ESSENTIAL visiting has been reintroduced across all NHS Lanarkshire inpatient sites as pressure on hospitals inpatient units continues. 

The decision affects the three acute hospitals, community hospitals and mental health/ learning disability inpatient units. 

Only visits to patients who will be distressed or suffer by not seeing a family member will be allowed, and staff will use their professional judgement to consider when visiting will be allowed. 

NHS Lanarkshire says the decision has been difficult but their priority is keeping patients and staff safe. 

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The decision will be monitored and reviewed daily. 

NHS Lanarkshire nurse director Susan Friel said: "We understand that patients in hospital are having a challenging time and want to have their family and friends around them for support.

"Unfortunately, it is our priority to protect our patients and staff as much as is possible and this is why we have made the difficult decision to limit visiting at this time.

"However, this is being reviewed daily and as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be expanding visiting by prioritising access for those closest to the patient.

"We recognise that essential visits, which only permit visits to patients where not seeing a family member would cause particular distress or suffering, is not ideal but necessary for the time being. 

"Anyone with questions about visiting arrangements should speak to the nurse in charge of the ward.


"We would also strongly encourage all essential visitors to carry out a Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting their loved one. 

"Information on how to obtain a Lateral Flow Test and how to take the test is available by visiting NHS Inform HERE

"We hope everyone will understand that this decision has been made in the best interests of patients, other visitors and our staff."

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The following measures are also in place to manage any visiting safely and minimise risk:

  • A lateral flow test must be taken and a negative result verbally confirmed to staff. 
  • No visit should take place if the visitor has symptoms of Covid-19 or is quarantining as a result of having contact with a person with Covid-19. 
  • Physical distancing must be observed in communal areas of the hospital. 
  • Face coverings must be worn and existing hand hygiene measures will continue. 
  • Movement around other areas must be limited as much as possible and communal gatherings in public areas of the hospital must be avoided.