Visiting hours are eased

From today, visiting arrangements will be easing at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, with one named family member or carer being able to visit once a day for an hour, with three possible time slots: morning, afternoon or evening.

An appointment must be made with the ward team 24 hours in advance of the visit to avoid overcrowding on the wards and limit the number of people on the ward bays to maintain social distancing requirements. Ideally the same person should visit each day to reduce the risk of spreading covid-19, which remains in the local population.

Nancy Fontaine, chief nurse and director of infection prevention and control, said: “We want to deliver the very best care to our patients and we are delighted to welcome families and carers back to the hospital to support patients during their recovery.

“We are asking visitors to wash their hands on arrival and before leaving the ward, to use the hand sanitiser and to wear a face covering, or mask provided by the ward, to help us avoid the potential spread of covid-19.

“We must remain vigilant. Whilst local infections are low, every precaution must be taken to protect our patients and prevent the spread of covid-19. Maintaining high standards of environmental cleanliness and scrupulous hand washing are paramount in preventing the spread of this potentially deadly virus.”

Visiting is still strictly limited for patients who are unwell with covid-19 and those patients having planned surgery where they have self- isolated for 14 days in order to avoid the virus before their treatment starts.

Visiting was suspended during the pandemic with a few exceptions for children and patients reaching the end of life, those with dementia, learning disabilities or other mental health conditions. A birthing partner is also allowed to attend with pregnant patients. These exceptions still apply and should be discussed with the clinical team.

To make an appointment, call the ward directly from the list of telephone numbers on the hospital website – www.nnuh.nhs.uk – or through the switchboard on 01603 286286.

Visitors are being asked to go directly to the ward on arrival, report to the ward reception and be prepared to remove coats, wear a face mask and wash/sanitise their hands.

Prof Fontaine added: “We are asking the public to please support us in phasing the visiting at hospital. There are still many other ways to for people to stay in touch with patients without physically visiting the building, such as the virtual visiting service, or patients can use their own phones and iPads, plus the Messages for Loved Ones service at the hospital. Our newly established relatives liaison team is also keeping families and carers up-to-date with news and progress reports.”

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