New restrictions have been introduced for visitors at County Durham and Darlington hospitals.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust updated their rules for visitors this week “due to the significant increase in Covid-19 cases.”

The trust described the move as “extremely difficult”, as they suspended visiting to adult inpatient wards.

The statement continued: “Restricting visiting is not an easy decision, but we need to act to help protect our patients and our workforce.

“We very much recognise the many benefits visitors can bring to a patient's care and wellbeing; but we must also maintain our duty of care to protect our own people and all patients by minimising the risk of the spread of infection. We know this is very difficult for loved ones.”

Visiting rules for County Durham and Darlington hospitals

There are exceptions to the ban on visiting hospitals.

You can visit people in hospitals if you are visiting:

  • Patients receiving end of life care
  • Women in labour will be able to have one birthing partner
  • Patients with dementia, a learning disability or autism and those who require a carer

While one parent or carer will be able to accompany children in our emergency departments, children's wards and neonatal units.

Visitors will also be allowed to visit if it will support discharge or the mental wellbeing of a patient this may also be arranged at the discretion of the ward manager/nurse in charge.

People visiting loved ones are encouraged to be double-vaccinated and booster where possible.

They will also be required to produce evidence of a negative lateral flow test before entering the hospital.

A spokesman for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: “We will continue to monitor and consider this position to look at the possible, safe reintroduction of visiting and how this would be managed.

“Current restrictions will remain in place while community prevalence, hospital admissions and outbreaks remain high.

“Please be kind to our colleagues when they are making arrangements with you, they are following our guidelines to help protect all patients.”