Lanarkshire hospital visitors no longer need to book an appointment to see their loved ones.
NHS Lanarkshire is changing the need for visitors to book appointments in their acute inpatient wards at Hairmyres Hospital, Monklands Hospital and Wishaw General.
The new arrangements came into effect this week and visitors no longer need to book appointments to attend and up to two visitors at a time can visit together.
However, while there is now no need to arrange a visiting appointment time, staff on the wards will advise on visiting times throughout the day for each individual ward to help minimize the number of visitors attending at any one time.
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Essential visiting will remain in place in ward areas or settings where the environment makes visiting difficult due to COVID restrictions, social distancing or there may be an active outbreak. In these areas staff will use their professional judgment on when a visit can take place.
Visitors will also need to have a negative lateral flow test (LFT) and staff will be asking people to confirm they have undertaken a test before access to wards.
Lise Axford, chief of nursing services, said: “We have been reviewing our visiting restrictions regularly and are now in a position to be able to allow up to two visitors at a time to visit their loved ones without the need for appointments.
“However, while the majority of our patients will be able to have two visitors there are some restrictions which we need to maintain in areas where space is confined or we have an outbreak and patient safety is paramount.
“Visitors are also reminded to wear face coverings at all times and frequently wash their hands when entering and leaving clinical areas.”
The following measures are in place to manage visiting safely and minimize risk:
· A lateral flow test must be undertaken and a negative result verbally confirmed to ward staff.
· No visits should take place if the visitor has symptoms of COVID-19, or is quarantining because they have had contact with a person with COVID-19.
· Face coverings must be worn, and existing hand hygiene measures will continue.
· Movement around other areas must be limited as much as possible and communal gatherings in public areas of the hospital must be avoided.
NHS Lanarkshire will continue to monitor visiting on a regular basis to ensure the safety of both patients and staff.
LFT’s can be ordered online.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.