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Coronavirus: Visitor restrictions reintroduced at King's Lynn hospital

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Visitor restrictions are now in place once again at Lynn's hospital as a precautionary measure to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

As of noon today (Friday, October 9) patients needing to attend the Trust’s Emergency Department (A&E) are asked to attend alone unless they are a child or a vulnerable patient – including those with learning disabilities, autism or dementia.

In addition to the restrictions to the A&E, no visitors will be permitted in the hospital from 12.01am tomorrow (Saturday, October 10) with exceptions for those who meet certain criteria.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn

These exceptions include one person being able to attend the Maternity Unit with their pregnant partner in the following circumstances:

  • For their 12 week dating and 20 week anomaly ultrasound scans
  • During the labour and birth of their baby (which includes induction of labour)
  • On the Antenatal Ward if you are admitted and also on the Postnatal Ward following the birth of your baby, between the hours of 8.30am and 8.30pm
  • Reasonable adjustments will be made for anyone with additional needs and those concerned should speak to their Midwife in these circumstances.

For babies on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), both parents are permitted to be with baby but only one at a time. If parents wish to attend NICU together, they need to speak to the ward to book a time slot to do this.

A patient or carer can stay with a child who is on the Children’s Ward, and exceptions also include one person accompanying children or adult patients who are considered vulnerable (including those with learning disabilities, autism or dementia) to outpatient appointments.

And one person can visit a patient receiving end-of-life care, which should be the same person in any 24-hour period, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

It comes after the first death in nearly three months was recorded at the Gayton Road site on Tuesday, which was the 149th coronavirus-related death at the hospital overall.

Dr April Brown, chief nurse at the hospital said: “When we first announced that visitors were allowed back into the hospital we said that this would be subject to change in line with Covid-19 concerns.

"The changes that we have made are all in the interest of safety and in preventing an increase of Covid-19 cases in King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.

“Everyone in our community can do their bit to help us make sure we are able to treat those who need medical attention the most by washing your hands, covering your face, and observing social distancing.”

A statement from the hospital adds: "If you have a visit booked to see a family member or loved one after 00.01 on Saturday, October 10 please consider it now cancelled. Our Ward teams will be in touch with you via one of our other methods to keep patients and loved ones in contact."

To ensure patients continue to receive support from their families and friends, a series of means of contact are in place including video calls from Ward mobile phones, daily Ward liaison calls to provide updates, and messages to loved ones via PALS by emailing pals@qehkl.nhs.uk.

Front reception staff will receive and distribute essential items for patients on weekdays between the hours of 9am and 4pm.

Those with Covid-19 symptoms including a high temperature; new, continuous cough; loss of taste or smell should stay at home and book a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

People are asked to use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition worsens or they do not improve after seven days. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

The hospital statement adds: "Remember, if we all play our part, together we can control the virus, protect ourselves, protect others and protect King’s Lynn and West Norfolk."

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