NHS Lanarkshire has taken the decision to suspend all visiting times at all NHS Lanarkshire hospitals and inpatient wards as of Wednesday 18 March 2020 to limit the spread of coronavirus and protect vulnerable patients.
The radical step, which will affect inpatients and their families in University Hospital Monklands, University Hospital Wishaw and University Hospital Hairmyers, is to reduce number of people attending hospitals each day.
Visiting will, however, be available in very limited circumstances. This includes patients receiving end-of-life care or those accompanying partners during childbirth, on the basis of approval of the senior charge nurse or midwife responsible for the relevant clinical area or their deputy.
Susan Friel, Director of Nursing for Acute Services at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “We understand the stress this may cause in being unable to visit family members in hospital.
“We apologise for taking this decision, but patient care is our top priority. We would like to reassure our staff, patients and visitors that this continues to be our focus at all times.”
This is the latest in a list of unprecedented announcements from public bodies in recent days as the impact of the coronavirus spread starts to take full effect.
Yesterday, North Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture NL released a joint statement which advised that all culture and leisure facilities in North Lanarkshire will be closed to the public as of Wednesday 18 March 2020.
This closure affects all community centres and school letting in Cumbernauld, as well as Abronhill Library, Condorrat Library, Cumbernauld Library, Broadwood, Tryst Sports Centre, Palacerigg Golf Course and the Visitor Centre at Palacerigg Country Park.
Meanwhile, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that it is inevitable that all Scottish schools and nurseries are likely to close on Friday 20 March 2020, with there being no guarantee that they will reopen before the summer holidays.
Cornerstone House Centre issued a statement about visiting its community-owned building on Tuesday 17 March 2020, advising that anyone who is experiencing symptoms of being unwell, including those with a cough, runny nose, fever, a high temperature or difficulty breathing, must not visit the organisation’s premises at 1 Esk Walk, Town Centre, Cumbernauld, G67 1BZ under any circumstances in the interest of public health.
The organisation also informed that its Community Space facility located at Unit 14, Antonine Shopping Centre, had been closed until further notice. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, commented:
“The circumstances facing citizens in Cumbernauld and across the country are obviously very difficult at this present time. Our organisation’s primary concern remains for its service users, volunteers, staff and other regular or one-off visitors to The Centre.
“With many Cumbernauld citizens likely to be self-isolating and staying at home in the coming weeks, Cumbernauld Community Health Information Hub aims to do its utmost to keep local people informed of latest health information updates and advice through Cornerstone House Centre’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms.
“There is also a recognition that many are more likely to be affected by stress, anxiety and depression during this period.
“A reminder goes to all Cumbernauld people that you’re not alone and lots of help is still available for those facing a mental health challenge at this time.”
For specific health advice and information in relation to coronavirus and what to do if you have symptoms, key information is provided and updated daily on a dedicated coronavirus section of the NHS Lanarkshire website.