Like other Trusts across the country, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has made the difficult decision to further heighten its patient visiting restrictions across its hospital sites from Wednesday 5 January 2022. This is due to the increasing prevalence of Covid in the local community.
From 5 January visitors are only able to visit their loved ones in hospital in exceptional circumstances, such as if they are receiving end of life care or they suffer from a condition (such as dementia or a learning disability) which means not having a family member present would cause distress to the patient. Those visiting a patient in these circumstances must wear a face covering, wash or sanitise their hands and maintain social distancing when in hospital.
The Trust understands how disappointing this will be to both patients and their loved ones and this decision has been very carefully considered. However, these steps are now necessary in order to keep patients and staff safe.
The heightened restrictions will be regularly reviewed and the Trust will update its website and social media channels once it is able to re-start patient visiting. This will be dependent on a number of factors, including the prevalence of Covid in the local community.
The Trust knows how important it is for patients and their loved ones to have contact and so it will continue to run the virtual visiting service. Appointments for a virtual visit can be made through the online booking page and also by calling 0333 332 5520.
Rachael Corser, Chief Nurse at East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, said: “I know how disappointing this decision must be both for our patients and their loved ones; but given the rising number of Covid cases in our local community, it is right that we now take steps to protect our patients and staff.
“To help you keep in touch with your loved one in hospital, please take advantage of our virtual visiting service by booking an appointment through our website.”
The Trust is currently reviewing its visiting policies for maternity services and will update their website and social media channels with more information in the coming days.