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Patients across West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust allowed two visitors and visiting hours increased

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Visiting rules across a hospital trust have changed.

From Monday, the majority of patients at West Suffolk Hospital, Newmarket Community Hospital and the Kings Suite at Glastonbury Court, part of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, will be able to receive up to two visitors at the same time.

Guests will also be able to visit loved-ones between 2pm and 8pm in the majority of wards.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.
West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

This can be any two people and can change throughout the visiting time, but only two visitors at a patient's bedside are permitted at any one time.

Nicola Cottington, executive chief operating officer at the trust, said: “It’s great news we are now able to welcome back more than one visitor to the majority of our wards again.

"We know how much visiting means to both patients and their family and we appreciate how difficult it has been for everyone since the pandemic started.

“We hope this is welcome news to those who have friends and family in hospital and we want to extend a big thank you to everyone in the West Suffolk community for their continued support for our Trust throughout this very challenging time.

“We must continue to protect the most vulnerable in our community so we are asking anyone who plans to enter any of our sites to ensure they’re not showing any symptoms of Covid-19 or feeling unwell.

"This is essential to help prevent the spread of any infection."

There are some exceptions to the new visiting changes.

For example, if a patient is being nursed in a Covid-19 ward, they will be allowed one visitor for one hour at a time, twice a day.

This can be a different visitor on each occasion and they must phone the ward ahead of their visit.

Some areas of the trust have extended visiting and local arrangement to reflect the nature of the patient group, including the intensive therapy unit, neonatal ward and maternity services.

Visitors, again, must telephone the ward their loved-one is staying on before to confirm arrangements ahead of time.

All visitors must wear a surgical face mask when on-site unless they are exempt.

Surgical face masks are available free of charge at the entrances to our hospital sites.

For family and friends who are unable to visit in person, the clinical helpline remains open between 10am and 6pm to provide updates on patients.

This can be accessed by telephoning 01284 713155.