Patients will be able to receive visits again at N&N

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

Patients will be able to receive visitors for the first time at Norfolk’s largest hospital since coronavirus restrictions were introduced as it launches a new appointment system from today.

NNUH chief nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine. Photo: NNUH

NNUH chief nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will allow one named family member or carer to visit once a day for an hour, during a morning afternoon or evening time slot.

Appointments must be made 24 hours in advance with the ward team.

The system will include one-to-one visiting to avoid overcrowding and limits the number of visitors on ward bays and the hospital said it was ideal the same person visited each day to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

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Professor Nancy Fontaine, chief nurse and director of infection prevention and control, said: “We want to deliver the very best care to our patients and we are delighted to welcome families and carers back to the hospital to support patients during their recovery.

“We are asking visitors to wash their hands on arrival and before leaving the ward, use the hand sanitiser and wear a face covering, or mask provided by the ward to help us avoid the potential spread of Covid-19.

“We must remain vigilant, whilst local infections are low, every precaution must be taken to protect our patients and prevent the spread of Covid-19. Maintaining high standards of environmental cleanliness and scrupulous hand washing are paramount in preventing the spread of this potentially deadly virus.”

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Visitors are being asked to go directly to the ward on arrival, report to the ward reception and be prepared to remove coats, wear a face mask and wash/sanitise their hands.

During coronavirus, visitors have been restricted apart from a number of exceptions for children and patients reaching the end of life, those with dementia, learning disabilities or other mental health conditions.

Professor Fontaine said loved ones could still stay in touch through the hospital’s virtual visiting service, leave a message for loved ones and speak to the hospital’s relatives liaison team.

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A birthing partner is also allowed to attend with pregnant patients.

Visiting is still strictly limited for patients who are unwell with Covid-19 and those patients having planned surgery where they have self-isolated for 14 days in order to avoid the virus before their treatment starts.

To make an appointment, families and cares should call the ward directly from the list of telephone numbers on the hospital website – - or through the switchboard on 01603 286286.