Following the announcement that Angus and Perth and Kinross have been placed in Level 3 of the Scottish Government’s coronavirus restrictions system, routine visiting has been suspended in community hospitals in Tayside. The new visiting rules will come into effect from Friday, 13 November.

The Scottish Government guidance for Level 3 restrictions advises that hospital visiting should be limited to essential visits only. This is to limit the spread of coronavirus and to protect vulnerable patients. Visiting has already been suspended in a number of hospitals across Tayside.

The new visiting rules will come into effect from Friday, 13 November.

Visiting has now been suspended in the following areas:
• All wards in Arbroath Infirmary
• All wards in Stracathro Hospital
• All wards in Whitehills Health and Community Care Centre
• All wards in Blairgowrie Community Hospital
• All wards in Pitlochry Community Hospital
• All wards in Crieff Community Hospital
• All wards in St Margaret’s Community Hospital
• All wards in Murray Royal Hospital
• Strathmartine Centre

Visiting has already been suspended in the following areas:
• Wards for adult patients in Ninewells Hospital
• All wards in Royal Victoria Hospital
• All wards in Kingsway Care Centre
• Carseview Centre
• All wards at Perth Royal Infirmary
• Surgical unit wards in Stracathro Hospital

Visiting in these areas can continue in specific circumstances, for example to support patients receiving end-of-life care or to support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, a learning disability or autism where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. Scottish Government guidance includes provision under these circumstances for one designated visitor observing physical distancing to be allowed if hospital clinicians judge it to be safe and appropriate.

Anyone with a question about visiting should contact the senior charge nurse in the ward to discuss their individual situation.

The public can continue to visit:
• Tayside Children’s Hospital. One parent can visit with another nominated person allowed to visit separately

Patients should continue to attend hospital for outpatient clinic appointments and for planned procedures. However if you have an appointment at one of our clinics or departments, please attend alone. The exception to this is for children and vulnerable adults, who can be accompanied by one person.

NHS Tayside’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Claire Pearce, said, “We understand that suspending visiting will impact on families and patients and we know that not being able to visit family members whilst they are in hospital is distressing for many people.

“However, with all of Tayside now in Level 3 restrictions, it is vital that we follow Scottish Government guidance on hospital visiting and keep our patients, staff and the public safe.

“Where appropriate we will continue to offer virtual visiting for patients using telephones, tablets and laptops to allow people to keep in touch with their loved ones.”

If anyone has any questions about visiting arrangements they should speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.