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London hospitals where Covid cases are rising – but patients can still have visitors


East London hospitals with rising numbers of Covid patients are still allowing people to visit people on their wards.

But visiting rules remain strict across the area, with some hospitals now allowing just one visitor per patient.

Covid cases have risen steadily across the UK in the past month, though in London they have seen only a slight increase, with the seven-day average of cases rising from 23,880 on August 8 to 26,771 on September 6.

There has also been a gradual rise in Covid cases in the Central and East London hospitals run by Barts NHS Health Trust: St Bartholomew’s Hospital, Newham Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital, Mile End Hospital, and The Royal London Hospital.

As of September 6, 148 patients in these hospitals had confirmed coronavirus cases – a rise of 20 from 128 on August 5.

Barts Health reported on its website that seven of the positive patients had been diagnosed within 24 hours of the statistics being published.

It added that 42 coronavirus patients in the hospitals were being treated in intensive care or with enhanced oxygen.

Rules on who can visit patients in Barts Health hospitals remain strict and coronavirus restrictions including mask-wearing and social distancing remain firmly in place.

But rules vary between the hospitals

In both Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals, one visitor can see patients in clinical areas if they are dying, pregnant, a child, or lack capacity.

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Patients in the wards of the two hospitals can have one visitor for an hour between 2pm and 8pm.

The same is true at the Royal London Hospital, where visiting hours on general wards are between 1pm and 8pm, also for one hour only.

St Bartholomew’s hospital have the same restrictions for one visitor in clinical areas, and its website states that other restrictions may also be in place in some wards

At Mile End Hospital, visitors are not allowed in the general wards under East London Foundation Trust Guidance, but outpatients are permitted one visitor for the duration of their visit.

Barts Health also provides support for contacting loved ones in hospital if restrictions prevent an in-person visit.

A spokesperson for the trust said: “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our patients, communities, and staff continues to be our top priority and we can currently allow only a small number of visitors to our hospitals.

“We understand how difficult it has been for families to visit their loved ones throughout the pandemic and hope to welcome more visitors when it is safe to do so.”

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