Visiting across hospital sites in the Forth Valley is being suspended from tomorrow, except for essential visits and other arrangements to support pregnant women and children.
The move is designed to help protect patients and staff from coronavirus. Where possible, ward staff have been contacting relatives who had previously been identified as designated visitors to advise them of the changes and provide further information on the new arrangements.
NHS Forth Valley nurse director Professor Angela Wallace said: “Rising levels of COVID-19 within our local communities we have made this move to help reduce the risk of transmission within our hospitals, protect patients and staff and manage the increasing pressure on our hospitals which are currently very busy.
“I understand not being able to visit a loved one while they are in hospital will be upsetting for many people. However, I would like to assure people that this decision has not been taken lightly and we hope local patients and families understand the reasons behind this difficult decision and work with us to support these new arrangements.
“We will also continue to offer virtual visiting for patients using telephones, iPads and laptops to help people keep in touch with their loved ones.”
Under the new national visiting guidance, some essential visits are still permitted for areas with level three COVID-19 protection measures, including visits for patients receiving end-of-life care, to support a child or baby in hospital or to accompany pregnant women to scans and antenatal appointments and provide support during and after labour.Visit www.nhsforthvalley.com for more information.