Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester, has today (30 March 2022) confirmed a change to its visiting guidance.

Effective immediately, visiting will be limited to exceptional or compassionate circumstances and must be booked in advance with the ward.

Katie Prichard-Thomas, deputy chief nurse at Hampshire Hospitals said:

“We have taken this decision to help us keep patients safe as the number of COVID positive cases in our hospitals (159 at the time of writing) continue to rise.

“This is absolutely not ‘no visiting’. We know first-hand just how important seeing a friend or loved one can be to our patients. Instead this is a way of us balancing out both the need to reduce footfall in our hospitals while keeping critical visits going.

“If you would like to visit a patient, please contact the ward and ask to book a visit. Even if a face to face visit is not possible they will be able to suggest alternatives, such as our virtual visiting and patient messaging services. If you need any further advice or support please ask to speak to the nurse in charge of the ward or the clinical matron.”

All visitors are encouraged to undertake a lateral flow test on the day of their visit and will need to follow strict infection control rules at all times when on-site, including hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a surgical face mask.

To view the latest guidance, please click here.