Kettering hospital visitors told don't hug your nan

KGH hasn't had visitors since March 25 last year

Don't hug your poorly nan - that's the message from hospital bosses to visitors taking advantage of bookable bedside appointments at Kettering General Hospital and Northampton General Hospital.

Eileen Doyle Chief Executive of Northampton General Hospital speaking on behalf of both hospitals urged caution as the programme of limited visiting to inpatients continues into Step 3.

Visits restarted last week with family being able to book slots for 40 minute bedside appointments but anyone wanting to hug their loved one, cannot.

Kettering General Hospital

Patients on the wards had been unable to see loved ones in person since March 25 last year, with virtual visits and phone calls the only way to communicate.

She said: "I know that one of the questions has come up is can you hug your loved one. I know as difficult as that might be, because the first thing you might want to do is when you go and visit your mum or your nan, or whoever it might be, is to give them a hug and a kiss and show them a bit of love. Actually it's really very important we maintain that social distancing because patients that are with us are poorly and more vulnerable to what Covid may or may not do to them.

"I know that's going to be really difficult but even us being able to allow visitors on site is a step forward and we should take some positives out of that."

There have been no deaths recorded in Northamptonshire since April 24, 2021 and the number of patients in hospital due to Covid-19 has been on a decreasing trend since mid-January, although the rate of decline has recently slowed.

The latest data shows a total of three Covid-19 patients occupied hospital beds in Northamptonshire on May 11, 2021, which represents a decrease of four when compared to the previous week.

Ms Doyle added: "You have to book an appointment slot so that we can make sure we can socially distance on the wards It's really important for the safety of our patients and our staff

"We do ask that all of the guidance is left in place - masks, social distancing, washing hand and using hand gels.

"I want to thank the staff and patients and their families for having to cope with very difficult situations over the last year. We want to make sure that we manage our wards safely."