210210_NHS_Louise-Buchanan_002.jpgAs the number of cases of coronavirus increase in the community, people visiting any of north Cumbria’s hospitals are being reminded that they must complete a negative lateral flow test and book an appointment.

All birth partners should provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test on admission. Any partner with symptoms or who tests positive using an lateral flow test should remain at home.

Face masks must be worn at all times. 

The Trust is operating a rigorous process to ensure the safety of patients ,staff and visitors to ensure that patients can still receive visitors where possible.

Dr Louise Buchanan, Associate Medical Director said, “We understand the importance of our patients receiving visitors and we are doing everything we can to ensure it can go ahead where it is safe to do so.  However, we do know that coronavirus is widely circulating in the community so we want to ask all visitors to complete a lateral flow test as an additional precaution before attending to see their loved ones.”  

“Since Christmas Eve we have seen the number of patients in hospital with COVID-19 rise. While these numbers are still far smaller than we saw this time last year, we must take all precautions that we can to protect patients and staff.”

“To book an appointment to visit your loved one, please contact the ward directly.  Information on how to do this is on our website. Where we do need to close individual wards because of  an outbreak, this will be done on a case by case basis and updated on our website daily by 2pm.”

In addition to the visiting procedures in place, all patients have access to free NHS Wi-Fi that is accessible through smart phones which they can use to keep in touch with family and friends. Each ward has access to iPads to help patients who may not have a smart phone stay connected, and the Trust’s patient experience team are able to take laminated messages, pictures and photos to any patients.

If you need to attend any hospital site for an appointment face coverings must be worn and hand sanitiser should be used before entering. Every site has face masks and hand sanitisers at the each entrance.

Dr Buchanan also emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated, “The best thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and the NHS is to get vaccinated and get your booster vaccination"