Altnagelvin Hospital has announced strict new guidelines for visitors aimed at cutting down the spread of infection in hospitals.
From September all visitors will be asked to adhere to rigid new visiting hours, limit the number of people around beds, and not touch patients’ wounds or notes.
Visitors will also be asked to wash their hands or use alcohol hand rub both before and after visiting the hospital and avoid visiting if they are unwell.
Similar restrictions will be put in place in Gransha, Lakeview, and the Waterside Hospital.
Alan Corry-Finn, Western Trust Director of Primary Care and Older People’s Services and Executive Director of Nursing, asked the public to “show respect” to nurses and ward managers who will be implementing the new policy.
He added: “Patients in hospital benefit from visits and the Trust wishes to see this continue.
“Family and friends are asked to visit between the hours of 3pm and 4pm and 7pm and 8pm (adult wards) and to limit visitors to two at a time at the bedside. “
In cases where a patient is very ill there may be circumstances when hours outside of these may be arranged.
Mr Corry-Finn continued: “Visitors, which are limited to two at the patient’s bedside, are asked not to sit on the bed or touch wounds, drips, drains or patient’s notes, or leave personal belongings on the bed.
“Visitors are asked to wash their hands or use alcohol hand rub both before and after visiting. They should avoid visiting the hospital if they are feeling unwell.