Visiting restrictions return to hospitals across Forth Valley
Restrictions on hospital visits are to be re-introduced across Forth Valley from next week.
The move comes as the numbers of COVID cases rise locally, and more people need hospital treatment.
The restrictions, which come into force from Monday, are in line with previous level one limits.
They will apply at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, and the four local community hospitals, Falkirk, Stirling, Clackmannanshire, and Bo’ness.
Announcing the changes, NHSForth Valley said people in adult in-patient wards will still be able to have a single 45-minute visit a day from up to two people, preferably from the same household, visiting at the same time.
All visits must be arranged in advance with hospital staff to ensure social distancing is maintained within the wards.
There can be more than two unique visitors, but no more than two people are allowed to visit on any day.
The health authority said people receiving end of life care have no restrictions on the length of visits, or the number of people bedside, and staff have pledged deal with these requests compassionately.
Pregnant women will continue to have the support of up to two birthing partners during labour, as well as two designated visitors after the birth.
But, visits to the maternity ward must be arranged in advance with local staff, and visitors may be asked to come separately.
Parents/primary caregivers will continue to be supported to have as much access as possible to babies and children being cared for in the neonatal unit and children’s ward.
Under the new restrictions, all visitors to Forth Valley hospitals will also be asked to complete an initial test and protect form for contact tracing purposes.
They must also wear surgical face masks - blue disposable masks - and use the hand sanitising gel provided before entering the hospitals or visiting any wards.
Professor Angela Wallace, nurse director, thanked visitors in advance of the restrictions coming into force.
She said: “We appreciate the co-operation of our patients and their families during this challenging time and we will monitor and review our local visiting guidance on a regular basis.”