Posted: Fri 31st Dec 2021

Health board: “Visit loved ones in North Wales hospitals only if it’s absolutely necessary” as COVID cases surge

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 31st, 2021


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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has asked relatives to “carefully consider whether they really need to visit loved ones in hospital”.

The message comes as a result of the omicron variant, which has caused cases of coronavirus to increase across the region.

In the BCUHB area the seven day average (as of December 31) is 1,293 cases per 100,000 the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

In December the North Wales health board introduced new guidelines requiring anyone visiting the hospital to show proof of a negative lateral flow test before entry.

Other changes introduced by the health board include:

  • All visitors will be required to show evidence of a negative lateral flow test result (SMS, e-mail message or screenshot) and complete a screening questionnaire including a temperature check before entry
  • Visitors are not permitted in areas whereby there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID 19 (except in exceptional circumstances”
  • Check with the Ward / Department for visiting availability and times
  • Visiting remains restricted to 1 identified visitor per patient (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above as agreed with the Nurse in Charge)
  • Visiting is limited to 1 hour (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above as agreed with the Nurse in Charge) at the discretion of the Ward
  • Manager and some visits may need to be cut short or cancelled
  • Visits will be by appointment with the Ward / Department directly and adhere to approved safe numbers for each specific area

Exceptional circumstances for inpatient visiting

  • Patient receiving end-of-life care in the last days of life
  • A familiar carer/parent or guardian/supporter/personal assistant to assist in care provision as agreed with ward/department
  • Both parents/guardians where the family bubble can be maintained in Paediatric and Neonatal wards / units
  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and it is necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, emotional, religious or spiritual care needs as agreed with ward/department

Additional Paediatric and Neonatal services Visiting Guidance

  • Parents / Guardians are not permitted in areas whereby there are suspected or confirmed cases of COVID 19 (except in exceptional circumstances)
  • Please check with the Ward / Department for visiting availability and times
  • Both Parents can visit together where a family bubble can be maintained
  • Visiting is limited to 1 hour (except in exceptional circumstances outlined above as agreed with the Nurse in Charge) at the discretion of the
  • Ward Manager and some visits may need to be cut short or cancelled
  • Visits will be by appointment with the Ward / Department directly and adhere to approved safe numbers for each specific area

A spokesperson for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “Our official visiting guidance remains unchanged for now, but we are asking relatives to carefully consider whether they really need to visit loved ones in our hospitals.

“The highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in communities across North Wales and many people can be carrying the virus without displaying symptoms.

“This poses a significant risk to patients in our hospitals, some of whom are very vulnerable to infection or immuno-compromised.

“While we realise how important visiting can be for both patients and relatives, we urge people to think carefully about whether visiting a loved one in our hospitals is absolutely necessary.

“Please visit our website for full visiting guidance: https://bcuhb.nhs.wales/covid-19/hospital-information/hospital-visiting1/general-visiting/”

Visiting restrictions have been reintroduced this week at the Countess of Chester Hospital “in line with national guidance.”

Limited visiting times on inpatient wards at the hospital had only just been reintroduced the week before.

Visiting at the hospital was suspended in September due to the increased prevalence of COVID-19.

A hospital spokesperson said on Wednesday, 29 December: “Visiting will not be permitted unless under exceptional circumstances in COVID-positive areas.”

”These visiting arrangements, which are in line with national and regional NHS guidance, will be under constant review, with visiting in individual areas and the wider hospital potentially being restricted further as required.”

“The following areas are not included: Emergency Department (A&E), Acute Medical Unit (AMU), Respiratory Support Unit (RSU), Ward 43 and Women’s and Children’s services. To discuss arrangements in these areas, please speak to these wards directly on a case-by-case basis. Information about maternity visiting arrangements is on our website here.”

 

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