Restricting visitors to keep our patients safe
04 November 2020

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust has announced restrictions to visitors for all of services, beginning tomorrow, Thursday 5 November.

Following the UK Government’s announcement that England will be entering a second lockdown, the changes to the visitor policy reflects the national call to action to: reduce day-to-day contact, to avoid meeting people you do not live with and to stay at home, except for specific purposes.

Visitors will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit. These include:

·       One regular carer for a patient with additional needs, e.g. dementia or learning disabilities

·       One parent or guardian for a child

·       One person accompanying a person in labour

·       For a patient receiving end of life care

·       For a patient where a change in treatment would benefit from a meaningful exchange

·       One close relative for a long-stay patient where a visit would improve wellbeing

Alice Webster, Director of Nursing said: “Protecting patients and those who care for them is our top priority. Thankfully the number of cases and deaths linked to COVID-19 at St. Mary’s has been relatively low when compared with much of the country. However, we are not complacent and will do everything possible to keep people safe

“We understand how important visiting family and friends is but we have to prioritise the safety of our patients, staff and the wider community. Restricting the number of visits to the hospital will help contain the spread of COVID-19 and we are grateful to people for their cooperation and understanding.”

To help families and loved ones to stay connected with patients staying at the hospital, the Trust are running  a Message to Loved Ones service and an Essential Items delivery service and these are being promoted as an alternative to visiting in person.

From Thursday 5 November NHS Trusts across England will be continuing their services as they did over the summer, facilitating social distancing throughout hospitals and continuing strict infection control measures.

St. Mary’s Hospital will also continue to welcome birth partners, who can to be present for scans, labour, birth and postnatal visits. This will remain under review to ensure the safety and support for those who are pregnant, their babies and our staff.

Alice continued: “Although we are restricting the attendance of visitors, we urge people in need of healthcare to please continue to use our services. Arrive for scans, turn up for appointments and pick up your medication. We want everyone to continue to access healthcare services now and throughout the winter.

The changes take effect from midnight today, Wednesday 4 November 2020 until further notice.

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