Visiting at NHS Highland hospitals to remain at level one of Covid-19 framework
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Visiting at Caithness General and all other NHS Highland hospitals is to remain within level one of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 framework for the time being.
The health board says the measure is necessary because of staffing pressures across the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, "as well as pressures remaining within the healthcare system".
The guidance will remain under review and NHS Highland says it will provide an update on visiting guidance as soon as it can.
Deputy director of nursing Kate Patience-Quate said: “We know that this will be disappointing for many people. However, we believe this is the safest option at this time as cases of Covid-19 remain widespread and pressures on the entire health and social care system are at an unprecedented level.
“We hope to move to level zero restrictions as soon as we are able to. We appreciate the co-operation of our patients and their loved ones during this time. We will monitor and review the visiting guidance on a regular basis.”
The guidance on hospital visiting within level one of the Covid-19 framework recommends that family support from at least two visitors is permitted per patient. Any additional visitors are at the discretion of individual hospital management.
Ms Patience-Quate added: “We recognise that there will be exceptional circumstances and we will do everything we can to accommodate patients and their loved ones during this time.
“We would encourage visitors to contact the nurse in charge of the ward their loved one is in before visiting. And we would once again remind visitors that face coverings must be worn at all times in the hospital and to follow guidance on hand hygiene.”
You can still visit someone in hospital or accompany someone to appointments if you’re:
- A birth partner supporting a woman during hospital visits
- Visiting someone receiving end-of-life care
- Supporting someone with a mental health issue, or dementia, or a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
- Accompanying a child
Further information on hospital visiting in level one of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 Framework is available here.