Hospitals across south Cumbria and parts of Lancashire are set to ease their visiting restrictions from today.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Furness General Hospital, Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital and Royal Lancaster Infirmary, have announced that a new booking system has been set up to allow patients to see their loved ones.
Each patient will be able to have one named visitor on this system, with visits being limited to one hour at a time but this is being kept under review.
Restrictions will remain in place for wards where there are Covid patients and there is no change to the existing children’s, neonates and maternity visiting arrangements or to previously agreed visiting arrangements for patients who fit the criteria for Johns Campaign, where there are exceptional circumstances, or the patient is at end of life.
Patients will be assessed on a case-to-case basis.
Bridget Lees, executive chief nurse, UHMBT, said: "We understand how important and beneficial visiting it to our patients and we are glad to be in a position to ease our restrictions.
"Whilst this is of course a positive step for us, our patients and their loved ones, we will continue to keep this under review as we have done throughout the pandemic."
Visiting hours can be booked Monday-Friday between 10am-12pm with just one booking being able to be made at a time.
However, on a Friday visitors will be able to book a slot for the weekend as well as the following Monday, with each patient entitled to one visit per day.
Visitors are being advised to complete lateral flow tests twice a week. Measures are still in place for infection prevention which include: social distancing, hand hygiene and wearing surgical masks.
To book a slot, visitors can call the main hospital switchboards between 10am - 12pm, Monday - Friday:
Royal Lancaster Infirmary:
Furness General Hospital:
Westmorland General Hospital:
More information about booking visiting slots can be found here.