By Lucy Ashton

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton constituency, has praised the hardworking staff at the Vale of Leven hospital. This follows the hospital having received an excellent report from Healthcare Improvement Scotland inspectors after an unannounced visit last month.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “I want to say a huge well done to all of the staff at the Vale of Leven Hospital whose hard work, dedication and professionalism led to them receiving such an excellent report from Healthcare Improvement Scotland.

“This staff team has worked tirelessly over the last year to keep us all safe and to protect the  most vulnerable in our community. I am delighted that their great work is getting the recognition that they deserve.”

Hospital visits will be allowed to resume from April 26, health secretary Jeane Freeman said on Friday.

Speaking at the daily coronavirus briefing, Freeman said one visitor for one patient will be initially permitted.

People can only visit hospitals at present for essential reasons, such as supporting a birth partner, visiting someone receiving end-of-life care or accompanying someone with a mental health issue or learning disability.

Freeman said: “Since the pandemic began, visits to hospital wards have been suspended unless a patient is reaching the end of their life or in other exceptional circumstances.

“These restrictions have been unimaginably difficult for patients and their loved ones and imposing them has been one of the amongst many difficult decisions we have had to take.

“But we also know it has been essential in protecting patients and staff and minimising the spread of the virus.”

Freeman, pictured left,  said some restrictions on hospital visiting will be essential for some time to come, adding that extra funds were being supplied to support virtual visiting.

She added: “Subject to the continued suppression of the virus, hospital visiting will restart from April 26.

“Initially, only one visitor will be allowed for each patient and we will be issuing guidance to our health boards to help them ensure that visits are as safe as possible.

“April 26 will not be a return to normal visiting but it is I think an important step towards normality and will I hope be welcomed by health staff, by patients and by their loved ones.”

As of Saturday morning, a total of 2,066,460 people in Scotland have received their first dose of vaccine – an increase of 43,458 from the previous day – and 9335 received their second dose, taking that total to 201,435.

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