In response to the increasing transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and for the safety of patients, visitors and staff, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde is implementing temporary restrictions to hospital visiting on adult and mental health wards.
The temporary changes will apply from Monday 20 December. These include:
- Patients in shared accommodation such as Nightingale type wards and 4 and 6 bedded bays will be able to have essential visits only
- Patients in single room accommodation will be able to benefit from the support of one visitor each day. This visitor can change each day.
- Patients in paediatrics, neonates and maternity wards are able to benefit from a maximum of two visitors each day.
Arrangements will be kept under close review with an update to follow regarding visiting on Christmas Day.
In line with standard infection prevention and control practice, wards with current active infection cases are required to temporarily restrict visiting to essential visits only. When active cases are resolved, the temporary visiting arrangements described above will apply.
Jennifer Rodgers, Deputy Nurse Director at NHSGGC, said: “This has been a difficult decision, but it is essential to help keep our patients, families and staff safe. We recognise how difficult this is for everyone and we will keep this under close review to minimise the impact this has on patients, families and staff – and I want to thank everyone for doing their bit to help stop the spread of this virus.
“Essential visiting arrangements will be applied flexibly and compassionately, and each patient’s needs considered on their own merits. Carers, those providing essential care or emotional support, or spiritual care, are not considered to be visitors and may continue to visit a patient in hospital.
“If you are planning to visit a relative and are unsure of what visiting guidelines apply, please either call the ward or go to our website where you will find more information.”
Jennifer added: “It is important if you feel unwell with either COVID-19 symptoms or other respiratory infections, that you do not visit. Even if you feel fine, please take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test before every visit, and only visit if this is negative. If it is positive, start self-isolating and book a PCR test.
“In addition to keeping two metres apart wherever possible, and complying with hand hygiene requirements, we are also asking everyone visiting our hospitals to use a Fluid Resistant Surgical Mask (FSRM) instead of a fabric face covering unless you are exempt. You can pick up one of these at our hospital entrances.”
Angela O’Neill, Deputy Nurse Director at NHSGGC, said that hospital teams will do their utmost to keep people connected. She said: “Our ward teams are also committed to providing virtual visits, with video and phone calls to keep people in touch – and our fantastic Give and Go volunteers will be on-hand if you need to get some essentials to your family member.
“I am truly sorry that it is necessary to change our visiting arrangements and I fully understand the impact that this will have on our patients and their families. We know this is a difficult and worrying time for patients and families, and I’m grateful for everyone’s co-operation and support in helping us to keep our patients, families and staff safe.”
Full details of the changes to visiting can be found here: https://www.nhsggc.scot/hospitals-services/our-hospitals/