Review of ban on visitors to Wigan's hospitals

A ban on visitors to most patients in Wigan’s hospitals could be lifted, as rules are reviewed by health chiefs.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:55 am

Restrictions were introduced by bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) last year to prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect patients and staff.

They have confirmed the rules remain in place, with visitors currently only allowed to see certain patients “in exceptional circumstances”.

But they are being reviewed, following the relaxation of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions nationwide.

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Wigan Infirmary

It also comes as health chiefs last week told the Observer there were “very few” patients with the illness in hospital.

A trust spokesman said: “Visiting is currently still restricted at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to help minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19 by reducing the footfall in our hospital and community in-patient areas.

“The health, safety and well-being of the public, and that of our patients, communities, individuals and teams across the organisation continues to remain our absolute priority.

“We recognise that maintaining contact with friends and family during a hospital admission is important to our patients and their loved ones, and so following the national easing of lockdown restrictions, we are continuing to review the current visiting policy and making the appropriate arrangements needed to allow visiting restrictions to be gradually and safely eased across the trust in due course.

“WWL’s visiting restrictions will continue to differ depending upon the level of risk associated with a patient’s pathway as set out by NHS guidance. These restrictions will also differ depending on the type of ward or unit, and whether a patient has been identified as having a specific need.”

The current rules set out “exceptional circumstances” where one visitor, who should be an immediate family member or carer, can see a patient in hospital.

This applies when the patient is receiving end-of-life care, a parent or appropriate adult is visiting a child or when the visitor is the birth partner of a woman in labour.

These visitors must not be self-isolating or feeling unwell if they go to a hospital, and arrangements should be made with the ward or department before they attend.

Measures are in place for other patients to stay in touch with their loved ones during their hospital stay.

The trust spokesman continued: “In order to support families to maintain contact during a patient’s admission, we continue to support and encourage patients to access virtual visiting and alternative means of communicating with loved ones in hospital, like phone and video calls.

“We would like to thank the public for their continued understanding and co-operation with these arrangements to help keep patients, staff and visitors safe.”

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