Coronavirus concerns lead Manchester hospital to ban visits

Bosses at Stepping Hill in Stockport suspend friends and family for a fortnight

Colin Drury
North of England Correspondent
Thursday 04 November 2021 12:04
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<p>Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport</p>

Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport

Visits have been banned at a Greater Manchester hospital amid growing concern once more over coronavirus rates.

Bosses at Stepping Hill in Stockport have suspended friends and family seeing patients for a fortnight as they battle with rising Covid-19 numbers.

But they said that exceptions on compassionate grounds would be allowed on a case-by-case basis.

Infection rates in Stockport currently stand at 439.5 cases per 100,000 people. While that is slightly down on last week, it is still above the national average of 416.2. Three people died with the illness in the town in the last week.

In a statement, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the facility, said the decision to halt visits had “not been made lightly” but was necessary.

They said: “Due to the challenges associated with the Covid-19 infection rate at Stepping Hill Hospital and the local community, the decision has been made to once again postpone routine hospital visiting.

“This decision has not been made lightly and we recognise that this may cause distress for patients and their families.

“Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds, on a case by case basis. These visits must be pre-arranged with the nurse in charge. The safety of our patients, staff and the local community is a priority.

“The current suspension is for a two-week period and starts on Wednesday 3 November. This will be reviewed regularly and we will keep the public informed of any changes that occur.”

It is not the first hospital to take the action in recent days. On Wednesday, hospitals across Norfolk – including the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital – announced they were suspending visits to inpatient wards in a bid to reduce potential Covid-spread.

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