospitals have announced that from today they are easing the restrictions that have so far prevented family from visiting loved ones in hospital, in order to limit the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Until now, the only permitted visitors were essential family members, at the discretion of clinical staff, and primarily for patients receiving end-of-life care. The relaxation of these restrictions means that some patients who have already tested negative for coronavirus will be allowed a single visitor for one hour per day.
Despite the reduction in reported deaths from the highly contagious illness, it still poses a considerable risk and because of this, it’s vital that visitors:
- first ring the patient’s ward to ensure they are allowed a visitor before travelling, to make sure social distancing can be organised safely on each ward.
- wear a face covering at all times while on hospital grounds.
- have no symptoms of coronavirus themselves.
- are not shielding from coronavirus because they fall into an ‘extremely high risk’ group.
If the hospital patient was shielding before they were admitted, only members of their household can be allowed to visit them.
Fiona Hoskins, Deputy Director of Nursing at Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals, said: “It is really encouraging to see far fewer patients in our hospital who have coronavirus, and to see some elements of hospital life start to return, for example some routine services and appointments.
“However, we must remain vigilant and be mindful that coronavirus has not gone away.”
Deputy Director of Nursing at Poole Hospital echoed her sentiments, adding:
“Our staff continue to work incredibly hard to care for all our patients in a safe environment and we need the public’s ongoing support to enable us to carry on doing this.
“All hospital visitors will need to wear a face covering, and be aware that there will still be some restrictions due to social distancing measures which we appreciate can be difficult, but it is essential to slow the spread of the infection.”