Restrictions to hospital visits in response to coronavirus
Visiting restrictions are to be put in place at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford in the wake of national guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The changes will come into effect from 6pm today (Monday 16 March) until further notice.
Neither RSH or PRH currently has any confirmed cases of coronavirus, but The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the hospitals has taken the steps to limit the risk to vulnerable patients.
Under the new visiting guidelines, the following people are being asked not to visit our hospitals:
· Anyone with a fever or a new persistent cough. People with these symptoms will be asked to return home immediately and self-isolate in line with national guidance
· Children under the age of 16. This also applies to siblings of children who are inpatients and children whose parents are inpatients
· Anyone over the age of 70
· Anyone with existing heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, any condition that weakens their immune system or on any medication that weakens their immune system (e.g. steroids)
Patients who are undergoing testing for possible coronavirus will not be allowed visitors until they are given the all clear. Visitors will not be allowed in X-ray or Radiology.
In addition, wards at both hospitals will have restrictions on visiting times. People will be able to visit their loved ones between 10am and 8pm but will only be able to visit for two hours between those times.
Only one visitor per patient will be allowed to visit at any one time. Families and wards are being encouraged to nominate the same person to visit regularly, in order to minimise the number of visitors to our hospitals.
Visitors are asked to only visit the ward/area where their loved one is being treated and refrain from walking into the canteens, cafes and, especially, other clinical areas if this can be avoided.
Exceptions to visiting restrictions are:
· Births: Only one of two named birthing partners will be allowed at any one time to support the mother through delivery. The named birthing partners can alternate. The two-hour visiting window does not apply.
All other maternity areas, including postnatal and antenatal wards will operate one named visitor only. The two-hour visiting window does not apply. Children under the age of 16, including siblings of the new born baby, are not permitted to visit any maternity area.
· Paediatric and Neonatal: One designated carer can visit for the duration of the child’s stay. The two-hour visiting window does not apply. If the designated carer can no longer visit due to illness or caring duties at home, the family of the child is asked to nominate a new designated carer and discuss this with the nurse in charge of the ward.
· End of life care: The two-hour visiting window does not apply. Further discussions will be held on an individual basis.
Certain areas in the hospitals might be cordoned off or closed to visitors for deep cleaning or certain treatments – this does not mean that there is a positively tested coronavirus patient in that area. Visitors close to these areas under restriction/deep clean may also be asked to leave the hospital at short notice.
All visitors will be asked to use alcohol gel to disinfect their hands on entering the hospital, and again on entering the clinical area where their relative is treated. We also ask them to use the gel again when leaving the clinical area and when leaving the hospital.
Visitors who are picking up a discharged patient to take them home, or are providing transport for a patient who is attending as an outpatient or for a short procedure, are asked to stay in their car, to avoid direct contact with other people and pick up their relative wherever this is possible.
Dr Arne Rose, Medical Director at SaTH, said: “Friends and relatives are encouraged to stay in touch with patients via other means, such as video messaging, text messaging and social media. Mobile phones can be used in almost all areas of the hospital.
“We are asking the public and friends and families of patients to please restrict the number of phone calls to our hospitals in what is a highly-pressured time for our teams.
“Clinical teams will give short updates to families of patients via telephone; in particular where there is a change of treatment of a change in the course of an illness.
“We appreciate that these measures may cause some anxiety and inconvenience, and we are sorry for that, but this is a highly unusual situation and our priority needs to be in protecting our vulnerable patients. I want to thank the public for their understanding and our teams for their hard work at this time.”
Pic: Telford Live Covid-19 Poster boy