Non-essential visiting still suspended in hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside

Hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside continue to suspend non-essential visiting to protect patients and staff.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 1:18 pm

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is issuing a plea to the public to continue to follow these visiting rules to help keep everyone safe.

Marion Dickson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Our hospitals and staff are under a lot of pressure and we need the support of the public.

"Although it is an incredibly difficult decision to suspend visiting, this is the right thing to do to protect our patients, staff and those in the community.

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Alnwick Infirmary.

“As nurses, we know the positive impact seeing and hearing from loved ones can have on a patient and we would urge families to make use of the methods we have in place to facilitate virtual visiting and staying connected.

“The last ten months have been a long and tiresome road for everyone, but with the vaccines now being rolled out there is light at the end of the tunnel. But, we are still working hard to fight this awful virus and we all need to continue to be vigilant in following the rules.”

Visiting is only permitted in the following circumstances and the appropriate PPE must be worn: For patients who are receiving end-of-life care or are terminally ill and in the late stages of their illness; for birthing partners in maternity units; for parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit; for long-stay patients and those with dementia or where best interest decisions or exceptional clinical/social matters are being discussed, at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

Women can bring their birthing partners when attending 12 or 20-week scan appointments including all emergency assessments, all labour care and post-natal care until discharge ensuring they follow the strict guidelines in place in the post-natal area.

iPads will continue to be available on wards to facilitate ‘virtual’ visiting and friends and relatives will be able to stay connected by ringing the trust’s patient line on 0191 293 4306, available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or sharing pictures/photos via [email protected].

In addition, patients can make unlimited phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles free of charge via bedside units.

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