Due to rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the county (**Please note, cases were rising when this press release was initially published on 3rd November), Wye Valley NHS Trust has taken the decision to suspend visiting on most of its wards.

With a few exceptions, the tighter visiting restrictions come into play today, Wednesday, November 3, to help protect patients by reducing the risk of someone bringing Covid onto the wards.

The Trust, runs Hereford County Hospital and the community hospitals in Bromyard, Leominster and Ross-on-Wye.

“This has been a difficult decision to make as we know the benefits visitors can make to the recovery of our patients, but with the increased spread of the virus in the community and cases on our wards, we’ve decided to temporarily suspend visiting on safety grounds with a few exceptions,” said Lucy Flanagan, chief nursing officer at the Trust.

The exceptions are:

Compassionate grounds

Visitors will be allowed on wards if:

  • The patient is receiving end of life care
  • The patient is in receipt of bad news
  • The patient faces a life-changing illness or injury
  • The patient needs specific support and will be benefit from a visitor

Stroke patients

Visitors will be allowed to see stroke patients within their first 72 hours.

Out-patient areas

Out-patients can be accompanied if:

  • The patient is vulnerable and needs support
  • The patient is to receive bad news

There are NO changes to visiting restrictions on the Children’s ward, Special Care Baby Unit and in Maternity. The current restrictions continue to apply in these areas:

Children’s wardParents or carers can be present at all times and coronavirus testing is in place as per local policy.  Siblings are not permitted other than in exceptional circumstances
Special Care Baby UnitParents can be present at all times and coronavirus testing is in place as per local policy.  Siblings are not permitted other than in exceptional circumstances
Maternity1 birth partner can attend delivery suite throughout the stay1 birth partner can attend triage for labour assessment1 birth partner can attend for Induction of labour process between 10am-6pm (if in a side room)On the maternity ward:The nominated support person will need to undergo twice weekly Covid testingThey should not attend if they have Covid symptomsPartners can visit once per day – either between 9am and 2pm, or between 3pm and 8pm

 “We want to thank all our patients who have been in hospital in recent months and their families and friends who have supported the visiting restrictions we’ve had in place,” added Lucy.

“We know this hasn’t always been easy but these restrictions have enabled us to ensure patients are being treated in the safest environment possible.

“Covid has not gone away and this tightening of visiting restrictions is an extra step we need to take to help protect patients and staff with the growing number of cases in the community.

“We appreciate the benefits receiving visitors has on our patients and so we have made certain exceptions. The new arrangements will be under constant review and we will reopen and revert back to limited visiting arrangements across our wards as soon as it is safe to do so.”