NHS Lothian suspends hospital visits amid coronavirus lockdown
The move will come into effect today.
NHS Lothian has suspended hospital visits after the UK was placed into lockdown yesterday evening.
As of Tuesday, March 24, no hospital visits will be allowed apart from those to children, patients receiving end-of-life care, and for one person to accompany a partner during childbirth.
These visits will only be allowed after discussion with senior charge nurses or midwives.
All visitors are asked to stay away if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, such as a high temperature or a new persistent cough.
Professor Alex McMahon, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Healthcare Professionals at NHS Lothian said the decision, likely to be unpopular with some patients and their families, had been taken to protect staff and vulnerable patients.
Professor McMahon said: “Across NHS Lothian, Scotland and the UK, we are experiencing profound changes in our daily lives as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Now, more than ever, we need to work together. To our patients and their families, I would urge you to help us by respecting this difficult decision.
“I understand that not being able to visit family members while they are in hospital may be upsetting and I would like to assure the public that this decision has not been taken lightly.
“All across the UK, people are being urged to stay at home where they can and to limit social interactions, instead using phone and video calls to stay in touch with family and friends.
“The decision to suspend visiting may be unpopular with some patients and their families, but it has been made to help protect the safety of your loved ones and our staff.”
Relatives will still be able to bring personal items such as clothes and toiletries or communication devices to their loved ones, but they will need to leave them with ward staff and not enter the ward.