Visiting restrictions at Kettering and Northampton General Hospital are being partially lifted as Covid-19 cases stabilise in Northamptonshire and the national lockdown eases.
But the two hospitals are warning that visitors should strictly follow infection control guidance and maintain their hands, face, space observance to minimise the risk of Covid-19 being passed on.
From Wednesday, May 5, both hospitals are starting to allow some booked visiting while maintaining existing arrangements for maternity, end-of-life care and for patients with learning disabilities.
Kettering General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Quality, Leanne Hackshall, said: “It has been vitally important during the Covid-19 pandemic to restrict the number of people allowed on the two hospital sites to reduce the risk of the infections.
“Hospital inpatients are often elderly with conditions that put them at greatest risk from Covid-19 - and we need to continue to do our utmost to protect them.
“The incidence of Covid-19 in Northamptonshire has now reduced enough for us to end our almost complete ban on visiting and start to reintroduce restricted visiting with appropriate safety precautions in place.”
Key changes announced today at both Kettering and Northampton General Hospitals are:
Generally one visitor will be allowed per patient for an allocated timeslot. The visit must be booked in advance. Visitors must be from the same household or family bubble. (see below on how to book)
Wards which have infected or exposed patients cannot be visited except by exception for end-of-life-care purposes
Children are not allowed to visit
A&E, outpatients, urgent care (including Esther White and Walter Tull wards at NGH) and diagnostic visits remain restricted to the patient attending only – unless there are exceptional circumstances where a relative/carer is needed to enable the visit. They may have to wait outside the clinical area while the patient is treated.
Children’s wards – two parents or guardians per child can visit and one parent can stay overnight with their child
Maternity visiting remains the same as already announced at both hospitals.
End of life patients are allowed open visiting where possible with one visitor per side room. This will be based on individual arrangements to suit the needs of patients and their loved ones.
Visiting times and arrangements for patients with learning disabilities will be arranged on an individual basis depending on the patient’s needs.
To book appointments for a hospital:
· Kettering General Hospital – The Trust will be phoning the families of visitors to ask if they want to arrange visiting from Wednesday, May 5.
· Northampton General Hospital – Visitors must phone the ward between 9.30am and 11.30am the day prior to their visit to book an one 45 minute allocated visiting slot. Visiting times are 14.00-18.00 every day. Please use the South or Main Entrances only.
Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Sheran Oke, said: “We understand how frustrating, and at time upsetting, it will have been over the last year for people to be unable to visit their loved ones when they are in hospital.
“But clearly hospitals have restricted visiting for very good reasons and to protect both our patients and staff from Covid-19.
“We know how much visiting means to families and do want to start to be able to do this again.
“But we must urge people to be sensible. When on hospital premises they must always wear masks, wash their hands regularly, maintain social distance and follow all the guidance given them to our staff.
“Hospitals remain very sensitive to infection and the Covid-19 pandemic is not over.”