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Sheffield hospital visits stopped except in ‘exceptional circumstances’

Written by on 20/10/2020

Visitors will be allowed into Sheffield‘s main hospitals only in “exceptional circumstances” for the foreseeable future to try to protect patients and staff from coronavirus.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs the Northern General and Royal Hallamshire, has introduced the ban to reduce numbers of people entering and leaving its premises and has described the restriction as a “difficult decision”.

Exceptions to the ban will be made for birth partners and in end of life cases, managers say.

They have asked: “For all other exceptional circumstances please discuss this with the nurse in charge of the ward over the phone ahead of your visit.

“We do appreciate how hard this is to not see your loved ones in person but their safety has to be the priority.”

Alternative methods of communicating, including mobile phone calls, facetime or Skype calls are welcome and the hospital also has free wi-fi for patients and all wards now have iPads and other devices for patients to use to keep in touch.

Patients attending outpatient appointments and scans are asked to attend alone unless they need assistance and the rule for births is that a birthing partner will be the only visitor allowed.

Other Trust hospitals affected are Weston Park, Jessop Wing and Charles Clifford Dental Hospital as well as community health buildings, including the Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC), run by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals.

Last week Barnsley Hospital introduced similar restrictions, reflecting a need to try to limit the spread of coronavirus among patients and staff as it has become far more prevalent in the community.

Speculation is mounting that South Yorkshire could be elevated to ‘tier three’ status, meaning more restrictions, because of high levels of new cases.

Talks between local politicians including Metro Mayor Dan Jarvis and the Government started last week and it could be days before a decision is made.