NHS Fife: New rules on visiting hospital patients announced

Restrictions on visiting patients in Fife hospitals are to be relaxed.

Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 10:50 am

NHS Fife is allowing two visitors at a time as they begin a gradual ease of the limits introduced to minimise the spread of COVID-19.

The changes come into effect from Wednesday (May 25).

Janette Owens, NHS Fife’s director of nursing, Janette Owens, said: “Visits from loved ones are really beneficial for patients’ recovery and we’re committed to making visiting as safe, open and accessible as possible.

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Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy (Pic: Scott Louden)

“We know that allowing only one visitor at a time has been difficult for some patients, and indeed for their families.

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“However, this was essential in helping us reduce the opportunity for clusters of COVID-19 to develop in our hospitals.

“As we ease these restrictions, strict hygiene and distancing measures will remain in place to help us minimise the risk to patients and healthcare staff.”

Hospital visiting has been limited to a single visitor as part of a series of measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in healthcare sites.

As the number of cases diminishes, these restrictions are being gradually relaxed.

Essential visiting will continue to be facilitated in wards or areas where patients are being treated whilst positive for COVID-19.

This includes those who are visiting relatives receiving end of life care, or to support someone with a mental health issue, learning disability, autism, or dementia where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Strict hygiene measures remain in place to limit the risk of the virus spreading within hospitals. This means a ban on bringing in presents such as flowers, food parcels or balloons.

NHS Fife also said all visitors should regularly apply hand sanitiser and must continue to wear a fluid resistant surgical face mask, which are available at hospital entrances.

They must not attend if they have recently had sickness or diarrhoea, or any cold and flu symptoms, regardless of whether they test negative for COVID-19.

Visitors are also strongly urged to test for COVID-19 before attending and home test kits remain free-of-charge to those visiting hospitals.

All visiting arrangements continue to be kept under regular review with a view to moving to full person-centred visiting when safe to do so.