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Changes to NHS Fife visiting arrangements
To protect vulnerable patients and ensure the safety of healthcare staff, NHS Fife has now suspended all routine visiting within all of Fife's hospitals.
NHS Fife Director of Public Health, Dona Milne, said of the changes:
“We know that the suspension of routine visiting will be concerning for patients and their loved ones, however, we have seen a growing number of COVID-19 infections over recent weeks and it is clear that we have considerable spread of the virus within our communities in Fife. Some of the people becoming infected are becoming very unwell and are being admitted to our hospitals.
“The nature of this virus is that it is highly infectious and can be easily spread by those with no symptoms at all or with mild symptoms. For those most vulnerable amongst us, such as those cared for in our hospitals, contracting COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous and it is vital that we do all that we can to protect those most at risk of the effects of the virus and to protect our health and social care services.”
There are a small number of areas which are exempt from the new visiting arrangements, where visiting is considered to be essential and will continue to be permitted:
Maternity - Pregnant women may identify a designated visitor to accompany them to their scans, antenatal appointments, during in labour on the postnatal/ maternity
End of Life Care – To visit a person receiving end-of-life care.
Mental Health/ Learning Disabilities - To support someone with a mental health issue, or those with a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.
Children’s Services - To accompany a child in hospital.