Most Black Country and Staffordshire hospitals now allowing visitors

Patients can receive visitors at most hospitals across the Black Country and Staffordshire for the first time since the pandemic struck.

Bosses at Russells Hall Hospital, in Dudley, have allowed the return of visitors from Friday with an online self-booking system.

It follows trusts covering Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and Walsall allowing visitors in previous weeks. Visitor policy at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has not changed.

And the number of hospital admissions remains low across the region.

The latest figures show a total of 40 coronavirus patients were being treated in hospitals in the Black Country and Staffordshire as of 8am on June 15.

One visitor per patient per day will be allowed at Russells Hall Hospital and they can stay for up to 45 minutes.

Chief nurse Mary Sexton said: “I am really delighted to welcome back visitors to our wards. We know it has been a very difficult time for those unable to see loved ones during their hospital stay.

“During the last 18 months of the pandemic, we have followed national guidance to keep our patients and our staff as safe as possible.

“However, we have always supported compassionate visits in exceptional circumstances, for example when a patient is receiving end of life care.”

Visitors will only be able to book the day before, or on the day, they intend to visit.

Timeslots

The online system will record visitor details necessary for track and trace.

Anyone with a positive Covid-19 test result, or showing signs of Covid, must not visit.

Visitors will be allowed onto the wards in 45-minute timeslots between 8am and 7pm.

All visitors will be required to wear a surgical face mask, adhere to two metres social distancing while they are on the hospital site and maintain good hand hygiene.

The online booking link is available on the website of the NHS trust that runs website, at dgft.nhs.uk

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs County Hospital in Stafford and the Royal Stoke University Hospital, reviewed visiting in April and started to reintroduce visitors on site. All visitors are asked to access lateral flow tests before entering the hospitals.

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust allowed visitors once again at certain wards at New Cross Hospital, Cannock Chase Hospital and West Park Hospital from May 17. Visitors are asked to get a lateral flow test on site at New Cross Hospital by going to the mobile testing unit 40 minutes before their visiting slot. Patients are able to have two nominated visitors a week.

Visitors have been able to return to Walsall Manor Hospital from May 17 as long as they have no coronavirus symptoms.

A booking system has been set up and one visitor per patient per day is allowed to come and stay for up to an hour.

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