Visitor ban to remain at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and all Western Trust facilities

The temporary ban on visiting patients to Western Trust hospitals and other facilities has today been extended until at least Wednesday of next week.

By Brendan McDaid
Friday, 31st December 2021, 3:53 pm

The emergency measure was implemented on Wednesday night due to the escalation in COVID infections across the community and the knock-on impact on staffing.

Health chiefs in the Trust met today (Friday) to review the situation and decided that the restrictions should remain in place for now.

The announcement comes after it emerged there were over a 1,100 new positive Covid cases in Derry & Strabane over the 24 hours to midnight on Thursday.

Altnagelvin Hospital. DER2126GS - 145

A Trust spokesperson said the temporary suspension will be reviewed again on Wednesday 5 January.

There are however exceptional circumstances in which visiting can continue, including for birthing partners for our maternity patients and visiting for those receiving end-of-life care.

The spokesperson said: “The Western Trust would like to thank the public for their cooperation in relation to the recent changes to its visiting arrangements. The support of the public helps us to provide safer care for patients in our hospitals and facilities.

“Due to the continued pressures on the healthcare system and the high level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, visiting remains suspended across our hospital sites and facilities. This does not apply to birthing partners, for maternity arrangements please click here. There are also exceptional circumstances for visiting. Please click here to find out more about these exceptional circumstances.

“We would encourage the public to keep in contact with their loved ones via virtual visiting arrangements. A ‘virtual visit’ can be facilitated using a smartphone or tablet. Our hospitals have access to free Wi-Fi and our staff can help set this up. Please be patient as our staff will have to prioritise clinical work and patient care at this very busy time.

“The Trust acknowledges that this is a very difficult time for everyone, however we continue to act in the best interest of our patients and the general public. We ask that you continue to work with us and please respect our staff and the guidance they give you at all times.

“We will review the visiting arrangements on Wednesday 5 January 2022.”

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