Limited visiting has been reinstated at Bath’s Royal United Hospital.
Most visiting was suspended in December 2021 to help protect patients and staff as the Omicron variant spread and both community and hospital COVID-19 case rates rose.
Now, with COVID-19 case rates stabilising, some visiting has been reinstated. However, visitors are asked to help safeguard the new arrangements by ensuring they take a lateral flow test before they come and are free from any COVID-19 symptoms.
Deputy Chief Nurse Sarah Merritt said: “We know how important contact with loved ones is for our patients, so we are really pleased that we are able to support in-person visiting for our patients once again.
“We have remained committed to keeping people in touch with virtual visiting and our in-house messaging service. However, we understand how difficult it has been.
“Now, in order for us to support visiting safely, we are calling on visitors to help us.
“Even if you feel well, it only takes a few minutes to do a lateral flow test before heading to the hospital. It’s a fast and simple way to check that you’re not spreading COVID-19 despite having no symptoms.
“And, please do not come in to visit if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of the results of your lateral flow test.”
From Monday 14 February visiting will be allowed in the hospital, with each patient able to have one visitor a day for a maximum of one hour. In most cases the visitor will be limited to a close family contact or someone important to the patient.
Visits must be booked in advance with ward staff to avoid overcrowding. All visitors must wear a face mask or covering at all times and will be expected to follow social distancing and infection prevention and control measures.
It is really important that visitors take a lateral flow test before they come. Kits can be ordered online or picked up from many local pharmacies and community collection points. There are more details on the Government website.
Exceptions to the general one visitor only rule include for visiting children, vulnerable adults and patients nearing the end of their life. Visiting will not be possible in areas that are closed due to infection, other than in exceptional circumstances.
More details about all visiting can be found on the RUH website http://www.ruh.nhs.uk