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Gloucestershire Business News

Hospitals ease restrictions on visitors

Restrictions on hospital visitors in Gloucestershire are being eased as part of the next phase of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitors were stopped in March, bar certain exceptions, but from tomorrow a limited number will be permitted if they follow guidelines which include wearing a face covering and two-metre social distancing.

Professor Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Our number one priority throughout the pandemic has been the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients.

"We are grateful to relatives, friends and carers for respecting and understanding the visiting restrictions over the past few weeks which we know have been difficult for many.

Although we are easing the strict measures which have been in place, we are asking visitors to be cautious and to follow the new guidelines very carefully.

"Where possible, we continue to encourage relatives and friends to think about staying in touch with loved ones in other ways, for example, by video call; our hospital staff will be happy to help facilitate this."

The updated restrictions covers Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General hospitals, together with seven community hospitals - Cirencester, The Dilke in Cinderford, Lydney, North Cotswolds in Moreton-in-Marsh, Stroud, Tewkesbury and The Vale in Dursley.

The county's mental health and learning disability inpatient units at Wotton Lawn in Gloucester, Berkeley House in Stroud and Charlton Lane, Laurel House and Honeybourne in Cheltenham are also covered by the changes.

Visiting is restricted to one close family member or carer for an hour a day between 2pm and 6pm with bays of four or six beds limited to two visitors at any time.

The children's ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, maternity units and mental health and learning disability services have slightly different rules which can be found at www.gloshospitals.nhs.uk and www.ghc.nhs.uk

As well as face covering and social distancing, visitors must follow infection control advice and speak to ward staff to schedule their visit when possible.

Anyone with a fever, cough, shortness of breath or symptoms of diarrhoea or vomiting, plus anyone under 16, should not visit while people over 70 or with long-term health conditions should speak to ward staff before planning a visit.

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