Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust has eased restrictions to allow visitors back into its hospitals. For each patient, one visitor will be allowed to visit for one hour, once a day from Monday to Friday.

A named, designated visitor, usually next of kin, will be identified when the patient is admitted. Ward staff will contact the named visitor in advance to let them know their one-hour visiting slot.

Exceptions to these rules are in place for those supporting a person with a learning disability, autism, or dementia. For those visiting patients receiving end-of-life care and those visiting children’s wards and the National Spinal Injuries Centre.

Other exceptional circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

The wards will remain closed to visitors where more vulnerable patients at higher risk from infection are being cared for. For example, on cancer care wards. Wards may also need to be closed to visitors at any time if there is an increased risk of infection, in accordance with Trust infection prevention and control measures. Designated visitors will be advised of the most up to date information.

The Trust will continue to offer virtual visits via video calls and its letter to a loved one service when visits are not possible.

Karen Bonner, Chief Nurse at the Trust, said:

We’re pleased to welcome visitors back to our hospitals. We understand how hard it has been and recognise the important role family and friends play in supporting patients during their stay in hospital.

There will still be strict measures in place to keep our patients and visitors safe, and this may mean that the visitor experience is a little different to normal.  The Trust will keep this under review and would like to thank everyone in advance for their continued patience and understanding.

If you are attending an outpatient appointment, please attend unaccompanied. Similarly, patients attending A&E are also expected to attend alone unless there are exceptional circumstances.

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