Health board announces changes to hospital visiting rules as restrictions ease

Most hospital visiting restrictions are being lifted today as part of the move “beyond level zero”.

NHS Shetland said that despite the easing, certain requirements remained necessary to ensure the safe operation of the Gilbert Bain Hospital. 

The new requirements are: 

– Patients can have two visitors from any household, visiting them at the same time;

– People should still  phone ahead before visiting to prevent overcrowding;

– Visitors will still be asked to provide their contact details to the person in charge of the ward;

– Current requirements around wearing face coverings, hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand rub, will remain in place;

– Visitors are asked to maintain physical distancing where possible;

– Visitors are advised to take regular lateral flow tests, particularly before attending the hospital;

– Patients who have been admitted who are Covid-19 positive, will continue to have access to essential visitors only.

NHS Shetland’s director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said: “The hospital team welcomes the change in guidance as visitors played a big part in helping patients recover and we are very grateful for the support and understanding of families whilst the restrictions have been in place.

“While we very much welcome the easing of restrictions, there are some parts of the hospital which remain closed to the public such as the hospital restaurant. 

“So, please check with the person in charge before making the journey so they can let you know about visiting arrangements and answer any questions that you have about the facilities available before you travel.

“When coming to the hospital, please wear one of the masks provided, keep your hands clean and maintain physical distancing at all times. It is also important you provide your contact details so that can get in touch again if we need to, through the Test and Protect team”.

While some restrictions have eased, the health board has reminded people not to visit anyone in hospital if they have a fever, respiratory, cough or cold symptoms; the loss of taste or smell or not feeling well in general.

People should not visit if  they have had any sickness or diarrhoea within the last 48 hours.

All visitors must hand sanitise when entering and leaving clinical areas.


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