Queen Elizabeth Hospital tightens visitor restrictions after Covid rise

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has seen a rise in abuse of BAME staff

The main entrance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn - Credit: QEH

A Norfolk hospital has tightened its restrictions around visiting in response to a rising number of Covid infections. 

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has said it has experienced a "sharp increase" in cases with 27 patients currently being reported as testing positive for the virus.

As a result, from Friday, September 3, inpatient visits will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. 

In such circumstances, relatives are asked to make contact with the ward to make special arrangements.

And patients must also continue to attend outpatient appointments and the emergency department alone. 

The exceptions apply to visitors accompanying a child or vulnerable patient with learning disabilities or additional needs, such as autism or dementia.

In these cases one visitor will be permitted per patient.

Further special arrangements may also be made for patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care. This will be arranged on a case-by-case basis with patients and relatives.

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Restrictions also remain in place for maternity appointments, allowing for one person to attend growth scans with their pregnant partner.

This also extends to day assessment unit or clinic appointments, during labour and birth, the Antenatal Ward if they are admitted, and the Postnatal Ward. 

Alice Webster, chief nurse at the hospital, said: "Due to rising cases of Covid-19 in our community, we are experiencing an increase in Covid-19 patients at QEH. 

"As a result, we have made the difficult decision to restrict visiting in order to keep our patients and their families safe. 

"We know how important it is for our patients to receive visits from their loved ones, so we have made exemptions in exceptional circumstances."

She added that the safety of patients and staff remains the Trust's top priority. 

Visitors will be required to wash their hands upon arrival at the hospital and ward, and adhere to social distancing where possible.

Patients visiting a high-risk area, or a patient with suspected or known Covid, may also be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE).

Anyone with a positive test or showing symptoms should not visit at all, and the Trust will continue to facilitate virtual visits for those who need them.