In light of national guidance to reduce the risks of bringing unknown cases of coronavirus into hospitals, visiting across Cumbria's hospitals has been suspended, with effect from Monday 23 March. This includes the Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital and all community hospitals.
Professor John Howarth, Deputy Chief Executive at North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly. However, it is a sensible step to help avoid unknown cases of Coronavirus in our hospitals and in our communities across North Cumbria.
“At this time, we must do all we can to protect our patients and also our staff who we need to be well in order to care for those who need their help.
“Whilst this is a temporary measure, we cannot say at this stage how long it will be in place.
“We understand that people will be disappointed by not being able to visit loved ones in hospital and we would appeal to the public for their support and co-operation at this difficult time. All patients staying in our hospitals do have access to our free NHS Wi-Fi that is accessible through smart phones which they can use to keep in touch with family and friends.
“We have agreed that there will be small exceptions where visitors will be permitted, including:
- For patients who are receiving end-of-life care
- For birthing partners in maternity units
For parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit.
“Additionally if there are exceptional clinical or social reasons why someone wants to visit this will be decided on a case-by-case basis and we would urge people to liaise directly with the senior nurse on the ward.