Norwich hospital to stop inpatient visits after rising Covid cases

Lucy Humphries was flown to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where she died. Picture: Nick B

The Norfolk and Norwich is suspending inpatient visits due to rising coronavirus cases, but with a list of exceptions. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has announced that it is suspending visiting on inpatient wards amid rising Covid cases.

Hospital bosses hope the measure will help to limit the spread of the virus, after rising rates of infection in the community and an increase in coronavirus-related admissions.

According to official statistics, the latest case rates show Norwich with 554.2 cases per 100,000, while Norfolk's figure stands at 514.

The number of Covid beds at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have also increased, with 26 patients on Wednesday, October 20 to 38 on Tuesday, October 26.

There are several exceptions to the restrictions, including: carers and those who require them, patients receiving end-of-life care or where there is significant deterioration, patients with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability, or autism.

Parents with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, parents or appropriate adults visiting their child, birth partners for women in labour and on ante and post-natal wards will all be exempt from the restrictions as well.

Partners of people giving birth will continue to be able to attend scans.

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The NHS hospital is continuing virtual visits, with people able to contact the ward their loved one is staying on to arrange a time.

Alternatively, family and friends can send a message via the hospital's website that will be given to the patient.

Professor Nancy Fontaine, NNUH Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “We have not taken this decision lightly as we know the impact it has on patients and their families, and we’d encourage people to use our ‘virtual visiting’ service where we can arrange video calls between them and their loved one in hospital.

“With Covid-19 cases rising in the community and admissions increasing, we must all do everything we can to reduce transmission and keep our patients, staff and families as safe as possible.

“You can help us too by following national guidance by wearing a face covering in enclosed public spaces, social distancing and regular hand washing.”

The Trust is continuing to ask patients to attend the Emergency Department and outpatient appointments alone, where possible.

For more information, visit the hospital's website.

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