Hospital prohibits visitors in wake of coronavirus emergency

Maidstone &Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust [MTW] has already announced it is postponing non-urgent planned operations from this week for at least the next three months as staff prepare for treating significant numbers of patients with Covid-19.

Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal.

But as from 8am on Thursday morning, family members will no longer be able to visit patients sick in hospital.

In a statement MTW said: “Protecting our patients and those who care for them is our top priority during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“As of 8am on Thursday March 26, no visitors will be allowed in our hospitals until further notice, with the exception of patients receiving end of life care – one visitor permitted for one hour. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff by telephone.”

It added that patients prior to needing ventilation will also be allowed one visitor for a limited period of time, arranged in advance with ward staff.

And patients on paediatric wards were permitted one parent or carer to be with the child as agreed with ward staff, while maternity departments will permit one ‘birthing partner’ on the labour ward and postnatal ward.

A spokesperson added: “To help keep everyone safe, we ask you to consider other ways of keeping in touch with patients such as phone calls or video messaging.”

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