Visiting restrictions reinstated at our hospitals

Visiting restrictions have been reinstated at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Visiting restrictions have been reinstated at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Visiting restriction have been reinstated at Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City hospitals due to a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases.

The North West Anglia NHS Trust, which oversees the hospitals, as well as Stamford & Rutland, says this rise has been seen in the hospitals and the local communities.

The hospital says the decision, which comes into effect today (November 18) was a "difficult one".

“Restricting visiting is always a very last resort for us and something that we only look at doing when we know that the safety of our patients and staff is compromised,” said chief nurse Jo Bennis.

“We completely appreciate the upset this decision causes to our patients and their relatives, and we are sorry we’re still in a situation where these measures are necessary.

"It is important to remember however, that we must take all sensible precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. We know all too well how devastating the effects can be, especially to those who are already vulnerable.”

Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are currently deemed an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) to Covid-19. The Government, informed by scientific data, such as case- rate growth, and local prevalence, provides national support to local areas which need an enhanced response to ensure there is no danger of the NHS facing unsustainable pressure.

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“We had really hoped we could avoid increasing the visitor restrictions, and had instead wanted to request evidence of a negative lateral flow test from visitors, starting this week.

“On further discussion and in review of the rise in cases within our hospitals, alongside us sitting within an ERA, that wouldn’t be sufficient for us to ensure we are doing all we can to help stop the virus being brought in to our patients from visitors.

“We will however, keep a very close eye on the situation and will review it at the same point that the government look at whether Peterborough and Cambridgeshire remain an ERA.”

Relatives are encouraged to use our Letters from Loved Ones Service, as well as speak to ward staff about video calls, if they don’t have a device of their own or need assistance in making contact with friends and relatives.

The only exception to the rules are end of life patients – two people will be allowed to visit for patients receiving end of life care. Children will also be allowed one parent/ carer per child – this is for children as inpatients as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department.

One carer is permitted for any patient requiring a carer who is an inpatient as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department and anyone visiting maternity should check with the department first.