Patient visiting rules relaxed at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals

The safety data covers Ipswich and Colchester hospitals Picture: ARCHANT

ESNEFT, which manages Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, is relaxing visiting rules for patients - Credit: Archant

Patients at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals will be allowed visitors after they have been on-site for 24 hours as Covid visiting rules are relaxed.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages the hospitals, is reducing the time visitors must wait before seeing patients from 48 hours from Thursday.

ESNEFT’s visiting policy will also apply at Aldeburgh, Felixstowe and Clacton hospitals.

Patients will only be allowed one guest for a maximum of one hour per day, with visits booked in advance.

The visitor must also be the same person for the duration of the patient's stay in hospital and personal protective equipment must be worn at all times.

Anyone showing any symptoms of Covid will be urged to stay at home.

There are some exceptions, such as when a patient is receiving end of life care, which ward teams will support and discuss with families on an individual basis.

Nick Hulme offered his condolences to the families of the seven people who died at Ipswich and Colch

Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT - Credit: Archant

Nick Hulme, chief executive of ESNEFT, said: "We know how important it is for our patients to have visitors and understand these limitations are not easy, but our policy is in place for everyone's safety.

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"Coronavirus hasn’t gone away and while we are still seeing hospitalisations and deaths locally, we just can’t relax the restrictions. We need to do all we can to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe."

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