Trust issues guidance for hospital visitors

THE Southern Health and Social Care Trust is reminding people of its visiting times and visiting guidance for acute and non acute hospitals.

Whilst the Trust wants to offer access to relatives and friends, its visiting times policy has been developed to ensure a supportive, caring atmosphere for patients and to help prevent the spread of infection.

Patricia McStay, Head of Midwifery and Gynaecology for the Southern Trust said: "We understand that when a friend or family member has a baby it is exciting to meet the new arrival. However, we would emphasise just how important it is for people to stick to the allocated visiting times in our maternity wards.

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“Maternity wards are a very busy part of our hospitals and staff need time to do their rounds to ensure that both mums and babies are keeping well. New mums are usually very tired and need time and space to rest, bond with their baby and establish feeding. Babies have also been through quite a lot and need a peaceful environment to adjust to the world."

The Trust’s visiting guidance asks visitors to wash hands using the alcohol rubs provided on wards, before and after visiting and to restrict visitors to a maximum of two at any one time.

Patients are also encouraged to have a clear locker top to allow surfaces to be easily cleaned. People are urged not to visit if they or someone in their household has symptoms of cold, flu, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Patricia continued: “We also ask visitors not to bring balloons, flowers or perishable foods that may spoil or bring infection into the hospital and please wait until mum and baby get home before giving them gifts.”

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Visiting times are displayed on posters around the hospitals and at ward entrances. The visiting policy is available on the Trust website

Craigavon Area Hospital Visiting Times: Adult Wards, 3pm-4pmm 6.45pm-8.15pm: Children’s Ward3pm-4pm, 6.45pm-8.15pm, Parents/carers anytime.

Maternity Department, 3pm-4pm, 6.45pm - 8.15pm, Partners/significant other – 10am to 9.30pm; Neo-Natal Unit, Open visiting for parents only; Intensive Care Unit, 2pm–8.15pm.