Visiting suspended at Walsall Manor Hospital after Covid cases rise in community

Visitors will no longer be allowed to see patients at Walsall Manor Hospital after cases of Covid-19 increased substantially in the community.

Walsall Manor Hospital
Walsall Manor Hospital

The Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said visitors will now only be allowed in exceptional circumstances.

The new arrangements will come into force from 8pm today.

People are being reassured that the new restrictions will not apply if the patient is receiving end-of-life care; or if the patient has a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism, where a visitor not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Visitors allowed in the exceptional circumstances detailed will need to book their slot via the hospital’s welcome hub and will be asked to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test where possible – taken before attending the hospital or at the onsite lateral flow test bus. The bus will be available between 9.30am and 2pm daily.

Visiting for maternity and paediatric/neonatal services is unaffected.

Ann-Marie Cannaby, Walsall Healthcare’s interim deputy chief executive, said: “While we appreciate this will be disappointing and upsetting for our patients and their families we have to do everything we can to minimise the risk of infection and keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We have been closely monitoring the local case numbers and these have been steadily increasing.”

She said that the trust’s patient relations and experience team would be working with wards and patients to ensure family video calls and phone calls were supported and its parcels to patients service whereby friends and family can bring much-needed items in for their loved ones will also be in operation.

Arrangements for exceptional visits during the hours of 8am and 7pm daily will still need to be made through the welcome hub on 01922 444040 or email visiting@walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk. These contact details can also be used to arrange video calls and parcels to patients.

Out of hours requests for visiting in exceptional circumstances can be made via the ward concerned.

It comes only weeks after the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust suspended visiting at New Cross, Cannock Chase and West Park hospitals due to cases of Covid in the community.

Visiting has been continuing at both the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

But visitor policy at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust has not changed at any point since the start of the pandemic – and no visitors are allowed at Sandwell General or City hospitals.

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