Due to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in the local community, visiting at hospitals run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has been suspended with immediate effect and until further notice.
Jane McNicholas, Interim Medical Director, UHMBT, said: “We are extremely sad to have to make the decision to temporarily suspend visiting at our hospitals, but it is a necessary step in order to keep our colleagues and patients safe.
“We understand that visiting is so important during a hospital stay, particularly as we approach the New Year, and as soon as we are able to lift the suspension, we will. In the meantime, we ask for the public’s help in respecting these rules to help us all stay safe.”
Visiting at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, including the following:
- The patient is receiving end-of-life care
- Pregnant women are allowed to have one partner with them throughout induction or labour and whilst attending their 20 week scan. See further guidance for mums and birthing partners
- 1 parent/carer is allowed to stay with their child or baby throughout their time in hospital.
- The visitor is supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability, autism, or something where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. For patients with dementia, John’s campaign is available for one family member/carer to visit and support the patient as needed
Lynne Wyre, Deputy Chief Nurse, UHMBT, said: “To make sure that relatives can still reach out and provide comfort to those staying in our hospitals during this time, friends and family can send their loved ones a message via the Trust website which is then delivered to the patient directly. We also have a small supply of iPads in each hospital to allow our patients to video call their family and friends.
“We understand that visiting is very important to our patients and their loved ones and we would like to thank everyone for their understanding during this incredibly difficult time.
“We will, of course, keep these restrictions under review and update everyone when any further changes are to be made.”
As well as the above restrictions, you should not visit any health or care setting if you are unwell, especially if you have symptoms of COVID-19, are a contact of someone who is positive for COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate, or have experienced vomiting or diarrhoea in the last 72 hours.