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NHS Fife reduces visitor numbers due to ‘sharp rise’ in Covid cases

NHS fife covid visitors visiting
There has been a sharp increase in Covid cases requiring hospital treatment.

NHS Fife will restrict hospital visits to one visitor per patient after a “sharp rise” in Covid cases.

Visiting restrictions were eased in May as infection rates dropped and fewer infected people needed treatment.

However from Wednesday, patients in Fife can only receive one visitor a day.

NHS Fife says more people being admitted for other conditions and testing positive for Covid on admission.

Increasing numbers of patients are contracting the virus while in hospital, leading to whole ward closures and limiting available beds.

There has also been a sharp increase in people requiring hospital care after testing positive for coronavirus.

‘It is vital that we take proportionate action now’

NHS Fife hope these measures will reduce the number of staff and vulnerable patients contracting the virus.

Essential visiting will continue where patients are being treated while positive.

This includes those receiving end of life care, or to support someone with a mental health issue, learning disability, autism, or dementia where not being present would likely cause distress.

nhs fife covid
The decision will limit visitors in all of Fife’s hospitals.

Visiting arrangements will regularly be reviewed in line with infection rates and hospital capacity.

NHS Fife has asked potential visitors to contact the ward or check their website for the latest information and arrangements for each ward.

Associate director of nursing Nicola Robertson said: “We really recognise the benefits of visiting for both our patients and their relatives, and throughout the Covid pandemic we have continually tried to make hospital visiting as accessible as possible.

“With the sharp rise in the numbers of people being admitted with Covid-19, and with staff and patients contracting the virus, it is vital that we take proportionate action now to reduce the opportunity for the virus to be brought into hospitals.”

Staff and vulnerable patients contracting virus

She added: “By reducing the numbers of visitors coming into our hospital now, we hope to see fewer staff and vulnerable patients contract the virus and lessen the chances of us having to reintroduce the more stringent visiting restrictions in place previously.

“Visitors coming into our hospital, whether coming to see loved ones or for their own appointment, have a crucial role to play in helping to reduce the opportunity for Covid to brought into our hospitals.

NHS Fife hope preventative measures could stop any further increases in Covid cases.

“That means doing a lateral flow Covid test before visiting, and following the other infection prevention measures to help minimise transmission of the virus.”

Visitors will still be prevented from bringing presents such as flowers, food parcels or balloons into hospitals.

They should continue wearing masks and regularly applying hand sanitiser while visiting a patient.

Visitors cannot attend if they have recently had sickness or diarrhoea, or any cold and flu symptoms, regardless of whether they test negative for Covid.

Home Covid test kits remain free-of-charge for those visiting hospitals.

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