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The Surgical Ward in Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway will reopen to new admissions tomorrow (Saturday).  

The ward had been closed to new scheduled admissions on March 31, as a result of a number of individuals linked to the ward testing positive for COVID-19. 

An Incident Management Team has been managing the outbreak and agreed today that the ward can safely reopen.

Designated Visiting will also resume on Saturday, in line with arrangements in the rest of the hospital. All patients will be permitted one visit every day from one designated visitor (or two designated visitors in the same visiting slot from the same household). The designated visitor/s identified by each inpatient will be for the duration of the inpatient stay, and can only be changed in exceptional circumstances. 

Visitors are reminded that they must ensure that they book all visits in advance, and all visitors are reminded to please ensure that they take a Lateral Flow Device test before visiting hospital. Please do not visit under any circumstances if you develop symptoms.  

With the reopening of the Surgical Ward, planned theatre and endoscopies can resume next week.

Patients whose procedure was cancelled as a result of the ward closure will be contacted individually to advise them of when their appointment/procedure will be rescheduled.  

NHS Western Isles Nurse and AHP Director/Chief Operating Officer, Fiona McKenzie, said: “We are pleased to be able to re-open Surgical Ward and to resume planned theatre in the Western Isles Hospital. The measures taken over the past two weeks were necessary to protect our patients and staff and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our local community as we took the steps required to manage this outbreak. 

 “I would again apologise to any patients inconvenienced as a result of the required measures, and we will be in touch as soon as we can with all those affected to re-schedule procedures and appointments.”