Covid-19: Walsall Manor Hospital suspends visits

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Man holding father's hand in hospitalImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Visitors had only been allowed back at Walsall Manor Hospital in May when Covid cases were falling

Visiting has been suspended at Walsall Manor Hospital due to rising cases of Covid-19 in the neighbouring area.

The trust running the site said patients would only be allowed visitors in "exceptional circumstances" and only through advance booking.

The plan includes those receiving end-of-life care, and those with autism or mental health issues such as dementia.

The restriction, which began on Thursday, has not affected maternity, paediatric and neonatal services.

Cases of Covid-19 have risen in Walsall from 321 per 100,000 people for the week up to 11 July to 487 per 100,000 for the week after.

Image caption,
Hospital bosses said visiting would only be allowed at Walsall Manor in "exceptional circumstances"

The hospital had started welcoming back visitors in May and the trust's interim deputy chief executive, Ann-Marie Cannaby, said she knew the suspension would be "disappointing and upsetting".

"We have to do everything we can to minimise the risk of infection and keep everyone as safe as possible," she added.

Video and phone calls from families will still be allowed and patients will be able to receive parcels of items from home, the trust says.

The move by Walsall Manor follows similar by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust on 2 July with regard to New Cross, Cannock Chase and West Park hospitals.

Some hospital NHS trusts in the West Midlands, including Wye Valley, University Hospitals of North Midlands and Dudley Group still allow visiting.

But others such as University Hospitals Birmingham, Sandwell and West Birmingham and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire do not.

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