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NHS hospitals reintroduce visiting restrictions from New Year

Visiting West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust are  temporarily suspended from Saturday 1 January 2022, due to the increasing prevalence of COVID-19 in the local community.

The hospital trust, which covers Watford General Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Hemel Hempstead Hospital, will monitor the situation carefully and review the decision again after two weeks, with a view to reinstating visiting.

Tracey Carter, the trust’s Chief Nurse, said: “We recognise how important visiting is for patients and their families. However, the increase in cases locally does now pose a greater risk and we feel that it is now necessary to restrict visiting to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible. We hope to be able to ease these restrictions as soon as we can do this safely.” 

NHS staff isolating has doubled, and new Nightingale surge hubs are being built.

In exceptional circumstances, for example when visiting children or patients receiving end of life care, visiting arrangements can be made in advance by contacting the ward directly. Please see the trust website for further information (www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/covid/visitingrestrictions.asp).

No visitors will be allowed on any of our hospital sites apart from in the following exceptional circumstances:

• The patient is receiving end of life care.
• The patient is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
• The patient is a child on a paediatric ward, being visited by their parents or an appropriate adult.
• The patient has a mental health issue, where not having a family member present would cause distress to the patient.
• The patient has dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not having a family member present would cause distress to the patient.

Visiting arrangements for maternity services at the hospital sites will not be affected by these changes. Further details about current visiting arrangements for maternity are available on the trust’s maternity services website (www.westhertshospitals.nhs.uk/maternity/).

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