Covid Scotland: Lanarkshire hospital bans non-essential visits as cases rise

NHS Lanarkshire has banned all but essential visits to one of its hospitals amid a rise in Covid cases.

From Saturday, essential visiting only will be allowed at University Hospital Wishaw. Visits from one person will continue at University Hospitals Monklands and Hairmyres.

The health board said it had taken the “difficult decision” in light of rising case numbers and continued pressure on services.

It comes after new figures from the Office for National Statistics estimated around one in 19 people in Scotland had Covid in the week to February 26, an increase on the week before.

University Hospital Wishaw has moved to essential visits only.

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The figure in Wales and England was one in 30, and in Northern Ireland one in 17.

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NHS Lanarkshire said visiting decisions would be kept under continual review.

“We understand that patients in hospital are having a challenging time and want to have their family and friends around them for support,” said Eddie Docherty, NHS Lanarkshire Executive Director of NMAHPs, Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals.

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“Unfortunately, it is our priority to protect our patients and staff as much as is possible and this is why we have made the difficult decision to limit visiting at this time. However, this is being review daily and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be expanding visiting by prioritising access for those closest to the patient.

“We recognise that essential visits, which only permit visits to patients where not seeing a family member would cause particular distress or suffering, is not ideal but necessary for the time being."

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