North East hospitals suspend visits amid rise in Covid-19 cases

Routine visiting has been suspended at the University Hospital of North Tees. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Three North East hospitals have suspended visiting amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

From Saturday 1 January visiting to all adult inpatient wards at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital was temporarily suspended.

On Sunday 2 January, routine visiting was also suspended at the University Hospital of North Tees.

South Tyneside District Hospital

The South Tyneside Hospital Trust say it's made the difficult decision to suspend visiting to adult inpatient wards across South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and the Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre.

The trust say the rate of confirmed Covid-19 hospital admissions at the Trust has risen quickly over the past few days and although not as high as numbers experienced during previous waves of the pandemic, leaders are still concerned. Cases in local communities also remains high.

The Trust is advising that visiting will not be allowed at this time, except in the followingcircumstances, where visiting is permitted PPE must be worn:

  • Patients receiving end of life care (visiting arrangements will be at the discretion ofthe nurse in charge)

  • Women in labour will be able to have one birthing partner and can bring one personwith them to their scan appointments only

  • One parent or carer will be able to accompany children in our children’s emergencydepartment, children’s wards and neonatal unit

  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism and those who require a carerwill be able to have one person accompanying them.

Routine visiting has also been suspended at the University Hospital of North Tees due to rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the local area.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust say under exceptional circumstances visitors will still be welcomed and people are advised to contact the ward their relative is on based to discuss individual circumstances.