From Monday, the advice and guidance around visiting arrangements in East Lancashire's hospitals is changing.
The changes, brought in at all facilities run by the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust will allow for more visitors to attend the hospitals to provide support for their loved ones.
The Trust's website states: "The Trust recognises that visiting is an important element of supporting patients to recover and return home and we’re keen to maintain and expand our current arrangements safely.
"Therefore, as of Monday, August 2, 2021, our visitor policy will change.
"The Trust will extend the criteria to include more ward areas and patients will be able to nominate two visitors for an hour each.
"Please note that only one nominated visitor will be allowed at a time."
Visiting will be arranged via a pre-bookable slot on an electronic booking system and visitors will also be subject to a negative lateral flow test and strict infection prevention control.
A spokesperson for the ELHT said relatives are being asked not to call the ward to attempt to book a visit, as wards will contact the nominated visitors to book a visiting time.
The spokesperson said: "These measures will be evaluated regularly and should an outbreak occur on any ward visiting restrictions will be reinstated for that area only.
"This is in line with the Trust's processes for any other infectious outbreak (such as norovirus)."
When visiting and entering the hospital, people will be asked to follow all hygiene and social distancing measures and will be given a type II fluid resistant mask.
The Trust's website went on to state that visits to the emergency department or urgent care centres at Royal Blackburn and Burnley Hospitals remain restricted, with only one person allowed to accompany or visit people seeking or receiving treatment for:
In addition, any child under the age of 18 can have one nominated parent or carer accompany them to the emergency department.
For children, both parents or carers can attend the children’s ward to keep the family unit together (only one parent on the children’s assessment unit)
In exceptional circumstances, depending on the needs of the patient and with the agreement of the nurse in charge, other visitors may be allowed.
The spokesperson added: "One parent or carer may attend with a child for planned day surgery."
Any patient needing additional support will be allowed an additional nominated individual (not classed as a visitor) who may help meet the patients'/individual’s needs and could include:
The following restrictions apply to all visitors
You MUST not visit or attend an appointment with a patient if you or they:
The spokesperson added: "The Trust may have to reinforce restrictions at short notice depending on possible local or national restrictions put in place by Public Health England.
"We appreciate this is a very troubling time for everyone, and so we ask for your help in respecting these rules which are an essential safety measure."
For the full guidance visit: elht.nhs.uk