By Suzanne Pender
VISITING times at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny have been reduced to just one person for a daily visit of 30 minutes, excluding patients in critical care, maternity, end-of-life and paediatrics.
In a statement released this morning, St Luke’s General Hospital said that due to ongoing Covid-19 and flu outbreaks at the hospital, visiting restrictions have been deemed necessary to curtail transmission and spread.
Visiting time has been reduced for all patients (excluding critical care, maternity, paediatrics and end-of-life care patients) to ‘one daily visit of 30 minutes for one person only per patient during current visiting hours.
The hospital points out that it will be necessary for families to co-ordinate their visit as the current visiting rule will ‘rigidly apply in almost all areas for the hospital’ until further notice.
Visitors who have symptoms of cold, flu and/or Covid-19 must not visit patients as this can further add to the spread of flu and Covid-19 virus to other vulnerable patients and staff within the hospital.
All visitors must wear a surgical mask for the duration of their visit with their relative and follow hand hygiene before and after their visit.
‘We strongly encourage patients who have smart phones or other devices to use social media for family contact due to the reduction of direct face-to-face visits,’ said the statement.
‘The hospital is aware of the need of patients to have a direct visit per day; however, it also has a duty to try and protect vulnerable patients and staff members from contracting flu and Covid-19 virus within the hospital.
‘Certain patients in critical care and patients with end-of-life care needs will have separate visiting arrangements, subject to agreement with the relevant ward manager; however, all visitors will need to be conscious of their own safety with the high levels of Covid-19 and flu circulating within the hospital and to comply with the 30 minutes/one daily visit/one person only per patient during the current visiting hours.’
The statement concluded: ‘The management and staff of the hospital wish to thank the general public for their support at this challenging time, and that as soon as the situation improves, the visiting restrictions will be reviewed accordingly.’