DH in Northern Ireland issue coronavirus advice on visiting hospital and care homes

The Department of Health (DH) in Northern Ireland have issued new advice on visiting health and social care services coming under growing pressure due to the increase in cases of coronavirus.

In a statement released this afternoon (Thursday 12), the DH say “normal business will not be possible” as we move into the next phase of this pandemic.

The statement said: “Unfortunately, that may include some restrictions on visits to hospitals, care homes and other care settings.

“It is important to emphasise that there is no blanket ban on visits to hospitals or other care settings at this stage.

“It is fully accepted that for many families and patients, visits are essential and important to patient wellbeing.”

“Given the particular risks from coronavirus, hospitals and other providers have to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff. People with underlying health problems are at particular risk, which is why hospital environments and care homes need to take particular care.”

The public are being asked to follow some basic common sense guidelines:

  • Do not visit if you are unwell yourself.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after visiting and use the hand sanitiser gel provided.
  • Ask yourself if your visit is essential.
  • One adult visitor per day only, unless in exceptional circumstances and following discussion with the ward sister or equivalent.
  • Attend outpatients either alone or only accompanied by one adult.
  • Check in advance and follow any localised arrangements which hospitals and other care settings have put in place.

Detailed information and advice on coronavirus is available from the Public Health Agency or by following on Twitter at: @healthdpt

Picture (c) Paul Faith / PA Wire.