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Aberdeen hospitals suspend visiting after city re-enters lockdown

By Alan Beresford

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VISITING at NHS Grampian has suspended at hospitals in Aberdeen City with immediate effect.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is one of the hospitals affected by the new restrictions.
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is one of the hospitals affected by the new restrictions.

The move is in response to the city re-entering lockdown after a spike in Covid-19 cases.

This affects all NHS facilities in the Aberdeen City Council area - including Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Woodend Hospital, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital and Roxburghe House.

Since July 13, NHS Grampian had been piloting the phased resumption of visits to patients in its facilities, with patients in certain wards allowed one designated visitor.

The restrictions do not apply to those identified as essential visitors who are defined as: A birth partner during childbirth; For a person receiving end-of-life care; To support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed; To accompany a child in hospital.

However, visitors in this category should also consider whether a visit is essential even in these circumstances.

NHS Grampian nurse director, Caroline Hiscox said: “While we recognise the importance of our patients receiving visitors, it is vital that given the outbreak in the city, that we move to protect the health of both our patients and staff.

“We are aware this change is being imposed at short notice, however it is of the utmost importance that we do all we can to stop the spread of Covid-19 and ensure we do not provide opportunities for it to do so.

“In the first instance these measures are being introduced for seven days, with reviews every seven days and extensions if necessary.

“Virtual visiting sessions will still be available with iPads available for patients to contact loved-ones and friends. These can be organised by contacting senior charge nurses.”

Visiting arrangements for designated visitors at facilities in Aberdeenshire and Moray remain unchanged.

Any Aberdeen resident who is a designated visitor for any patient in Aberdeenshire or Moray should not attend – as per the Scottish Government's travel restrictions – even if that facility falls within five miles of their home.

Where a designated Aberdeen-based visitor cannot visit a patient in Moray or Aberdeenshire as a result of the restrictions, staff will advise patients on how they can identify another suitable individual to visit for the time-being.

Anyone who is unwell and/or exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 - a new, persistent cough and fever or high temperature - should not visit any patients in a hospital at any time.

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