Media Release

Visitor restrictions reintroduced at QEH as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust is reintroducing visitor restrictions in its Emergency Department (A&E) and the wider hospital as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This means that from 12noon on Friday 9 October patients needing to attend the Trust’s Emergency Department should attend alone unless they are a child or a vulnerable patient – including those with learning disabilities, autism or dementia – in these cases one person may accompany these patients in the Emergency Department. These measures will help keep our patients, their families and our staff safe.

In addition to the restrictions on A&E, from 00.01 on Saturday 10 October no visitors will be permitted in the hospital, except in the following situations:

Maternity

  • One person can attend the Maternity Unit with their pregnant partner in the following circumstances;
    • For their 12 week dating and 20 week anomaly ultrasound scans
    • During the labour and birth of their baby (which includes induction of labour)
    • On the Antenatal Ward if you are admitted and also on the Postnatal Ward following the birth of your baby, between the hours of 8.30am and 8.30pm
    • We will make all reasonable adjustments for anyone with additional needs and ask that you speak to your Midwife about any concerns you have in the first instance

NICU

  • For babies on NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), both parents are permitted to be with baby but only one at a time (24hrs a day).  If parents wish to attend NICU together, then they need to speak to the Ward to book a time slot to do this.  This is to ensure there is enough space around the cots to do this safely

Children’s wards

  • A patient/carer can stay with a child who is on our Children’s Ward

Outpatient appointments

  • One person can accompany children or adult patients who are considered vulnerable (including those with learning disabilities, autism or dementia) to  outpatient appointments
  • One person can accompany a patient attending a cancer diagnostic appointment

Patients receiving end of life care

  • One person can visit a patient receiving end-of-life care. We’re asking that this is the same person in any 24-hour period, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Please speak to the Ward team to discuss any special arrangements that need to be made.

These are precautionary measures to help manage the spread of COVID-19.

Dr April Brown, Chief Nurse at QEH, commented: “When we first announced that visitors were allowed back into the hospital we said that this would be subject to change in line with COVID-19 concerns. The changes that we have made are all in the interest of safety and in preventing an increase of COVID-19 cases in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

“Everyone in our community can do their bit to help us make sure we are able to treat those who need medical attention the most by washing your hands, covering your face, and observing social distancing.”

If you have a visit booked to see a family member or loved one after 00.01 Saturday 10 October please consider it now cancelled. Our Ward teams will be in touch with you via one of our other methods to keep patients and loved ones in contact (detailed below).

To ensure patients continue to receive support from their families and friends while in hospital we have introduce a number of ways for people to stay in contact which remain in place including:

  • Video calls from Ward mobile phones (need to be booked with the Ward directly)
  • Daily Ward liaison calls to provide updates to our patient’s families
  • Front Reception staff to receive and distribute essential items for patients (9am-4pm Monday to Friday only). Weekend by appointment with the ward. Please do not leave items unattended.
  • Messages to loved ones via PALS. Please email your message to pals@qehkl.nhs.uk and these will be printed and hand delivered to the patients.

While the visiting restrictions have been reintroduced, all hospital services are continuing to operate.

If you have an appointment or are booked in for an operation/procedure, you should attend as planned but please follow public health advice at all times:

  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering in the hospital
  • Keep your distance from others

You should not attend hospital if you have COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature; new, continuous cough; loss of taste or smell) but should stay at home and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

You should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition worsens or you do not improve after seven days. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Remember, if we all play our part, together we can control the virus, protect ourselves, protect others and protect King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

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