VISITING of patients at hospitals in Solihull and Birmingham has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Patients staying at Solihull hospital, Heartlands and other facilities in the University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust will only receive visitors in exceptional circumstances.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “The following circumstances are exempt: parents or guardians visiting their children, parents or guardians accompanying children to any clinical consultations, birthing partners, visitors to patients in a critical condition who may be at the end of their life, and visitors on behalf of patients who do not have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.”
The trust added visitors should be extra aware of hand washing procedures before entering wards, and anyone showing any symptoms of illness should stay away.
Outpatient appointments will start to be carried out by phone. The trust added: “In view of the emerging situation regarding the number of positive tests for Coronavirus, the trust has made some important decisions which will reduce the number of people attending our hospitals and community services in person.
“The aim is to limit footfall across our sites to ensure only the most acutely unwell inpatients, people who require emergency interventions and those with essential appointments are on site, enabling those who do not need to attend to avoid unnecessary travel and exposure to a large healthcare setting.
“With this in mind, and to allow our staff to be deployed effectively to cope with the current and anticipated pressures, we have decided to scale down routine elective inpatient activity, and carry out all outpatient appointments via video consultation or a telephone call, unless the patient requests otherwise.”
Some patients at accident and emergency will have to go to ‘more appropriate’ healthcare providers in the community, the trust said.
Patients should continue to attend their appointments ‘unless they have received a telephone call or letter.’