Hospital visiting restrictions in parts of Scotland are to remain at level one of the government’s Covid framework despite the whole of the country moving to level zero.
The decision was made in regards to staffing pressures within the healthcare system across the Highlands and Argyll and Bute being at an “unprecedented level”.
It means that two visitors will be permitted for each patient under the care of NHS Highlands staff, with any further visitors at the discretion of hospital management.
This guidance will remain under review and updates will be provided as soon as they are available.
Kate Patience-Quate, NHS Highland’s deputy director of nursing, said: “We know that this will be disappointing for many people, however we believe this is the safest option at this time as cases of Covid-19 remain widespread and pressures on the entire health and social care system are at an unprecedented level.
“We hope to move to level zero restrictions as soon as we are able to.
“We appreciate the co-operation of our patients and their loved ones during this time. We will monitor and review the visiting guidance on a regular basis.”
Visitors are also being urged to contact the nurse in charge of the ward they are planning on visiting beforehand.
She continued: “We recognise that there will be exceptional circumstances and we will do everything we can to accommodate patients and their loved ones during this time.
“We would encourage visitors to contact the nurse in charge of the ward their loved one is in before visiting. And we would once again remind visitors that face coverings must be worn at all times in the hospital and to follow guidance on hand hygiene.”
You can still visit someone in hospital or accompany someone to appointments if you’re: a birth partner supporting a woman during hospital visits, visiting someone receiving end-of-life care, supporting someone with a mental health issue, or dementia, or a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed, or accompanying a child.