The Trust said today: “In recognition of the needs of patients and their loved ones, we have made the decision to increase face to face visiting across our sites, with effect from today (Friday 29th April).
“To protect patients, visitors and staff – visiting will be strictly by appointment only and must be planned in advance. Visiting times remain from 2pm to 8pm.
“In acute and non-acute inpatient facilities, face to face visiting will increase to every other day for one of two nominated visitors for a maximum of 1 hour, in addition to end of life visits and exceptional circumstances across all areas where there are no outbreaks.
“Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) continue to be encouraged prior to visits.
“The Care Partner arrangement will continue to be facilitated as well as virtual visiting.
“In Mental Health and Learning Disability inpatient facilities, face to face visiting will increase to daily by one of two nominated individuals for one hour maximum.
“There is no change to the current visiting arrangements in paediatric, neonatal and maternity departments.
“Lateral Flow Tests can be ordered by the public via (www.health-ni.gov.uk/rapid-tests), if this is positive stay at home and arrange a PCR test.
“Anyone showing or experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infection should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild and unconfirmed. Similarly, those who have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID should not visit. In these circumstances the individual should remain at home and follow the latest public health advice on self-isolation and testing.
“All people visiting/attending Health and Social Care Settings will be required to maintain social distancing and wear face masks (Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)). Hand washing and/or the use of alcohol hand rub should be performed before visiting and when you leave the ward after a visit and after removing PPE.
“These arrangements will be kept under review and may be subject to change depending on local factors and risk assessment.
“We encourage friends and family to arrange ‘virtual visits’ by calling 07776516419 between 9am and 5pm (Monday to Sunday).”