West Suffolk Hospital patients on most wards to be allowed visitors again

Many patients at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will once again be able to have visitors f

Many patients at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds will once again be able to have visitors from Monday, June 29 Picture: WEST SUFFOLK FOUNDATION TRUST - Credit: WEST SUFFOLK FOUNDATION TRUST

Patients on most wards at West Suffolk Hospital will be able to receive visitors again from Monday.

West Suffolk Foundation Trust (WSFT) closed its doors to the general public on March 25 after the introduction of the coronavirus lockdown, but as Covid-19 cases continue to fall and government restrictions are eased many hospitals have begun reinstating visiting.

On Wednesday last week Ward G8 of the hospital in Bury St Edmunds started allowing patients one visitor a day for an hour as part of a trial scheme. It proved successful so is being rolled-out across most of the rest of the hospital site from the start of next week.

Patients in the following non-Covid inpatient wards will be allowed one visitor per day for an hour: F3, F4, F5, F6, F8, F9, F10, F14, G1, G3, G5, G7 and G8.

Visitors will also be permitted to see patients on Rosemary Ward at Newmarket Community Hospital and the Kings Suite at Glastonbury Court on the same basis.

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WSFT’s Chief Nurse, Sue Wilkinson, said: “We are very pleased to be able to allow visitors into much of the hospital once again.

“It has been incredibly difficult for patients, their loved ones and our staff since the lockdown was introduced.

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“Safety has always been our paramount concern, and we had to make sure we didn’t rush the reintroduction of visiting arrangements.”

Loved ones have the option of an afternoon or evening visit, but only one per day can be used.

This approach has been adopted to help maintain social distancing and ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff.

If you would like to visit see here and call the appropriate ward to find out which visiting slots are available.

“We understand families often want to visit people in hospital as a group, but we can’t allow that under the present circumstances,” Ms Wilkinson added.

“It will be up to family and friends to arrange amongst themselves who is going to see the patient each day.

“Our Keeping in Touch service remains available via our website for people who wish to send a card or a knitted heart to a loved one, or organise a video call.”

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Some people will still not be permitted to visit the hospital despite the relaxation of restrictions.

They include:

• anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus, or who is currently isolating for 14 days due to exposure to someone who is;

• anyone who is feeling unwell in any way;

• anyone who has been sent guidance to ‘shield’ or is within a ‘high risk group’, or;

• anyone under the age of 16

All visitors are required to wear face coverings and are politely asked to bring their own to help the hospital preserve its own stocks for staff.

Visitors should also be aware that parking charges will be in place from Monday, although disabled visitors with blue badges can park for free.

Disabled visitors using Car Park A should visit the car park office to validate their free parking.

Those parking in Car Park D should speak to the car park team via the intercom and follow instructions.

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