The rest of society might be opening up next week but COVID restrictions are set to remain in place at St Mary’s Hospital, meaning visitors will only be welcome in exceptional circumstances.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that society will finally return to normal on Monday (19th July), with social distancing and face masks removed and changes to self-isolation.
Nationally, while cases are rising, the rate of hospitalisation is slowing due to the vaccine rollout and subsequently deaths are much lower than they have been.
Speaking at the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Board last Thursday, however, chief executive Maggie Oldham said they had had no indication from the Department for Health or NHS England that the very stringent infection control measures in place at St Mary’s and other medical buildings, would be lifted in any way.
Ms Oldham said an eye still needed to be kept on COVID, and that while there was a lot of hope in easing the restrictions, it was a challenge for herself and her colleagues across the health services.
“We are not envisaging seeing very much change here across our trust as a direct result of anything announced on the 19th.
“This risk around Covid has not gone away and we have to keep our guard up.
Article continues below this advertisement
“We have done so well on the Island in the way we have kept safe the most vulnerable members of our community, the way we have been able to protect our staff and to continue to work.
“Everybody will agree, we cannot in the first instance, until we see what happens after the 19th, start to let our guard down.”
Restrictions still in place at the hospital limit visitors to patients meaning they will only be considered to enter in exceptional circumstances.
When attending an appointment at the hospital patients are also asked to attend alone if they can, all in aid of keeping patients and staff safe.
Chair of the trust board, Melloney Poole, said:
“Whatever happens we will absolutely put the infection control needs and safety of the hospital and its staff at the forefront of our minds. We will still maintain what we need to do on the hospital site, and all our sites.”