From today (Friday), visiting restrictions have been tightened at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the wake of a “sharp increase” in Covid infections.
As a result, the King’s Lynn hospital has said patient visits will only be allowed in “exceptional circumstances”.
The tighter restrictions have been enforced after a hospital spokesman said the QEH had experienced a “sharp increase in cases” – currently with 27 Covid patients.
As a result, patient visits will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances and patients must also continue to attend outpatient appointments and the emergency department alone.
The exceptions apply to those accompanying a child or vulnerable patient with learning disabilities or additional needs, such as autism or dementia. In these cases one visitor will be permitted.
Further arrangements may also be made for patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care.
Restrictions remain in place for maternity appointments, allowing for one person to attend growth scans with their partner, Day Assessment Unit or clinic appointments, during labour and birth, the antenatal ward if they are admitted and the postnatal ward. The hospital said it will continue to make reasonable adjustments for those with additional needs.
Visitors must wash their hands on arrival, adhere to social distancing and wear a face covering where possible. If visiting a high-risk area or a patient with suspected or known infection, visitors may be asked to wear extra protective equipment.
Anyone with a positive Covid test or showing symptoms should not visit, the spokesman added. The hospital will continue to keep families in touch via phone, video calls and messages.
Alice Webster, QEH chief nurse, said: “Due to rising cases of COVID-19 in our community, we are experiencing an increase in Covid patients at QEH. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to restrict visiting in order to keep our patients and their families safe.
“We know how important it is for our patients to receive visits from their loved ones, so we have made exemptions in exceptional circumstances. In these cases, relatives should make contact with the ward to make special arrangements. The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority.”