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Coronavirus / NHS imposes further restrictions on Gilbert Bain visits

Gilbert Bain Hospital.

NHS Shetland is now asking people not to visit Gilbert Bain Hospital if their relative has been tested for Covid-19 and waiting for results.

Visitors to the maternity unit are now also restricted to partners only.

The new measures come after the health board earlier restricted visiting times at the hospital to 3pm-4pm and 7pm-8pm every day for all patients, with a maximum of two visitors per visit.

Health officials also request that children under the age of 12 do not visit their relatives in hospital and instead phone or video chat.

The restrictions have been put in place to ensure that the health board can “protect some of our most vulnerable people in hospital”.

Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said: “Some people are admitted to hospital with respiratory symptoms and they will also be tested for COVID-19.

“To reduce the potential spread of infection and protect patients who may be vulnerable or immuno-compromised we have made the difficult decision to restrict visitor access to all patients who are waiting for COVID-19 test results.

“We would ask that you do not visit the ward if your relative has been tested for COVID-19 and instead phone or video chat.”

Parents will continue to be able to stay with their children. NHS Shetland will help any patients who need access to a tablet or phone to maintain contact with their families.

Carolan added: “There will be exceptional circumstances where a visitor will be allowed to see their relative in hospital who has suspected COVID-19, but if you have any queries then please contact the nurse in charge of the ward before you decide to come in.”

NHS Shetland also referred to three general rules for all visitors:

  • Do not visit anyone in hospital if you have a fever/respiratory/cough or cold symptoms.
  • Do not attend any hospital appointments if you have a fever/respiratory/cough or cold symptoms.
  • All visitors must hand sanitise when entering and leaving clinical areas.