The 'rule of one' for visitors at the John Radcliffe has been dropped from today.
Oxford University Hospitals says it's updated its current inpatient visitor policy due to rising levels of coronavirus in the community.
383 confirmed cases were reported in Oxfordshire in the last 24 hours, taking the county's total during the pandemic to almost 14,000.
From today, OUH will not be allowing any visitors at The John Radcliffe in Oxford, Horton General in Banbury, The Churchill Hospital or the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.
The NHS Trust says there are a few exceptions:
- "Maternity - current visiting arrangements to remain in place, unless there is a tier change (more details below)
- Children - one parent or guardian only, no siblings, except on Christmas Day (more details below)
- Patients at the end of their life - in the difficult and upsetting circumstances where patients may be at the end of their life, the nurse or midwife in charge will enable up to one visitor per patient to spend time with their loved one
- Patients who cannot make decisions for themselves - current arrangements remain in place
The new restrictions replace the 'Rule of One' visiting arrangements at Oxford University Hospital sites.
Patients attending its Emergency Departments, Emergency Assessment Units and outpatient departments are also expected to be unaccompanied, 'unless there are exceptional circumstances.'
The Trist added that it will be allowingchild inpatients - so those 17-years-old and younger - additional visitors from their existing household bubble on Christmas Day only.
For maternity patients, if Oxfordshire moves beyond Tier 2 or there is a national lockdown, visitors would only be permitted during:
- 12 week, 20 week, and 36 week scan appointments
- Fetal medicine appointments
- Breech clinic appointments
- "Labour assessment, labour, and birth
Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at OUH, said: "We never take these decisions lightly, however we have a duty to protect our patients and our staff.
"With COVID-19 levels rising in the community, we have to do all that we can to keep everyone safe.
"Thank you for your support and understanding at this time."
Women under 18 years old, women who are sadly going through bereavement, or women who require a carer can have a single visitor for the duration of their care.
All visitors must be the same person for each appointment, and they must be a member of the patient's household or existing support bubble.
The 'Keep in Touch' service is also available for those who cannot visit their loved ones.
This month, the NHS started the biggest vaccination programme in its history — which will continue over Christmas and into next year.— OUH (@OUHospitals) December 22, 2020
There’s no need to contact the NHS to be vaccinated, they will contact you when it’s your turn. pic.twitter.com/8cLhw423XM