Hospital visiting in Fife: Tighter restrictions announced as COVID cases rise again

Hospital visiting rules are set to tighten again in Fife after a sharp rise in COVID cases.

NHS Fife is cutting the number of visitors from two per day to just one in a bid to minimise the impact of the virus.

The move takes effect from Wednesday, (June 29).

Restrictions were only eased in May as infection rates dropped,but with numbers spiking again, health bosses have decided to act.

Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Scott Louden)

They said that in recent weeks there have been a growing number of patients requiring hospital care due to COVID-19.

Increasingly, patients are being admitted due to other conditions and are being found to be positive for COVID after testing during the admission process.

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There has also been a marked increase in the numbers of patients contracting the virus whilst in hospital, leading to ward closures due to localised clusters of the virus within individual bays - and in some cases whole wards.

NHS Fife said this not only put already vulnerable patients at greater risk, but also resulted in fewer beds being available for patients requiring inpatient care.

Nicola Robertson, associate director of nursing, said: “Throughout the COVID pandemic we have continually tried to make hospital visiting as accessible as possible.

“With the sharp rise in the numbers of people being admitted with COVID-19, and with staff and patients contracting the virus, it is vital that we take proportionate action now to reduce the opportunity for the virus to be brought into hospitals.

“By reducing the numbers of visitors coming into our hospital now, we hope to see fewer staff and vulnerable patients contract the virus and lessen the chances of us having to reintroduce the more stringent visiting restrictions in place previously.”Essential visiting continues to be applied in wards or areas where patients are being treated whilst positive for COVID-19.

This includes where someone is receiving end of life care, or to support someone with a mental health issue, learning disability, autism, or dementia where not being present would likely cause the patient to become distressed.

Strict hygiene measures remain in place. These include visitors being prevented from bringing presents such as flowers, food parcels or balloons into the hospital.