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Most visiting suspended at The Balfour

Visiting has been restricted to all but a few exceptions at The Balfour.

Visiting has been suspended at The Balfour, with very few exceptions, as of last night, Wednesday.

NHS Orkney has said that this in response to the latest guidance from the Scottish Government, in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the health authority, this decision has been taken to protect both staff and patients, and to ensure that it is taking every step possible to protect and safeguard the county’s hospital and healthcare facilities at this time of significant risk.

NHS Orkney chief executive designate, Iain Stewart, who is due to take charge of the health authority in June, said: “Looking after our patients and colleagues is our main priority and we must put in place measures to support them.

“We understand this may be upsetting and hugely disappointing, however, I would like to thank our colleagues, patients and carers for their continued support during this time.”

What will this mean for the public?

Until further notice visiting at The Balfour is restricted to:

  • A partner during childbirth
  • A person receiving end-of-life care
  • Individuals with a mental health issue for example dementia
  • Individuals with a learning disability or autism where someone not being present would cause them to be distressed

Head of NHS Orkney’s digital transformation and information technology team, Debbie Crohn, has advised that measures are being taken to support people to feel connected during a hospital admission.

“We have put in place a range of digital solutions to enable people to speak to their loved ones whilst in hospital,” she explained. 

“Our staff are more than happy to support patients to use video conferencing and we would actively encourage people to use Skype, Facebook messenger and Facetime to keep in contact with their family and friends.”

NHS Orkney appreciates the understanding of its staff, patients and the wider public at this very challenging time.

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