The move to Protection Level 3 for the Western Isles has meant that NHS Western Isles is now able to reduce restrictions on visiting.
Arrangements for essential visiting, for those who fall into this category, will continue. Examples of essential visits include (but are not limited to):
- A birth partner supporting a woman during hospital visits
- A person receiving end-of-life care – we expect this to be defined as flexibly and compassionately as possible, to support patients at the end of life spending meaningful time with their loved ones in their final days and weeks
- To support someone with a mental health issue; or dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
- To accompany a child in hospital.
NHS Western Isles also considers that it is now safe and appropriate to also allow one Designated Visitor for each inpatient for the duration of their stay in hospital.
This will continue to be monitored to ensure it is considered to be safe.
There are exceptions as follows:
- COVID-19 areas (also known as red pathways) will remain as essential visiting only.
- Patients who have gone into hospital for surgery following a period of isolation and testing to reduce any COVID-19 risk can only be visited by a person from the same household where the patient has been isolating (that would include someone from an extended household).
- In Maternity, only the birthing partner will be permitted.
No individual can be the Designated Visitor for more than one patient, or visit more than one patient whilst in the hospital. Patients will be asked to identify who they would like to be their Designated Visitor.
Visiting will be arranged via the individual wards. Visits will be made by prearranged appointments to ensure the number of people in the clinical area at any one time is limited to maintain a safe physical distance.
Virtual Visiting remains available as an alternative. Virtual Visits are arranged via the patient’s Ward Clerk.
Once an appointment has been arranged, visitors can link to their virtual appointment at: https://www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/virtual-visiting/