HEALTH: Changes to COVID-related restrictions at Health Board hospitals

By Lucy Ashton

In recent weeks, the national picture, including Scottish Government guidance for how we live with COVID-19 has changed. This, coupled with the continued downward trend in hospitalisations, has enabled The local Health Board to review and enact changes to the way in which we operate.

While not in a position to completely remove all COVID-related restrictions from our health and social care settings yet, we will, in the coming weeks, begin to take further steps to return to pre-pandemic ways of working.

As such, from Monday 23rd May, the following operational changes will be made:

NHSGGC will remove the requirement for physical / social distancing across our sites. In some cases, where buildings or services cannot make these adjustments, for example if there remains a requirement in a department or clinical service (i.e. residential / care homes), this will be communicated using appropriate signage.

Hospital visiting will be further re-instated at all of our sites. We will adopt person-centred visiting for all patients, with a maximum of two interchangeable visitors at any one time wherever possible. The only exception to this will be in relation to high risk patients / patient cohorts or on wards with a current, active COVID-outbreak.

The requirement to wear a face-mask or face covering when entering or moving around public or clinical areas of our buildings will remain.

We will also continue to strongly recommend that when members of the public visit any of our sites that they wear a face covering, unless they are exempt.

Hospital visiting – Visitors to local hospitals will still have to wear a mask.

Picture by John Young

 “Our primary aim is to make sure that all of our staff are well supported during this time of transition and I am pleased that we have also been able to take steps towards enabling more of our staff to work flexibly through our Blended Working Guidance.”

Commenting on the changes to visiting restrictions, NHSGGC Deputy Nurse Director, Jennifer Rodgers said: “The decision to move to a person centred visiting approach wherever possible across all of our hospitals has been taken due to the decline in COVID positive patients being treated across NHSGGC. Visits from friends and family are an essential part of the recovery process, so being able to allow greater flexibility for visits will be welcomed by staff and patients alike.

“It is really important to remember that we are still living with COVID in our local communities, which is why we are asking that all visitors continue to wear a face covering when visiting their loved ones in hospital and if you do have COVID symptoms, please rearrange your visit. Our staff and patients are looking forward to welcoming more visitors to our hospitals from next week.”

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