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Inpatient visiting to expand

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By Fiona Reid
Inpatient visiting to expand

A GRADUAL move to more normal inpatient visiting arrangements is taking place in Dumfries and Galloway.

NHS Boards across Scotland are working towards full person-centred visiting.

Work is taking place locally to make this possible. However, ensuring continued safety of patients and staff means that, for the moment, most patients within the region will continue to have a limit of two in-person visits per day.

Joan Pollard is chair of the inpatient visiting group within NHS Dumfries and Galloway, and she said: “The safety of patients and staff is paramount, but the benefits to patients of receiving visitors is very well-documented and something we have been striving to support.

“As has been the case throughout this pandemic, a large amount of work is taking place to mitigate risk. We are required to ensure that moves we take do not jeopardise the welfare of individual patients and staff, or the ability of key services to function.

“Currently, in terms of visiting, we still need to maintain mitigations such as physical distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene and compliance with Test and Protect.

“As such, we will be continuing to apply a limit of two visits to most patients per day. This will remain until we are confident that we can secure a safe return to full person-centre visiting that complies with local health protection advice.”

Joan said the visiting approach is as ‘flexible as possible’,​ with no dedicated visiting times.

She is encouraging families and friends to explore how, within the two person limit, they can widen those visiting to allow the visitors to change during the patient’s stay in hospital.

And she pointed out that there is already a ‘no-limit’ approach to the number of visitors at an end of life situation.

Arrangements for visiting must be made in advance by speaking to the charge nurse for the ward.