To protect vulnerable patients and ensure the safety of healthcare staff, all routine visiting will be limited to one named visitor with immediate effect.
NHS Fife Director of Nursing, Janette Owens, said:
“With growing numbers of COVID-19 infections over recent weeks, it is clear that we have increasing spread of the virus within our communities in Fife.
“The nature of this virus is that it is highly infectious and can be easily spread by those with no symptoms at all or with mild symptoms. For those most vulnerable amongst us, such as those cared for in our hospitals, contracting COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous and it is vital that we do all that we can to protect those most at risk of the effects of the virus and to protect our health and social care services.
"What is also different at this time is that there are more emergency surgical and medical patient admissions than during the previous waves and to allow us to increase bed capacity, while maintaining safe social distancing we have taken the decision to limit visiting to one named visitor. This change will apply to all hospitals in Fife and will be reviewed regularly."
There are a number of areas which are exempt from the new visiting arrangements, where visiting is considered to be essential and will continue to be permitted:-
- Maternity - Pregnant women may identify a designated visitor to accompany them to their scans, antenatal appointments, during in labour on the postnatal/ maternity
- End of Life Care – To visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
- Mental Health/ Learning Disabilities - To support someone with a mental health issue, or those with a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
- Children’s Services - To accompany a child in hospital.