Coronavirus: Visiting restrictions put in place at Shropshire's orthopaedic and community hospitals
Visiting restrictions have been put in place at Shropshire's specialist orthopaedic and community hospitals in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and the community hospitals in Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Bishop’s Castle and Whitchurch have brought in changes until further notice.
The trust which runs the Oswestry-based hospital and Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, which runs the community hospitals, say they have taken the steps to limit the risk to vulnerable patients.
Under the new visiting guidelines, anyone with a fever or a new persistent cough is being asked not to visit.
This also applies to children under the age of 16, over 70s and anyone with existing heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes or any condition that weakens their immune system.
Patients who are undergoing testing for possible coronavirus will not be allowed visitors until they are given the all clear.
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Wards at the hospitals will also have restrictions on visiting times.
At RJAH, people will be able to visit their loved ones between 6pm and 8pm.
And at the community hospitals visiting will only be allowed between 4pm and 7pm.
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 the hospitals.
Visitors are asked to only go to the ward or 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.
There are exceptions to visiting restrictions for end of life care patients where the two-hour visiting window does not apply.
Further discussions will be held on an individual basis with the nurse in charge.
The two-hour visiting window will also not apply for paediatric and neonatal services.
One designated carer can visit for the duration of the child’s stay. 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.
Discussions will also take place around patients who are living with dementia and require additional family support.
Certain areas in the hospitals might be cordoned off or closed to visitors for deep cleaning or certain treatments, but the trusts say this does not mean that there is a positively tested coronavirus patient in that area.
All visitors will be asked to wash their hands or use alcohol gel to disinfect their hands on entering the hospitals, and again on entering the clinical area where their relative is treated.
They will be asked to wash their hands or use the gel again when leaving the clinical area and when leaving the hospitals.
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.
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.
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