22 Mar 2020, 1:24 p.m.

The NHS in Gloucestershire has announced that it is stopping visiting* to its hospitals effective from Monday 23rd March 2020.

Trust leaders say that the action is a responsible and proactive measure to take as part of coronavirus (COVID-19) preparedness.

The policy will apply to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital (GRH), Cheltenham General Hospital (CGH) and seven community hospitals in the county:

  • Cirencester
  • The Dilke (Cinderford)
  • Lydney
  • North Cotswolds (Moreton-in-Marsh)
  • Stroud
  • Tewkesbury
  • The Vale (Dursley)

It will also apply to the county’s mental health and learning disability inpatient units:

  • Wotton Lawn (Gloucester)
  • Charlton Lane (Cheltenham)
  • Berkeley House (Stroud)
  • Laurel House (Cheltenham)
  • Honeybourne (Cheltenham)

Professor Steve Hams, Director of Quality and Chief Nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which manages GRH and CGH, said: “From Monday 23 March we will not allow any visitors unless they have been pre-arranged with the nurse in charge.

“The number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff. We would encourage relatives and friends to please think of other ways of staying in touch with your loved ones such as video calls.

“We understand that these restrictions will be difficult for some patients and their loved ones but at the same time, I think there will be real understanding of why we are taking this precautionary and responsible step.”

John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the county’s community hospitals as well as the mental health and learning disability units, added: “We appreciate that our patients and their families may find this decision difficult but I hope that everyone will appreciate we are not taking this step lightly. We are only doing this because we want what’s best for our patients, families, friends and staff as well as our wider communities.

“Please contact our wards for further advice and guidance.”

*There will be special allowances made for birthing partners, parents or guardians of patients under the age of 18, patients with a learning disability or autism who require a carer, relatives collecting patients on discharge and those at the end of life.  These will be restricted and visiting must be pre-arranged with the nurse or midwife in charge.

Maternity wards and units

Maternity wards at GRH and CGH have implemented the following restrictions:

  • only 1 visitor can accompany people in labour
  • only partners can visit the maternity ward, the delivery suite and our birth units
  • no children or young people under the age of 16 should visit

Children's ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

The children's ward at GRH has implemented the following restrictions:

  • only parents or guardians can visit the ward
  • no siblings or young people under the age of 16 should visit
BEST CARE FOR EVERYONE