NHS Ayrshire and Arran (NHSAA) has confirmed preparations are underway to resume hospital visits.
This is in line with SNP Government guidance published on 30 June and describes a staged approach to restarting visiting as we continue to work hard to protect patients, staff and visitors from coronavirus (COVID-19).
The key changes are as follows:
One designated person (who is COVID-19 symptom free) will be identified by the patient to visit them in hospital
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 symptoms you should follow government advice and self-isolate, please do not come to hospital
An appointment system will be in operation to make NHSAA can accommodate a set number of visitors within the clinical areas, while observing social distancing rules
Please do not come to any hospitals if you do not have a pre-arranged visiting appointment as you will not be able to visit
Visitors will be expected to wear a face covering at all times and observe hand hygiene guidance and social distancing rules
Visitors will be asked to provide their contact details and answer verbal health screening questions before being permitted to visit.
These changes come into effect on Monday 13 July and existing restrictions will remain in place until then.
There will still be some areas where visiting remains restricted to essential visits only, as throughout the pandemic. This is to protect patients who are particularly high risk.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“I am delighted that it has been deemed safe for hospital visits to recommence.
“I appreciate that the past few months have been particularly difficult for those unable to visit loved one in hospital due to difficult decisions that have had to be taken whilst dealing with the COVID-19 emergency. However, I cannot stress enough how vital it is that everyone follows the guidance set out by NHSAA. Please continue to follow this important direction in order that we can keep everyone, particularly our most vulnerable in hospitals, safe."
Nurse Director Hazel Borland said:
“We are working hard to support people to see their loved ones in person again. However, as people who are unwell in hospital are vulnerable and at a higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) we have to manage these visits carefully. This means it will be a different experience to visiting before the global pandemic.
“It is important for everyone coming in to our sites from next week to be aware that there will be restrictions, for example we are unable to offer visitor access to our dining rooms at this stage. I thank everyone for their patience and cooperation at this time and encourage anyone hoping to visit our hospitals from 13 July to read the local guidance in full.”
Click here to watch a short video on restarting visiting at NHS Ayrshire & Arran.
You can read the full local guidance for Stage 2 visiting here.