The decision has been taken in order to keep staff and patients safe at hospitals including Blackpool Victoria
Hospitals in Blackpool and Fylde have banned most visitors amid rising levels of Covid infections as the NHS comes under pressure.
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says it has taken the “difficult decision to suspend most visiting until further notice” due to soaring cases of Covid-19, including the Omicron variant.
It explained that the decision has been made to keep all staff and patients safe and to limit the spread of coronavirus.
There are some circumstances where people will be allowed to visit patients for example when they are receiving end of life care or if someone needs a carer to support them for example if they have dementia or a learning disability.
Parents or carers are also still able to visit neonatal units and children’s wards.
In a statement Blackpool Teaching Hospitals said: “Due to rising levels of Coronavirus infections in the community Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has taken the difficult decision to suspend most visiting until further notice.
“This decision was not taken lightly and has been made to keep all staff and patients safe across the Trust and help play an important role in limiting further spread of Covid-19.
“The following exceptions are in place where visiting can continue:
- Where a patient is receiving end of life care – up to four visitors will be welcome
- Carers supporting someone, for instance with dementia or a learning disability.
“Visiting to maternity and children’s services remain unchanged.”
It added that visitors who are allowed to enter wards will be asked to take a Lateral Flow Test.
The ban comes after the trust, which is responsible for Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Clifton Hospital and Fleetwood Hospital, declared a critical incident.
The critical incident has been declared due to high demand and long waits in emergency departments and urgent care pathways, with The Vic running at full capacity.
There are also high staff sickness absence levels which is also impacting day to day operations.
A breakdown of current visiting rules can be found on the trust’s website, here.