December 21, 2020 4.11 pm This story is over 41 months old

Lincolnshire hospitals change Christmas visiting rules

Cut to one day and one visitor

By Local Democracy Reporter

Patients at Lincoln and Boston hospitals will be allowed just one visitor on Christmas Day only, following the government’s tighter lockdown measures.

It had been announced on December 17 that patients would be allowed visitors from Wednesday, December 23 to Sunday, December 27.

However, with the government’s Christmas guidelines changing on Saturday, allowing people in tiers 1, 2 and 3 to mix just on Christmas Day, Lincoln County and Pilgrim hospitals have cut their available visiting dates to just December 25.

Visiting at Grantham District Hospital is still not permitted due to it being a COVID-free site, which enables surgery and cancer treatment to continue.

Appointments at Lincoln and Boston will have to be booked in advance, with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust warning that spaces will be limited to ensure as many patients get a visit as possible.

As well as this, new stricter rules have been published for visiting rights at ULHT sites, such as the wearing of a hospital provided mask, gloves and an apron when on a ward.

Patients are allowed just one relative to visit, and there is only to be one visitor per bay, regardless of the size of the bay.

Visiting will not be allowed at dedicated COVID-19 wards due to the risk of infection still being too great.

As always, there will be exceptions for the visiting rule, but only in certain cases such as visiting someone receiving end of life care.

Other exemptions include:

  • Visiting a significantly distressed patient with a mental health or learning disability
  • Partners attending a 12 and 20 week antenatal scan, as well as the 36 week consultant maternity appointment
  • If you are a birthing partner attending the birth of a child
  • Parents who do not show symptoms of the virus can visit their children on children’s wards and neonatal units (one parent at a time)

Andrew Morgan, chief executive at ULHT, said: “We have had to change Christmas visiting arrangements to reflect National guidance, but are still allowing some inpatient visiting on Christmas day, with guidance in place to make this visit as safe as possible.

“The guidelines and restrictions are in place to protect our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and to limit the spread of this virus.

“We must remember that the fact that a patient is in hospital, already puts them in the vulnerable category so any visiting we allow, must be in line with protecting them as a priority.”