Hospitals restricting visitors amid coronavirus fears

ESNEFT is to restrict visitors amid fears of spreading coronavirus Picture: RACHEL EDGE

ESNEFT is to restrict visitors amid fears of spreading coronavirus Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Rachel Edge

Hospitals in Suffolk and north Essex are to restrict the amount of visitors for patients due to fears of spreading coronavirus.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is to drastically reduce visitor numbers at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals from Tuesday.

The rules also apply to ESNEFT’s smaller community hospitals, including Aldeburgh, Clacton, Halstead, Harwich and Felixstowe.

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The restrictions include:

• One visitor per adult patient at a time

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• A partner and birthing partner per woman in labour

• Two parents or responsible carers per child patient

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• No children under 12 years old on site without prior agreement of the nurse in charge

However, the restrictions may be relaxed on compassionate grounds with the approval of the nurse or midwife in charge.

MORE: All of the coronavirus news in Suffolk

Meanwhile, routine inspections are to be suspended for hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced. Ian Trenholm, chief executive of the CQC, said: “During this period, our priority will be to support those who deliver health and social care to keep people safe during this global health emergency. “We will therefore be stopping routine inspections from today.

“It may still be necessary to use our inspection powers in a very small number of cases when there is clear evidence of harm, such as allegations of abuse.”

MORE: Coronavirus cases in UK increase by 171

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