Visiting restrictions within South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are set to be relaxed in response to improving community infection rates and the enormous success of the vaccination programme.
From Friday 25 February patients will be able to have one visitor for one hour each day following a decision by the trust’s experienced clinicians to reintroduce visiting across all its sites.
The trust, which runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and community wards at Redcar, East Cleveland and The Friary hospitals, suspended visiting at the beginning of the pandemic to protect its patients, staff and service users.
From 25 February these restrictions will be eased; allowing non-COVID patients to have one visitor for one hour a day on an appointment basis between 10am and 8pm.
Visits should be booked directly through the relevant hospital ward. Daily visitors can be different from day to day.
In addition, flexible visiting can be arranged when:
- Visiting a child or baby
- Visiting a patient at the end of their life or when they are critically ill
- You are supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
These flexible visits can be arranged by calling the ward and asking to speak to the nurse in charge.
Keeping everyone safe
When visiting their loved one in hospital people are asked to take a lateral flow test up to 24 hours before attending to ensure they are COVID-19 negative.
All visitors must continue to wear their face covering at all times, gel their hands upon entering and leaving both the hospital and ward areas and maintain social distancing.
Lindsay Garcia, deputy chief nurse, said: “We are delighted to welcome back visitors, we’ve really missed them and we know our patients have too.
“We’ve been very careful around our patient visiting since the beginning of the pandemic to help protect our patients and staff.
“Following a decrease in COVID-19 cases regionally our experienced clinicians have now made the decision to reintroduce visiting for our inpatients and we look forward to welcoming loved ones back onto our wards.
“To keep everyone safe we’re asking that visitors and patients meet up in ward areas rather than in public areas of our hospitals.”
Visitors cannot attend the trust if they:
Have symptoms of COVID-19
Have tested positive for COVID-19
Have been identified as a close contact
Have symptoms of another infectious disease
People who are unable to visit will continue to be offered virtual visits via ward iPads so they can stay in contact with their loved one.
Friends and family can also continue to send messages and items to their loved one through the trust’s patient experience team: [email protected]