VISITING has now resumed on inpatient wards at Russells Hall Hospital...but visitors must book in advance to see hospitalised loved ones.

One visitor per patient per day is now permitted and they can stay up to 45 minutes but relatives or friends need to book in advance via a new online booking system which has now gone live.

Visitors will only be able to book the day before, or on the day, they intend to visit and visitor numbers will be limited to a maximum of 50 per cent of ward patient numbers at any one time to ensure two-metre social distancing is maintained.

Chief nurse Mary Sexton said: “I am really delighted to welcome back visitors to our wards. We know it has been a very difficult time for those unable to see loved ones during their hospital stay.

“During the last 18 months of the pandemic, we have followed national guidance to keep our patients and our staff as safe as possible.

“However, we have always supported compassionate visits in exceptional circumstances, for example when a patient is receiving end of life care.”

Visitors will now be allowed onto the wards in 45-minute timeslots between 8am and 7pm from today (Friday June 17).

All visitors will be required to wear a surgical face mask, adhere to the two-metre social distancing rule while they are on site and maintain good hand hygiene.

The online booking system, which can be accessed via the trust's website, will record visitor details necessary for Track and Trace.

People will need to confirm they do not have symptoms of coronavirus and are not Covid positive.

Visitors will also be screened again before they can enter the ward where temperature checks will be taken.

Anyone feeling unwell for any reason is urged not to visit the hospital and anyone with a positive Covid test result, or showing signs of Covid, must not visit.