A HOSPITAL’S visiting times are once again to include the afternoons.
During January and February the Countess of Chester was forced to close wards to visitors to protect patients from the effects of the Norovirus, which is reported to have affected more than three million people in the UK.
But since then the trust has been able to reopen wards to visitors with restricted visiting times.
Hospital marketing and communications officer Andrew Duggan said: “Hopefully, the new times will satisfy everyone’s needs.
“However, they will be evaluated in six months time by patients, visitors and staff to ensure this is the case before a permanent decision is taken.”
Staff have expressed their appreciation to all patients and members of the public for their co-operation while temporary visiting times were in place.
Director of nursing and patient services Gaynor Hales said: “We’d like to stress our thanks to patients and members of the public for being so understanding and co-operative while we have had strict infection control measures in place to control the spread of Norovirus.
“We understand the inconvenience and stress the visitor restrictions have caused, but it would appear our strong community spirit has shone through, allowing us to work together to tackle the problem.
“We hope our strict and thorough measures demonstrate our commitment to offering the highest quality service.”
Visiting times for all general wards are now Monday to Sunday, afternoon visiting 2.30-3.30pm; evening visiting 6.30-7.30pm.
Visiting times for specialist wards, Cestrian and Children’s Ward are still being evaluated, but for now they remain as:
Cestrian Ward – maternity partners only 11am-8pm; other visitors as all general wards.
Children’s Ward – parents and guardians only 11am-8pm; other visitors as all general wards.
If visitors need to visit a critically-ill patient, or are unable to visit within these times, they should contact the nurse in charge of the relevant ward by phoning 01244 365000 or speak to staff at the main reception.
If visitors or patients require any further information they should contact the PALS team between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, on Freephone 0800 195 1241.