All visiting across NHS Borders is now suspended with immediate effect. This is to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect our patients and staff.

Explaining the reason behind this decision, Nicky Berry, Director of Nursing, Midwifery, AHPs and Acute Services said: “We recognise that being unable to visit loved ones places considerable emotional strain on family members and carers, however given the current circumstances it is the right thing to do, and we ask the people of the Borders to respect and comply with this very difficult decision that has been taken.”

Suspended visiting will be applied with the exception of the special care baby unit, labour ward, children’s ward, and for patients receiving end of life care. However anybody visiting these areas who suspects that they have the virus, or have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 should contact the Nurse in Charge before attending.

The following restrictions apply:

Labour Ward: One visitor/ birthing partner is permitted and must remain within the maternity area at all times

Special Care Baby Unit: Only one parent per baby is permitted to visit (unless in exceptional circumstances) and should remain with the child at all times.

Children’s Ward: Only parents are permitted to visit and should remain with their child at all times.

End of Life Care: Please speak to the nurse in charge of the area where your family member is being cared for to make appropriate arrangements.

If you are permitted to visit please ensure that you comply with hand hygiene regulations and with any instructions given to you by our staff.

For patients who do not have access to personal mobile devices to keep in touch with family we are looking into the possibility of making a small number of devices available in each ward area. Further details will be issued in due course.

In addition we are establishing a family liaison service which will provide a single point of contact for family members and carers to receive information about their loved ones who are currently receiving care as an inpatient. Details of this service will be communicated via our NHS Borders Facebook page and website by Thursday lunchtime.