RJAH takes steps to limit visitors to stop coronavirus spread

Release Date: 17/03/2020

RJAH takes steps to limit visitors to stop coronavirus spread

Visiting restrictions are to be put in place at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH), in the wake of national guidance to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The changes will come into effect from today (Tuesday 17 March) until further notice. RJAH currently does not have any confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the Trust which runs the Oswestry-based has taken the steps to limit the risk to vulnerable patients.

Under the new visiting guidelines, the following people are being asked not to visit our hospitals:

  • Anyone with a fever or a new persistent cough. People with these symptoms will be asked to return home immediately and self-isolate in line with national guidance
  • Children under the age of 16. This also applies to siblings of children who are inpatients and children whose parents are inpatients
  • Anyone over the age of 70
  • Anyone with existing heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, any condition that weakens their immune system or on any medication that weakens their immune system (e.g. steroids)

Patients who are undergoing testing for possible coronavirus will not be allowed visitors until they are given the all clear. 

In addition, wards at the hospitals will have restrictions on visiting times. People will be able to visit their loved ones between 6pm and 8pm.

Only one visitor per patient will be allowed to visit at any one time. Families and wards are being encouraged to nominate the same person to visit regularly, in order to minimise the number of visitors to the hospital.

Visitors are asked to only visit the ward/area where their loved one is being treated and refrain from walking into the canteens, cafes and, especially, other clinical areas if this can be avoided.

Exceptions to visiting restrictions are:

  • End of life care: The two-hour visiting window does not apply. Further discussions will be held on an individual basis with the Nurse in Charge.
  • Paediatric and Neonatal: One designated carer can visit for the duration of the child’s stay. The two-hour visiting window does not apply. If the designated carer can no longer visit due to illness or caring duties at home, the family of the child is asked to nominate a new designated carer and discuss this with the nurse in charge of the ward.
  • Patients who are living with dementia and require additional family support. Further discussions will be held on an individual basis with the Nurse in Charge.

Certain areas in the hospitals might be cordoned off or closed to visitors for deep cleaning or certain treatments – this does not mean that there is a positively tested coronavirus patient in that area. Visitors close to these areas under restriction/deep clean may also be asked to leave the hospital at short notice.

All visitors will be asked to wash their hands or use alcohol gel to disinfect their hands on entering the hospital, and again on entering the clinical area where their relative is treated. We also ask them to wash their hands or use the gel again when leaving the clinical area and when leaving the hospital.

Visitors who are picking up a discharged patient to take them home, or are providing transport for a patient who is attending as an outpatient or for a short procedure, are asked to stay in their car, to avoid direct contact with other people and pick up their relative wherever this is possible.

Friends and relatives are encouraged to stay in touch with patients via other means, such as video messaging, text messaging and social media. Mobile phones can be used in almost all areas of the hospital.

We are asking the public and friends and families of patients to please restrict the number of phone calls to our hospitals in what is a highly-pressured time for our teams.

We appreciate that these measures may cause some anxiety and inconvenience, and we are sorry for that, but this is a highly unusual situation and our priority needs to be in protecting our vulnerable patients. We wish to thank the public for their understanding at this time

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