The North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has tightened visitors restrictions after a sharp rise in coronavirus cases within its hospitals, including in Stamford, and in the local communities.
Earlier this week the trust said that from Thursday, November 18 visitors to their sites, including Stamford and Rutland Hospital, would have to do a lateral flow test on the days of their visit.
The restrictions were tightened further later on Wednesday (November 17) as the trust said it made the difficult decision to “further restrict inpatient visiting” at Peterborough City Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and Stamford & Rutland Hospital.
Relatives are encouraged to use the trust’s Letters from Loved Ones Service, and speak to ward staff about video calls.
This visiting restrictions implemented across all the trust’s sites from Thursday mean that no visitors will be allowed except for in the following circumstances:
- End of life patients – two people will be allowed to visit for patients receiving end of life care
- One parent/ carer per child – this is for children as inpatients as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department
- One carer is permitted for any patient requiring a carer who is an inpatient as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department
- Visitors to maternity services and NICU/SCBU are not affected – please visit the website for information specific to maternity
The trust will still request and recommend people to have a lateral flow test before visiting, but this will not be enforced at this time – see the latest guidance here.
In the seven days up to November 12, Stamford had 115 cases of coronavirus, according to the government’s coronavirus interactive map. Stamford Central, West and South saw a 22.7% during that period compared to the previous week, while Stamford North rose by 32.6%.
Jo Bennis, Chief Nurse at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Restricting visiting is always a very last resort for us and something that we only look at doing when we know that the safety of our patients and staff is compromised.
“We completely appreciate the upset this decision causes to our patients and their relatives, and we are sorry we’re still in a situation where these measures are necessary.
“It is important to remember however, that we must take all sensible precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. We know all too well how devastating the effects can be, especially to those who are already vulnerable.”
Meanwhile, Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are currently deemed an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) to COVID-19.