Restrictions on Hospital Visiting Reintroduced

Restrictions on visiting are being re-introduced in Forth Valley hospitals, due to an increase in people in hospital with Covid-19 and a high number of cases in local communities across the area.

The revised arrangements, which are being introduced from Monday 8th November 2021, are in line with previous Level One restrictions and will apply to at both Forth Valley Royal Hospital and the four local community hospitals.

Patients in adult inpatient wards will still be able to have a single 45 min visit a day from up to two people, preferably from the same household, visiting at the same time. All visits must be arranged in advance with ward staff to ensure physical distancing can be maintained within the ward areas. Although it is possible for visitors to change, this must be discussed with ward staff beforehand and no more than two people can visit at a single agreed time on any day.

There are no restrictions on the length of visits or the number of people who can provide support to patients receiving end of life care as staff will continue to deal with these requests compassionately.

In addition, pregnant women will continue to have the support of up to two birthing partners during labour and have visits from up to two designated visitors (in addition to a birthing partner) after the birth. However, visits to the maternity ward must be arranged in advance with local staff and visitors may be asked to visit separately to help maintain physical distancing.

Similarly, both parents/primary care givers will continue to be supported to have maximum access to babies and children being cared for in the Neonatal Unit and Children’s Ward. Arrangements can also be made for up to two additional visitors but separate visits by each visitor may be required to help maintain physical distancing and should be discussed in advance with local staff. Further information on visiting is available NHS Forth Valley website.

The new visiting arrangements are being put in place to ensure the safety of all patients, staff and visitors and help maintaining physical distancing between patients and their visitors in inpatient areas. This can be particularly challenging in wards with open accommodation and four-bedded bays.

NHS Forth Valley’s Nurse Director, Professor Angela Wallace, added: “We know that re-introducing some restrictions on visiting will be disappointing, however we believe this is the safest option at this time as cases of Covid-19 remain widespread and pressures on the entire health and social care system are at an unprecedented level.

“We appreciate the co-operation of our patients and their families during this challenging time and we will monitor and review our local visiting guidance on a regular basis.”

All visitors must wear surgical face masks (blue disposable masks) and use the hand sanitising gel provided before entering the hospitals or individual ward areas.

Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 or who has been asked to self-isolate because they have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19 or for any other reason should not visit. Visitors to wards will also be asked to complete an initial test and protect form for contact tracing purposes.

Further information can be found on the visiting section of the NHS Forth Valley website and the Scottish Government website.