Media Release

QEH tightens visiting restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) has increased its restrictions around visiting in response to a rising number of COVID-19 infections identified at the Trust.

The Trust has experienced a sharp increase in cases, with currently 27 patients having tested positive for COVID-19.

From Friday 3 September 2021 inpatient visits will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances, and patients must also continue to attend outpatient appointments and the Emergency Department alone.

The exceptions apply to visitors accompanying a child or vulnerable patient with learning disabilities or additional needs, such as autism or dementia. In these cases one visitor will be permitted per patient. Further special arrangements may also be made for patients who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care. This will be arranged on a case-by-case basis with patients and relatives.

Restrictions also remain in place for maternity appointments, allowing for one person to attend growth scans with their pregnant partner, Day Assessment Unit or clinic appointments, during labour and birth, the Antenatal Ward if they are admitted, and the Postnatal Ward. The Trust will continue to make reasonable adjustments for those with additional needs.

Visitors will be required to wash their hands upon arrival at the hospital and ward; adhere to social distancing where possible; and must always wear a face covering, including when entering and moving through the hospital. If visiting a high-risk area, or a patient with suspected or known COVID-19, visitors may be asked to wear additional PPE.

Anyone with a COVID-19 positive test or showing symptoms should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.

Where relatives are unable to visit in-person, the Trust continues to facilitate virtual visits, including via phone, video calls, and messages.

Alice Webster, Chief Nurse at QEH, said: “Due to rising cases of COVID-19 in our community, we are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 patients at QEH. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to restrict visiting in order to keep our patients and their families safe. We know how important it is for our patients to receive visits from their loved ones, so we have made exemptions in exceptional circumstances. In these cases, relatives should make contact with the ward to make special arrangements. The safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority.”

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