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Coronavirus Tier 3 NHS visiting restrictions

Further visiting restrictions are being reintroduced in all NHS Ayrshire & Arran hospitals, from tomorrow (Wednesday 11 November).

This decision has been taken to ensure the safety of our patients, their visitors and our staff, in light of our status in Tier 3 of the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 strategic framework and the current trends of community transmission.

Essential visits only will be permitted during this time. This means one visitor will be allowed to make an essential visit in the following instances:

• To accompany a patient to a critical appointment where they will need support of a loved one.

• Distressed patients – if a patient is suffering from a cognitive impairment, such as delirium, dementia or a learning disability, and is in a distressed state, visiting will be allowed in the interests of the patient.

This may apply to other conditions and will be at the discretion of staff.

• For persons with a mental health diagnosis, visiting should be considered as essential where:

o visits not being allowed would cause significant levels of distress to the individual, or

o visits would be of benefit in reducing levels of distress, and/or where the use of virtual visiting to support contact is not appropriate or is ineffective.

• Children under the age of 18 years will be allowed to visit a parent and one parent can accompany a child.

• Maternity services:

o Women attending for antenatal appointments can bring one visitor for support – this includes ultrasound appointments.  

o For labour and birth, women can have one birthing partner while on the labour or midwifery suite.

o During their postnatal inpatient stay, women can have one visitor for a pre-booked 30 minute essential visit.

o For the Neonatal unit babies are visited by one parent at any time. If both parents wish to visit this will be an hour long appointment. At this time we are not allowing children to visit the inpatient areas in Ayrshire Maternity Unit.

• For end-of-life care, visitors will be agreed with the family and clinical team depending on the patient’s condition and what will benefit them most at this important time.

Nurse Director Hazel Borland said:

“We know it is disappointing for many people that further restrictions to visiting have returned. This decision has not been taken lightly. We need to keep our patients, their visitors and our staff as safe as possible against a backdrop of COVID-19 transmission in our communities across Ayrshire and the central belt. We will keep this under review with help from our public health team and are encouraging and supporting patients and their loved ones to make use of virtual visiting wherever possible.

“For those who are making an essential visit to one of our hospitals, we ask them to wear a mask, observe social distancing and follow all hand hygiene guidance. We are reminding anyone with COVID-19 symptoms not to visit. I thank everyone for their patience and cooperation as our staff continue to work incredibly hard to care for the people of Ayrshire and Arran.”

Click here to read the full local guidance for visiting while in Tier 3 of local restrictions.


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