South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust relax visiting restrictions - here's what it means

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South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has announced a relaxation of restrictions with two named visitors now able to spend time with patients each day.

The restrictions will be eased on Tuesday, May 3 as the NHS Trust welcomes two named visitors that will be permitted to visit its adult inpatient wards.

At the start of March, the trust reinstated visiting following ‘a very challenging’ winter period which saw a huge rise in the numbers of COVID-19 infections in the local community and hospital admissions.

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But as the rates of infections began to drop the Trust took the decision to ease visiting restrictions and opened an appointment system so adult patients staying in hospital could have one named person visit them each day.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.
South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

And following a drop in Covid-19 rates, the Trust has further eased these restrictions and will now allow two visitors on its adult inpatient wards each day from Tuesday.

Pregnant women continue to be able to be accompanied by one person during all antenatal appointments and will be able to have two birthing partners with them during labour and delivery and children accessing hospital services can have both parents or carers with them.

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Everyone entering the Trust’s hospitals will still be asked to wear a face mask, regularly wash their hands and keep a social distance at all times.

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Visitors must also wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves and apron during their visit.

Visiting in exceptional circumstances, such as at end of life or to support carers provide essential support to patients with dementia or a learning disability, will continue as it has done throughout the pandemic and will be at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

And anyone coming into the Trust’s urgent care or emergency departments can be accompanied by one other person, which is also the case for those attending outpatient departments.

The Trust says it will continue to provide virtual visiting via iPads for patients who do not have the means to contact family and friends and will continue to pass on messages, letters and photos through its #SendingLove scheme.