How visiting restrictions are easing at Norfolk's hospitals

Further coronavirus deaths have been announced at the Queen Elizabeth and Norfolk and Norwich hospit

The Queen Elizabeth, James Paget and Norfolk and Norwich will partially ease visiting restrictions from April 12. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's hospitals are partially lifting restrictions to allow patients to have a daily visitor for one hour from Monday.

All three of the region's trusts have announced the visits for inpatients only will come into effect from Monday, the same day as the next phase of the government's lockdown easing measures. 

Across the three trusts, visitors must follow social distancing, wear face coverings unless exempt, and book their appointment through the designated booking services. 

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), patients will be able to nominate one named visitor to visit them during their stay, and the nominated individual will be required to bring proof of a negative Covid-19 test result no older than 72 hours before the day of the visit.

The hospital's booking team is available between 8am and 4pm seven days a week on 01603 641185.

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Debbie Whittaker, NNUH deputy chief nurse, said: “We know how important it is to keep patients and families connected and we recognise just how tough this last year has been for patients and their loved ones. Now with the relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions we have been able to review our visiting arrangements. These measures - including having confirmation of a negative Covid-19 test result – will help us to keep patients, staff and visitors as safe as possible.”

The James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, will welcome visitors to inpatient wards between 11am and 7pm daily when the booking process begins from Monday.

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In addition to safety measures, visitors will be asked to provide their details for NHS Test and Trace at the point of booking.

Deputy Director of Nursing Jacky Copping said: “We recognise that hospital visiting restrictions have been extremely difficult for patients, families and friends – but they have been necessary to keep people safe during the pandemic. Now that COVID-19 restrictions are being relaxed in the community, as infection rates have substantially decreased, we are pleased to be able to welcome more visitors back to our hospital in a way that keeps everyone safe.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital also set out how it was partially lifting restrictions from Monday, when it to will begin taking bookings.

Carmel O’Brien, chief nurse at QEH, says: “Enabling more visits is important for our patients’ physical and emotional recovery so we are pleased to have been able to put plans in place for the reintroduction of limited visiting."

All of the hospitals offer special arrangements for end of life care which can be discussed with ward staff. 

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