Six wards in NHS Lothian closed to new admissions over Covid-19
A total of six wards have been closed to new admissions across the NHS Lothian area because of rising Covid-19 cases.
This number includes wards at community hospitals, NHS Lothian said.
It comes after 37 elective non-urgent procedures were cancelled at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary so the hospital could focus attention on rising Covid-19 cases.
All affected patients were contacted.
One ward at the Western General in Edinburgh was closed after a Covid-19 outbreak was announced on October 9.
Six patients were confirmed to have tested positive for the virus, and at least one patient died.
Patients who would normally go home for the weekend and return for treatment on Monday were asked to stay on the ward.
A Multi-Disciplinary Incident Management Team was set up to deal with the outbreak, and contact tracing for visitors and outpatients was taken on by NHS Lothian’s Health Protection Team and nationwide Test and Protect teams.
On Thursday NHS Lothian announced it had suspended visiting across all hospitals in the region.
Essential visits are still permitted, including to patients receiving end-of-life care, those with mental health issues including dementia, children, and partners visiting during childbirth.
Deputy Director of Nursing Fiona Ireland said: “I understand that not being able to visit family members while they are in hospital may be upsetting, but I would like to assure the public that this decision has not been taken lightly.
“With higher levels of Covid-19 cases within the community, there is an increased risk that visitors could inadvertently bring Covid-19 into our hospital sites, especially if they are not showing any symptoms.
“This decision will help manage the increasing risks of Covid-19 transmission and protect the safety of your loved ones, our staff and the wider community. I would urge our patients and families to help us by respecting this difficult decision.”
Nationwide, 28 wards have been closed in hospitals due to Covid-19.
Five wards have been closed in NHS Tayside, along with 27 beds in NHS Lanarkshire across three acute hospital sites.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde confirmed earlier this week that 17 wards had been closed, adding that hospital cases are now higher than at the peak of the first wave.