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PCH brings back visitor restrictions

Further restrictions for inpatient visiting at Peterborough City Hospital, Hinchingbrooke Hospital and Stamford & Rutland Hospital will be introduced from today, November 18. 
Peterborough city hospital
Covid restrictions return at Peterborough City Hospital as cases rise (Photo: John Baker)

The difficult decision has been taken by North West Anglia Foundation Trust due to a 'sharp increase in Covid-19 cases' both within our regional hospitals and in the local communities.

The latest government figures showed 130 cases on November 12, although the number has been as high as 259 on October 18. There are currently 88 patients with Covid in trust beds, with nine on ventilators.

Earlier this week, the Trust said inpatient visitors must take Lateral Flow Tests prior to attending, from later this week. But, in fresh advice issued, the Trust will now re-introduce restrictions.. 

Chief Nurse Jo Bennis said: “Restricting visiting is always a very last resort for us and something that we only look at doing when we know that the safety of our patients and staff is compromised,”

“We completely appreciate the upset this decision causes to our patients and their relatives, and we are sorry we’re still in a situation where these measures are necessary. It is important to remember however, that we must take all sensible precautions to prevent the spread of this virus. We know all too well how devastating the effects can be, especially to those who are already vulnerable.” 

Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are currently deemed an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) to Covid-19. The Government, informed by scientific data, such as case- rate growth, and local prevalence, provides national support to local areas which need an enhanced response to ensure there is no danger of the NHS facing unsustainable pressure. 

Nurse Bennis said :“We had really hoped we could avoid increasing the visitor restrictions, and had instead wanted to request evidence of a negative lateral flow test from visitors, starting this week,”

“On further discussion and in review of the rise in cases within our hospitals, alongside us sitting within an ERA, that wouldn’t be suffice to us ensuring we are doing all we can to help stop the virus being brought in to our patients from visitors. 

“We will however, keep a very close eye on the situation and will review it at the same point that the government look at whether Peterborough and Cambridgeshire remain an ERA.” 

Relatives are encouraged to use our Letters from Loved Ones Service, as well as speak to ward staff about video calls, if they don’t have a device of their own or need assistance in making contact with friends and relatives. 

From Thursday November, 18,  further visiting restrictions will be reinstated across the sites. This will apply to all visitors except in the following circumstances:  

  • End of life patients – two people will be allowed to visit for patients receiving end of life care 
  • One parent/ carer per child – this is for children as inpatients as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department 
  • One carer is permitted for any patient requiring a carer who is an inpatient as well as those attending for outpatient appointments or coming to the UTC or emergency department 
  • Visitors to maternity services and NICU/SCBU are not affected –  visit the website for information specific to maternity