Strict new hospital visiting time rules to protect patients from coronavirus


Hospitals in Swansea are limiting visitor numbers and warning of longer waits for surgery and appointments as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

In Wales 94 people are among the 1,372 across the UK who have tested positive for Covid-19.

As of 11am on March 15, there were 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Swansea area.

Since Saturday, March 14, all hospitals and medical facilities run by Swansea Bay University Health Board have put in place temporary measures to reduce the impact of the virus on its patients.

All community and mental health wards as well as Morriston, Singleton and Neath Port Talbot hospitals will only allow a single visitor for each patient each day.

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Visiting will only be allowed from 3-4pm and no children will be permitted to visit. If the patient is a child, only one parent or carer will be allowed at their bedside.

There will be no visits allowed by those who are confirmed to have coronavirus as well as suspected cases.

The health board added that these rules might be relaxed for patients in palliative, or end of life care.

In a statement on its social media channels the health board said: “We hope you understand that we must re-prioritise how we use our staff and resources during this extremely challenging time.

“Our focus is on keeping patients safe and ensuring everything possible is done to provide care to those who need it most.”

It was also announced that clinically non-urgent surgery and appointments, for both inpatients and outpatients, will be postponed until “after the Covid-19 situation has resolved.”

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Emergency surgery and operations for clinically urgent conditions like cancer will go ahead as planned and people are advised to attend their appointments unless they hear from the health board.

Physiotherapy walk-in sessions are suspended and only essential and urgent clinical cases will be seen in person.

Antenatal clinic appointments will run as normal in the community or with midwives, but, all women will be called beforehand to ask whether they are showing symptoms.

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Virtual and telephone appointments will be introduced for outpatients to reduce the number of people travelling to the hospital and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Those who are able to visit patients are being asked to wash their hands before and after and to use the hand sanitisers on wards.

The importance of those with flu-like symptoms, or those who have been around people with symptoms, to not visit was also emphasised.

Free WiFi is available at all Swansea Bay University Health Board hospitals and the Trust wants to encourage “virtual visiting” as a way of people keeping in touch.

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