Hospital bosses to roll back restrictions on visiting for patients and pregnant women in Sunderland and South Tyneside as Covid cases continue to fall

Restrictions on friends and family members visiting patients in hospital in Sunderland and South Shields are set to be eased.

However, bosses at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Sunderland Royal Hospital and South Tyneside District Hospital have now started to roll back previous rules as coronavirus infections continue to fall.

From next week, adult inpatients will be permitted one visitor, while pregnant women will be able to have two birthing partners with them during labour and delivery.

An NHS hospital ward.

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Melanie Johnson, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at the trust said: “We know how important spending time with loved ones is to our patients and the positive effect it can have on recovery and wellbeing.

“We are all looking forward to welcoming visitors back into our hospitals, but do ask that they follow the guidance we have set out.

“This includes wearing a facemask at all times in our buildings and following all of the guidance given to them by our team to help keep our patients and staff safe.”

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Sunderland Royal Hospital.

According to hospital managers, adult inpatients will be permitted a single named visitor, who will have to schedule trips to wards through a bookable appointment system.

Pregnant women continue to be able to be accompanied by one person during all antenatal appointments.

The trust has requested that only people who have had at least three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine - two doses and booster - visit patients.

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Visitors will also be asked to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), follow guidance on hand washing and social distancing and take a lateral flow test before their trip.

South Tyneside District Hospital.

In addition, anyone attending an emergency or outpatient department will be allowed to be accompanied by one other person, while children will be allowed to have more than one parent or carer with them.

The revised rules are due to come into force from Monday, March 7.

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Visiting in exceptional circumstances, such as at the end of life or to support patients with dementia or a learning disability, will continue at the discretion of ward bosses.

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