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Extension of visiting restrictions on inpatient wards in Norfolk and Waveney

The NHS in Norfolk and Waveney has announced that visiting on inpatient wards will remain suspended for the next two weeks.

The restrictions affect all local hospitals and trusts with inpatient wards, with the exception of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s acute mental health wards, until Thursday 2 December.

There will be a number of exceptions for patients receiving end of life care, maternity services, children, patients with mental health issues such as dementia, a learning disability or autism. People are urged to check their local hospital website for further information and to discuss individual cases with the teams in charge of these wards.

The difficult decision to extend the suspension on visiting on inpatient wards has been taken following rising COVID-19 infection rates in the community. It is hoped the measures will reduce the transmission of the virus into local hospitals from visitors and help protect both patients and staff. 

Cath Byford, Chief Nurse at NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We know that extending restrictions on visiting will be disappointing and it is not a decision we have taken lightly. We understand how important the support of family and friends can be for patients in their recovery while they are in hospital, however, our number one priority is to keep everyone – patients, visitors and staff – safe.

“Exceptions will continue to be made on compassionate grounds, on a case by case basis. These visits must be pre-arranged with the ward team in charge.

“Restricting visiting is always a very last resort for us. We appreciate the co-operation of our patients and their families during this challenging time and we will monitor and review this guidance in a fortnight and will keep the public informed of any changes."

Mrs Byford added: “We continue to encourage local people to help us by following national guidance by wearing a face covering in enclosed public spaces, social distancing and regular hand washing.”

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