NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde announced that, to help protect patients, staff and visitors from the impact of a significant rise in Covid-19 prevalence, nightingale wards at Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) and shared accommodation in adult acute wards in the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH) have been moved to essential visiting only.
This is to try to limit further spread of Covid-19 among vulnerable hospital patients, those who matter to them, and staff who are caring for them.
What wards are impacted?
The move impacts the following areas: ‘Nightingale’ wards at the GRI, and shared accommodation (for example, 4 and 6 bed bays) at the RAH – in adult acute wards only (i.e. not maternity or mental health wards)
These wards are open environments where social distancing between family members, patients and staff, and other mitigations against Covid are more difficult to observe.
In all other adult inpatient wards including shared accommodation on every other site, single rooms, mental health, and community and outpatient clinics, people can have support from one visitor at a time.
Women on the maternity pathway can have the support of one birth partner and one additional person throughout all outpatient and scan appointments, labour, birth and in inpatient wards.
The exception to this is in wards where there is an active outbreak of Covid-19. In these wards, visiting will be temporarily restricted to essential visiting only until the situation is resolved.
The temporary move will remain under review from infection prevention and control and restrictions will be eased as soon as appropriate.
Jennifer Rodgers, deputy nurse director at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “There are currently more than 650 patients with Covid-19 in our hospitals with a diagnosis of 28 days or less.
“This is having a huge impact on ward and bed closures, patients and staff, and we need to move now to try to limit further spread of the virus amongst people in hospital, who are more vulnerable than the general population.
“Moving some wards to essential visiting only has been a tough but necessary decision. We recognise how difficult this is for our patients and the people that matter most to them and we will keep this under close review so that we can return to person centred visiting as soon as possible.
“If you plan on visiting a relative at one of the hospitals affected but you are unsure of what visiting guidelines apply, please either call the ward or go to our website where you will find more information.
“We also strongly recommend that you have a negative Voluntary Lateral Flow Test a maximum of 24 hours prior to visiting and the closer to your visit, the better. We would also remind all visitors that face masks must be worn unless exempt, and social distancing must continue to be observed where possible.”