Visiting restrictions change at local hospitals

Changes to visiting restrictions at a small number of inpatient wards at Grimsby hospital and maternity inpatients at both Grimsby and Scunthorpe hospitals come in today.

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) previously only allowed visiting in exceptional circumstances. Whilst the Trust has maintained some visiting in exceptional circumstances, the visiting arrangements have been unable to change until now.

From today (Monday 14 September), limited visiting will be allowed on some of our wards by appointment only between the hours of 2pm to 3pm and 6pm to 7pm. These wards are C2 and B3 at Grimsby hospital. Further wards at Scunthorpe and Goole will follow soon and this will be communicated as these changes are put into place.

Ellie Monkhouse, Chief Nurse, said: “We know how difficult it has been for patients to not have visitors and for loved ones who have not been able to come and check on their family and friends. Our patient experience team have been fantastic in keeping people connected using video calls and providing hand written cards and messages but I appreciate it’s not the same as seeing someone face-to-face and I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience with us during this time. As a Trust we have maintained visiting arrangements for those who need some extra support, but the situation is very complex in order for us to keep everyone safe whilst maintaining social distancing. The constraints of hospital buildings mean that there are some services and areas that we cannot accommodate lots of visitors.

“We have been constantly reviewing visiting arrangements on a weekly basis which has included feedback from staff, patients and some visitors, keeping in touch with our peers and national guidance. We now feel we are in a position to ease the restrictions slightly. Our priority remains the safety of our patients and staff and so there are a number of measures we have put in place to allow visiting to resume safely. Please respect these measures and bear with us while we adapt to these new arrangements. We will continue to review these arrangements as we have been doing on a regular basis and will make further changes as we are able too. Whist this is good news, we do have to provide some guidance in order for us to be able to keep everyone safe, so please help us work with our teams to follow this guidance. It is also worth noting that if our cases increase, or we are subject to local restrictions, we may need to reduce our visiting again.”

Visiting on wards

Visiting will be by appointment only, arranged by the ward team, and between the hours of 2pm to 3pm and 6pm to 7pm on wards C2 and B3 at Grimsby hospital only for this week. This will be extended to further wards as the process is tested and safety can be assured. Visitors are required to take precautions by wearing a face covering, washing their hands/using the hand gel on arrival and maintaining social distancing in the hospital. When they get to the ward they will be given a surgical face mask to wear for the visit and will be asked to dispose of this as they leave. They will also be asked to complete a risk assessment and leave details with the ward. This will be for all of our visitors to complete.

Please be aware we can only allow one visitor per patient and a certain number of people will be allowed onto the ward at any time, therefore visiting every day may not be possible. We ask that you keep your visit to 60 minutes, at this current time.

Visiting for maternity and paediatrics

Visiting for maternity services is being extended so partners will be able to visit women any time between 10am to 10pm whilst they are inpatients in the hospital and not just for the labour and delivery. At this time this does not extend to other visitors and unfortunately the Trust is not yet in a position to be able to open up visiting for partners at clinic appointments or scans due to social distancing requirements. We will continue to review this but the layout of these areas does not allow social distancing. For emergency early pregnancy scans, please speak to the clinical team as we want to be able to accommodate partners during these events wherever possible.

On Disney Ward at Scunthorpe and Rainforest Ward at Grimsby, both parents will now be able to be resident with their child during the day and one parent will be able to stay overnight. On the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, both parents are now able to be resident with their baby throughout the day, with one parent being able to stay overnight. At this time this does not extend to other family members, however siblings will be able to visit the clinical areas by prior arrangement and for short periods of time only. We will continue to review our visiting arrangements in line with regional and national guidance.

Chemotherapy patients

Patients undergoing Chemotherapy for the first time will also be allowed to bring a family or friend with them for support, if capacity on the unit allows. Depending on the activity within the unit at the time, please liaise with the team to discuss your needs in advance and we will do our best to accommodate your request. This is again due to constraints within our buildings for social distancing.

Before being allowed to visit a risk assessment will be carried out and visiting will not be permitted in the following circumstances:

• Anybody who has had a positive COVID-19 swab in the last two weeks
• Anyone who is isolating as a contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive
• Anyone who has been contacted by Test and Trace to say they are a contact of a COVID-19 positive patient
• Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19
• Anyone who is shielding due to anticipated surgery
• If any local or national lockdown restrictions are in place that do not support patient visiting.

The Trust will continue to review visiting and will respond to any changes in guidance or local restrictions in place and will endeavor to keep people informed as to any changes via its website www.nlg.nhs.uk and social media channels: @NHSNLaG on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact numbers for the wards are available on the Trust website at https://www.nlg.nhs.uk/patients/wards/

If you are a journalist and require further information contact the communications and marketing team on nlg-tr.comms@nhs.net