VISITING for inpatient wards at Galloway Community Hospital in Stranraer is being suspended temporarily with effect from today.
As work takes place to investigate and address COVID-19 cases which have been confirmed recently in the west of the region, a decision has been taken to temporarily suspend visiting at the hospital – with specific exemptions.
NHS Dumfries and Galloway Medical Director Dr Kenneth Donaldson said: “The temporary suspension of inpatient visiting is intended to help limit any spread of coronavirus and protect vulnerable patients.
“When hospital inpatient visiting resumed in July on the basis of one designated visitor per patient it was noted that it might have to be suspended again at any point. While our very effective Test and Protect team address and monitor the situation, the decision to suspend visiting has been taken in order to protect patients, staff and services.
“We understand that suspending visiting will impact on families and patients, and we know that not being able to visit family members whilst they are in hospital may be upsetting.
“However, we hope that they will understand that we have made this decision in the best interests of our patients.”
Visits to end of life patients, and where required to support the wellbeing of someone with dementia or a learning difficulty, will continue. However, the visitor will be required to first speak with the senior charge nurse for the respective ward. Anyone with questions about visiting arrangements is asked to speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.
Anyone visiting hospital is asked to continue to follow NHS Dumfries and Galloway’s hand hygiene and hand washing advice, to don personal protective equipment as directed, and not to visit if experiencing symptoms of flu, COVID, or if feeling generally unwell.
As ever, anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms of coronavirus is being asked to self-isolate and immediately seek testing.
Change to or loss of sense of taste and smell
Appointments via the mobile testing unit can be made at these centres each day from 9.30 am by logging on to the website: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Anyone who does not have access to the internet is asked to phone NHS 24 on 111.
People who work in health or social care, the Emergency Services, or Dumfries and Galloway Council and have symptoms of coronavirus (even if mild) are asked to arrange for testing through NHS Dumfries and Galloway through the well established routes.
The suspension of visiting at Galloway Community Hospital is set to be reviewed on a weekly basis, and an update will be provided in due course.