Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Visiting restrictions in place in hospitals
NHS Lanarkshire has announced that only essential visiting will be allowed across all of its inpatient sites.
Rules over visiting have changed several times over the last two weeks as Covid cases surge due to the Omicron variant.
The latest guidance includes the health board’s three acute hospitals, community hospitals and mental health and learning disability inpatient units.
Essential visiting was already in place at Wishaw General, but essential visiting will be reintroduced to all its inpatient sites across Lanarkshire – including Monklands in Airdrie and Hairmyres in East Kilbride.
Only visits to patients who would be distressed or suffer by not seeing a family member will be permitted.
Staff will use their professional judgement to consider when visiting should be allowed.
The health board say the “decision has been very difficult” but, as this variant seems to be more transmissible, its priority has to be keeping patients and staff as safe as possible.
This will be monitored and reviewed daily and is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but to help reduce the risk of the Omicron variant being passed to patients and staff in hospitals.
NHS Lanarkshire nurse director Susan Friel explained: “We understand that patients in hospital are having a challenging time and want to have their family and friends around them for support.
“Unfortunately, it is our priority to protect our patients and staff as much as is possible and this is why we’ve
made this difficult decision to limit visiting at this time.
“However, this is being reviewed daily and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be expanding visiting by prioritising access for those closest to the patient.
“We recognise that essential visits, which only permit visits to patients where not seeing a family member would cause particular distress or
suffering, is not ideal but necessary for the time being.
“Anyone with questions about visiting arrangements should speak to the nurse who is in charge of the ward.
“We would also strongly encourage all essential visitors to carry out a Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting their loved one.
“Information on how to obtain a Lateral Flow Test and how to take
the test is available by visiting NHS Inform.
“We hope that everyone will understand that this decision has been made in the best interests of patients, other visitors and our staff.”
Other measures are also in place including physical distancing, wearing of face coverings and movement around the hospital limited.