NHS Tayside clinical and public health teams have taken the decision to suspend regular visiting for patients in wards in Ninewells Hospital, Perth Royal Infirmary and the surgical wards in Stracathro. The difficult decision has been made to limit the spread of coronavirus and to protect vulnerable patients.
The virus is circulating widely in the community in Tayside with the current incidence rate of COVID-19 within Dundee higher than some Local Authority areas in the central belt that are currently under enhanced restrictions. The incidence rate has also been increasing across all areas of Tayside in the past few weeks. By restricting visiting we can help keep our patients, staff and the public safe.
There are currently almost 50 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Tayside hospitals along with a number of suspected cases and this number is increasing on a daily basis.
Four wards across Tayside already have restricted visiting due to outbreaks of COVID-19.
The new restrictions affect the following areas:
- Wards for adult patients in Ninewells Hospital
- All wards at Perth Royal Infirmary
- Surgical unit wards in Stracathro Hospital
Visiting in these areas can continue in specific circumstances, for example for patients receiving end-of-life care. Anyone with a question about visiting should contact the senior charge nurse in the ward to discuss their individual situation.
Patients should continue to attend hospital for outpatient clinic appointments and for planned procedures. However if you have an appointment at one of our clinics or departments, please attend alone. The exception to this is for children and vulnerable adults, who can be accompanied by one person.
The public can continue to visit:
- Tayside Children’s Hospital
- Maternity and neonatal wards. Partners can continue to attend for births, scans and antenatal appointments
- Mental health facilities, including Carseview Centre
- Community hospitals
NHS Tayside’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Claire Pearce, said, “We understand that suspending visiting will impact on families and patients and we know that not being able to visit family members whilst they are in hospital is distressing for many people. However it is vital that we keep our patients, staff and the public safe. We hope everyone understands that we have made this difficult decision for these reasons.
“In order to manage the number of patients with the virus, we are using our three acute hospitals flexibly with patients and staff moving between the sites. This means that we must restrict visiting in all three sites to help further reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals each day and help limit the spread of coronavirus.
“We will continue to offer virtual visiting for patients using telephones, tablets and laptops to allow people to keep in touch with their loved ones.”
NHS Tayside Interim Director of Public Health Dr Emma Fletcher, said, “I would like to remind everyone coming into hospital to wear a face covering and follow hand hygiene and hand washing advice. People should not visit or attend our hospitals if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
“To protect our loved ones, our staff and our hospitals, it is vitally important that we all follow Scottish Government guidance, especially in relation to F.A.C.T.S.
“Everyone should take care to wear a face covering when indoors, on public transport or when physical distancing is difficult. We should avoid crowded places and clean our hands regularly. We should also keep a two metre distance from others and self-isolate and book a test if we show symptoms.”
If anyone has any questions about visiting arrangements they should speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.