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Dr Gray's and other north-east hospitals introduce visitor passes

By Kyle Ritchie

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Dr Gray's Hospital in Elgin, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Aberdeen Maternity Hospital have visitor passes now in place.

Anyone identified as the essential or designated visitor for patients in any of these clinical environments will be provided with a pass.

All other visiting guidance remains the same including that all visits are by pre-arranged appointment and that photo ID is required by all visitors.

Dr Gray's Hospital has introduced visitor passes.
Dr Gray's Hospital has introduced visitor passes.

A NHS Grampian spokesman said: "Most hospital areas are now able to accommodate one designated visitor per patient by pre-arranged appointment.

"There are some areas that still have restrictions place. Notably, surgical wards will continue to offer visiting for patients who have been in hospital for 14 days.

"In critical care areas, individual plans are in place dependent on clinical need.

"Guides are available which have more information on the restrictions for some sites or speak to the staff on the ward involved if you are not certain of the local arrangements."

The health board has also clarified the difference between an essential and designated visitor.

An essential visit is one where it is imperative that a relative or friend is allowed to see their loved one in a number of exceptional circumstances.

These include at end-of-life, for patients with a mental health issue such as dementia, autism or learning disabilities where the absence of a visitor would cause distress, to accompany a child in hospital, or any other situation where clinical staff assess that it is essential to involve family or carers for ethical or patient safety reasons.

A designated visitor is someone chosen by the patient who they would like to be their named visitor. This might be a spouse or next of kin or a friend.

That person will be the first to visit in the early stages of allowing visiting and it is recommend this person should also be the main link for communication. The designated visitor is in addition to any essential carer, personal assistant or support required for care.

At Aberdeen Maternity Hospital for antenatal or postnatal outpatient appointments and ultrasound scans women can identify one person to accompany them to these appointments.

Women in labour can be accompanied by a birth partner as an essential visitor and a second birth partner if requested, subject to the need to maintain physical distancing wherever possible.

Following the birth of the baby the mother can identify one designated visitor by arrangement in addition to their birth partner (essential visitor) in inpatient ward areas.

These arrangements are to be made with the ward staff prior to their designated visitor attending the hospital.

Partners or designated visitors who are ill or showing any symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend.

For more information visit covid19.nhsgrampian.org/visiting

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