Acute and community hospitals across County Durham and
Darlington have announced that from Tuesday 22 November, some of
the visitor restrictions are being further relaxed.
Visiting is very important to the well-being of our patients and
their loved ones and is a key part of patient-centered care and we
know that a lack of visiting can cause distress. We are pleased to
be able to further relax some of these restrictions.
The reintroduction of visiting in a managed, appointment based
way has worked well across our hospital sites.
The relaxation of current restrictions will be gradual given
that while community prevalence of COVID-19 has declined, it is
still in general circulation along with other respiratory
infections which are on the rise.
We all know how quickly infection rates can change so we'll keep
a close eye on these to keep patients, our staff - and the wider
community - as safe as possible.
The following will replace existing restrictions, effective from
Tuesday 22 November:
• Adults: to
continue with an appointment based system but increase visiting
entitlement to up to two hours per day, split into two, one hour
slots, with two visitors permitted per slot. Different
visitors would be permitted for each slot. Visitors would
still be required to pre-book using the current system.
As per current visiting rules.
• Labour wards:
up to two birthing partners in attendance throughout labour.
• Antenatal and
o one partner from
10.00am until 8.00pm,
o family time:
2.00pm-4.00pm and 6.00pm-8.00pm. In addition to a partner,
during these times an additional two visitors (one of whom can be a
sibling) - with a maximum of three persons per bed during this
• Neonates: Two
visitors per baby at one time (One parent and one other family
member). The second visitor can swap and change.
receiving End of Life care and their families. These
situations will be managed on a case by case basis with the nurse
in charge using discretion to negotiate visiting patterns,
balancing compassion with the infection control risk.
Our 'Ask to Mask' posters will be displayed prominently so
patients and families know they can ask those caring for them to
Please be kind to our colleagues when they are making
arrangements with you, they are following our guidelines to help
protect all patients.
We are incredibly grateful for the continued support, patience
and understanding from our local communities as we take these
cautious steps forward.
'I cannot commend the clinic enough. It is marvellous we
have this service at all and well done to you all.'
Patient, Coronary Heart Disease / Heart Failure Service, Shotley
Bridge Community Hospital