Visiting restrictions to be eased at Northamptonshire hospitals

The hospitals are run by the same NHS trust Credit: ITV Anglia/Kettering General Hospital

Patients at Northampton and Kettering hospitals will be allowed to have one visitor, as rules are eased due to falling coronavirus infections.

From Wednesday, 5 May inpatients will be permitted to have someone from their household or social bubble come to see them.

Northampton General's Director of Nursing and Midwifery Sheran Oke acknowledged the visitor ban had been "frustrating, and at times upsetting" during the lockdown.

She added: "But clearly hospitals have restricted visiting for very good reasons and to protect both our patients and staff from Covid-19.

"We know how much visiting means to families and do want to start to be able to do this again.

"But we must urge people to be sensible. When on hospital premises they must always wear masks, wash their hands regularly, maintain social distance and follow all the guidance given them to our staff.

"Hospitals remain very sensitive to infection and the Covid-19 pandemic is not over."

Visiting rules from 5 May

  • Inpatient wards: one visitor allowed for an allocated time-slot (excludes wards with Covid-19 patients)

  • A&E, outpatients, urgent care and diagnostic visits: no visitors allowed except in exceptional circumstances

  • Children's wards: two parents or guardians per child can visit and one can stay overnight

  • Maternity: partners allowed to attend scans and visit labour ward

  • End of life patients: open visiting allowed, with one visitor per side room

Both Kettering and Northampton hospitals are asking visitors to book slots in advance.

At Kettering the trust will be phoning families to ask if they want to visit, while at Northampton people wanting to come have been told to phone the ward between 9.30am and 11am the day before their visit.

Leanne Hackshall, Kettering General Hospital's Director of Nursing and Quality, said: "It has been vitally important during the Covid-19 pandemic to restrict the number of people allowed on the two hospital sites to reduce the risk of the infections.

"Hospital inpatients are often elderly with conditions that put them at greatest risk from Covid-19 - and we need to continue to do our utmost to protect them.

"The incidence of Covid-19 in Northamptonshire has now reduced enough for us to end our almost complete ban on visiting and start to reintroduce restricted visiting with appropriate safety precautions in place."

Covid-19 in the Anglia region