Visiting suspended at all NHS Borders hospitals

NHS Borders has suspended visiting at all its hospitals with immediate effect, apart from in specialised areas, where new restrictions are in place.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 12:18 pm
Visiting has been suspended at the Borders General Hospital at Melrose, except from people visiting the labour ward, the special care baby unit, the children's ward and those visiting patients in end-of-life care.

This is to limit the spread of coronavirus (also known as covid-19) and to protect its patients and staff.

Nicky Berry, director of nursing, midwifery, AHPs and acute services, said: "We recognise that being unable to visit loved ones places considerable emotional strain on family members and carers, however, given the current circumstances it is the right thing to do, and we ask the people of the Borders to respect and comply with this very difficult decision that has been taken."

Suspended visiting will be applied with the exception of the special care baby unit, labour ward, children’s ward, and for patients receiving end of life care.

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However, anybody visiting these areas who suspects that they have the virus, or have come into contact with someone with covid-19 should contact the nurse in charge before attending.

The following restrictions apply:

Labour ward: One visitor/ birthing partner is permitted and must remain within the maternity area at all times.

Special Care Baby Unit: Only one parent per baby is permitted to visit (unless in exceptional circumstances) and should remain with the child at all times.

Children’s ward: Only parents are permitted to visit and should remain with their child at all times.

End of life care: Please speak to the nurse in charge of the area where your family member is being cared for to make appropriate arrangements.

Those permitted to visit are urged to ensure they comply with hand hygiene regulations and with any instructions given to them by hospital staff.

For patients who do not have access to personal mobile devices to keep in touch with family, the health board says it is looking into the possibility of making a small number of devices available in each ward area.

Further details will be issued in due course.

In addition the hospital is establishing a family liaison service which will provide a single point of contact for family members and carers to receive information about their loved ones who are currently receiving care as an inpatient, details of which will be released on Thursday.