Hospital visits stopped at Raigmore Hospital due to surge in Covid in Highlands
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NHS Highland has restricted all visiting at Raigmore and New Craigs hospitals in Inverness to essential only to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19 to patients and staff.
Health chiefs said a number of wards in both hospitals have been closed over the last few weeks due to the unprecedented increase in coronavirus cases in the region.
There are currently three wards closed at Raigmore Hospital (4A, 4C and 6C) and ward 7A reopened earlier today following a prolonged period of closure.
Health bosses have also closed Morlich/Maree ward at New Craigs.
Dr Boyd Peters, NHS Highland’s Medical Director, said: “These ward closures have had a knock-on effect on our bed capacity and increasing levels of Covid-19 transmission in our communities has significantly impacted on our staffing levels.
“We have not reached this decision lightly and recognise that this could cause a great deal of concern and anxiety for patients and their loved ones during this time.
"These measures will be reviewed on a regular basis.
“However, we believe the move to essential visiting across both hospitals will help us reduce the spread of Covid-19 and maximise our ability to safely staff our wards and improve bed capacity over the bank holiday weekend and beyond.
“If your visit is essential, please contact the ward your relative or loved one is in, and the staff will support you with arrangements."
The public should not visit any hospital if they or anyone else in their household has tested positive for Covid-19 or has any symptoms.
Dr Peters said: “We are learning more about the Omicron variant every day and national guidance has been updated to introduce additional protections to help keep our hospitals safe.
"Whenever you visit a loved one in hospital, you should take a lateral flow test and only visit if you return a negative result.
"We are grateful to people for their ongoing co-operation and understanding."