BREAKING: Visiting at all Western Trust hospitals, care homes, centres suspended from midnight

A temporary suspension of all visiting to Western Trust Hospitals and Facilities will be enacted from midnight tonight (Wednesday), it has been announced.

The Trust said this evening that due to the “continued pressures on hospitals/care facilities and indicators that levels of COVID-19 transmission are rapidly rising across our community, the Western Health and Social Care Trust have assessed all elements of risk and in order to protect patients, visitors and staff, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend visiting on all sites and facilities within the Western Trust”.

This suspension will now apply from midnight tonight, Wednesday 29 December 2021 and will be reviewed on Friday December 31 and also applies to nursing homes run by the Trust.

A spokesperson said: “Restriction of visiting is very emotive and difficult, causing distress for families, patients, residents and staff, but it is essential that these updated visiting restrictions are effectively applied to ensure safety of all.

Altnagelvin Hospital, one of the Western Health and Social Trust sites.

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“There will again be certain exceptional circumstances where visiting will be possible.

“The Trust acknowledges that this is a very difficult time for the public. We ask however that you to work with us and we appeal to patients and visitors to respect our staff and the guidance they give you at all times. The Trust operates a ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy and we will not accept any form of abuse towards our staff.

Virtual Visiting

“You can continue to arrange a ‘virtual visit’ with your relative or friend on a smartphone or tablet. Our hospitals have access to free Wi-Fi and our staff can help set this up. Please be patient. Our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care at this very busy time

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“We are very sorry that we have had to make the difficult decision of suspending visiting temporarily to all our hospitals and facilities. We understand how important visiting opportunities are for people and reluctantly apply this restriction in the best interest of the health and safety of everyone. This arrangement is temporary and will be reviewed on Friday 31 December 2021. We will update you when the position changes.”

New restrictions have also been announced today for visiting at Letterkenny University Hospital in Donegal.

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