Coronavirus hospital admissions rise in Sunderland and South Tyneside as health chiefs suspend visits

Health chiefs have confirmed the number of Covid-19 admissions to hospitals in Sunderland and South Tyneside have risen as visits are suspended.

Thursday, 10th September 2020, 5:18 pm

Leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have suspended visiting to all adult inpatient wards at its hospitals.

The Trust has also seen a rise in the number of number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 being admitted to hospital over the past week.

The trust currently has nine confirmed Covid-19 patients and this is compared to two last Thursday, September 3.

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Leaders at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust have taken the difficult but important decision to suspend visiting to all adult inpatient wards

From Friday, September 11, visiting to all adult inpatient wards will be temporarily stopped to protect both staff and patients, many of whom are vulnerable and at higher risk of serious complications from Covid-19. This also includes visitors to the Trust’s Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre.

The Trust is advising that visiting will not be allowed at this time, except in the following circumstances. Where visiting is permitted PPE must be worn:

· Patients receiving end of life care (visiting arrangements will be at the discretion of the nurse in charge)

· Women in labour will be able to have one birthing partner and can bring one person with them to their scan appointments only

· One parent or carer will be able to accompany children in our children’s emergency department, children’s wards and neonatal unit

· Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism and those who require a carer will be able to have one person accompanying them

Anyone attending an outpatient appointment and those coming into the Emergency Departments at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital should attend alone and will need to wear a face mask, practice good hand hygiene and maintain social distancing at all times.

As many other areas in the country face the prospect of local lockdowns, local health leaders are saying now is the time to make sure people are aware of the rules and to be clear of the consequences of not following them.

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Dr Shaz Wahid, Medical Director at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have had to take the difficult decision to suspend visiting to all adult inpatient wards across our hospitals due to the rise in cases of Covid-19 that we are now seeing in our local community and our hospitals. We understand that this will be frustrating for family and friends of our patients, but we need to do all we can to protect patients and staff and minimise the risk of the virus spreading across our hospital sites.

“Coronavirus is still very much out there and it is vitally important that everyone does their bit to protect themselves and others, especially those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

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