Despite moving out of national lockdown into a tiered system, Lincolnshire hospitals will not resume patient visits until 2021, except during Christmas.
Visiting was suspended on November 5, in line with the date the country went back into national lockdown, but this won’t change despite the UK leaving lockdown.
The restriction was agreed as a result of the new tiered lockdown system implemented by the government (Lincolnshire is tier 3, the highest), and will be reviewed at the start of 2021.
Patients at Lincoln County Hospital and Boston Pilgrim Hospital may be able to have visitors during the Christmas bubble period of December 23 to 27.
This will not be possible at Grantham and District Hospital to maintain the COVID-free set up at the site and ensure that surgery and cancer treatments go ahead.
There will be exceptions to the continued restrictions, which will allow people to visit patients in specific circumstances, such as:
- Visiting patients receiving end of life care
- One birthing partner can attend the birth of their child, or someone can meet the woman and their baby either antenatal or postnatal
- Parents can attend the 12 and 20 week antenatal scans and the 36 week consultant maternity appointment
- Parents who aren’t displaying COVID-19 symptoms can visit their children (one parent at a time)
- Visiting a significantly distressed patient with a mental health condition or learning disability, where the visit would be considered a therapeutic necessity
Dr Karen Dunderdale, director of nursing for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Restricting visiting is one of the measures we are taking to protect our patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and to limit the spread of this virus.
“We know that the decision to continue with visitor suspension will be upsetting for those who have loved ones in hospital, but as we leave lockdown and enter into Tier 3 restrictions, we must continue to prioritise the safety of our patients and staff.
“We have put in place some exceptions and our ward teams will work with families and carers to ensure access in these circumstances.”