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NHS Grampian to trial extended patient visiting at selected hospitals

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Picture by Kenny Elrick
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Picture by Kenny Elrick

NHS Grampian is to trial increasing the number of people who can visit patients in its hospitals, in an effort to reclaim the benefits of the pre-Covid system.

In selected wards at some hospitals, patients and those wishing to see them will be able to talk to their clinical team about exceeding the current limit of two daily visitors.

The health board has said that if the trial goes well, it will be extended to more areas before the restriction is fully scrapped.

From March 9, the following places be taking part in the trial:

  • Ward 112 – ARI
  • Ward 114 – ARI
  • Paediatrics – RACH and Dr Gray’s Hospital
  • Roxburghe House
  • Morningfield House – Woodend Hospital
  • Ward 9 – Woodend Hospital
  • Rothieden Ward – Huntly Community Hospital
  • Summers Ward – Peterhead Community Hospital

In each of these areas, people will be able to have a discussion with staff at the hospital, and a decision about whether more visitors can be allowed will be made based on the environment and size of the clinical setting.

Those visitors are still asked to take a lateral flow test before coming to the hospital, and to avoid coming if they feel ill.

Like Scotland as a whole, NHS Grampian has recorded an increase in patients with Covid at its hospitals in the past few weeks.

From a low of 67 on February 23, the figure in the health board has risen to 95 yesterday – almost at its highest level for a year.

Across the country, the number jumped up by 55 in a day to 1,360 yesterday.

Benefits are well known

Lyn Pirie, Nurse Lead for Person-Centred Visiting at NHS Grampian, said: “The benefits of in-person visiting for both patients and their relatives are well known, and we’re pleased to be trialling a return to the visiting policy we were used to, pre-Covid-19.

“I must stress how important it is for relatives or friends to discuss any changes to their plans with the Senior Charge Nurse before making those changes.”

She added: “If all goes well, we hope to extend this trial to more clinical areas. For now though, if anyone has a loved one being cared for in one of the areas not listed, they must continue to follow the current arrangements of no more than two visitors daily.

“I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to the people of Grampian for their support and understanding as we work to fully reinstate person-centred visiting.”

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