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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust announces Christmas and Boxing Day visiting hours



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West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have announced the measures and restrictions on visitors over Christmas and Boxing Day.

On both days, one named visitor will be allowed to visit one patient for up to one hour each day.

If the patient wishes to have a visitor on both days, they must be the same person each day.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds is one of the trust's sites implementing these rules
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds is one of the trust's sites implementing these rules

Visitors must do a lateral flow test before arriving at the hospital and visitors must not visit if the result is positive or if they are feeling unwell in any way.

Any visitor must also phone the ward in advance and book in their visit. Details on this process can be found via the website.

After Boxing Day, the ward will revert back to no visiting, with the only exceptions of maternity, parents of child inpatients, end-of-life patients and those with a learning disability, dementia, or other mental health needs.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust chief nurse Sue Wilkinson said: "We have not taken this decision lightly, as we know how much patients and relatives value visiting.

"Our priority, however, has to be keeping those vulnerable patients in our care as safe as possible, and with the high levels of COVID-19 cases in the county currently that means reducing the number of people coming into our hospitals.

"Relatives can use our dedicated helpline and video calling services to keep in touch with loved ones while they are in our care."

Relatives of West Suffolk patients can keep updated on loved ones via a dedicated clinical helpline, by calling 01284 713155 between 10am and 6pm, seven days a week.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds also offers a free video calling service for patients without their own digital devices, between 10am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Sue added: "We would like to thank everyone in advance for their patience, support and understanding. We will keep the situation under close review and will make changes as quickly and as safely as we can."