By Lucy Ashton
The local health board has put in place special visiting arrangement for Christmas and Boxing Day, recognising what an important time this is for families.
Most patients in hospitals throughout NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will be able to have one visitor either on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.
Currently, due to the challenges faced as a result of COVID, and in order to protect the safety of our patients and staff, hospitals are operating essential-only visiting in shared adult wards across NHSGGC, such as nightingale wards, 4 and 6 bed bays.
However, given the special significance of Christmas to lots of people, a decision has been made to make an exception to current visiting restrictions.
Jennifer Rodgers, Deputy Nurse Director at NHSGGC, said: “Christmas is a special time and we recognise how difficult it is for families being apart, especially when their loved one is unwell. We’ve reached a decision that will allow adult patients in shared accommodation, such as nightingale type wards and 4 and 6 bedded bays, to have one visitor on either 25 or 26 December.”
Unfortunately, some patients may not be able to have a visitor due to their clinical condition such as very low immunity or where they are on a closed, COVID ward. These patients can have an essential visitor under some circumstances, or will be offered the chance to have a virtual, online ‘visit’ with family.
Jennifer added: “This decision has been reached in conjunction with senior infection control, public health, clinical and operational teams, and in the best interests of patient wellbeing. That said, visiting still comes with risks, and it’s up to individual families to weigh these up for themselves. Unfortunately, COVID won’t go away for Christmas, so we still need to be very cautious.
“Patients in single room accommodation will continue be able to benefit from one visitor each day due to the level of protection a single room provides. This visitor can change each day. Patients in paediatrics, neonatal and maternity wards continue to be able to benefit from two visitors each day.”
To make this arrangement as safe as possible for everyone, we ask in the strongest possible way:
- You have a negative lateral flow test a maximum of 24 hours prior to your visit – the nearer to the visit the better.
- You adhere to social distancing guidelines
- You wear a fluid resistant surgical mask
- You practice good hand hygiene prior to entering the ward and during the visit if necessary.
- Do not visit if you have any COVID symptoms or are isolating
Angela O’Neil Deputy Nurse Director added “We ask that all visitors contact the Ward in advance to arrange a visiting time. By booking a time slot, this will help our clinical and nursing teams to manage appropriate infection control measures such as social distancing.
“If, over the two-day period you have a booked appointment in place, and the ward you are visiting experiences a COVID outbreak, meaning that only essential visits are permitted, the Ward staff will contact you directly to let you know.
“You are welcome to bring gifts for person you are visiting, but please consider the small amount of available space in the ward, especially by each bedside, where gifts will need to be stored.
“We would like to thank our patients and their loved ones in advance for their patience and support during this incredibly difficult and challenging time. Merry Christmas.”