Peterborough MP calls for end of visiting restrictions at City Hospital

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Peterborough MP Paul Bristow has called for the end of visiting restrictions at Peterborough City Hospital.

Restrictions are currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID in the hospital.

Peterborough has had one of the highest COVID rates in the country through the winter, and while it is now falling quickly, case rates are above the national average.

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The latest Government figures show there were 117 patients in North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT) hospitals - which includes Peterborough City Hospital - with COVID on February 8 - again this number has been falling from an Omicron wave high 131 on February 1.

Peterborough City Hospital.Peterborough City Hospital.
Peterborough City Hospital.

In a letter to Caroline Walker, chief executive of the NWAFT, Mr Bristow said: “One of the most heartbreaking aspects of this pandemic has been the restrictions on visitors to to care homes and hospitals.

“Despite how difficult it has been, I fully understand why the trust has had to put in restrictions on visiting.

“The benefits of family and friends visiting loved ones in hospital cannot be underestimated. The provide joy, hope, an improvement in wellbeing, and for vulnerable patients and those with dementia and language barriers, assistance with communicating.

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“Throughout the pandemic, the Government’s aim has been to ensure patient safety is maintained, and to this end has always sought appropriate clinical guidance on how visits can be conducted safely.

“Thanks to progress made, and particularly the successful booster programme, it has been particularly pleasing to see that in care homes restrictions have been eased, allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who understandably remain distressed about the continuing restrictions at Peterborough City Hospital. This is not a good situation for patients, families or the hospital staff themselves.

“With this in mind, and the fact the Government plans to remove all remaining COVID restrictions on February 24 - providing the data says it is safe to do so - would this not be an appropriate time to restore normal practicearound visiting the hospital? I am positive that this would have a demonstrable benefit for both patients and the hospital.”