Visits to Ayrshire hospitals for friends, relatives and loved ones has officially resumed.

It comes after mainland Scotland moved into Level 3 on Monday with all patients in hospitals across the region able to benefit from the re-introduction of designated visiting.

This means that each patient can receive a visit from one person in line with key guidance. Patients can benefit from multiple loved ones being a designated visitor - with one person able to visit for each visiting appointment.

The essential visiting criteria will still apply in special circumstances based on clinical judgement and the needs of patients and their families.

Guidance for designated visiting: 

  • Patients will be asked to identify loved ones to provide support as a visitor whilst they are in hospital. This can be multiple people but only one person can be present during each visiting appointment. The visitor’s details will be recorded to allow test and protect to take place if necessary.
  • Individual wards will allocate appointments to visitors to ensure social distancing in multi-occupancy rooms.
  • Visits must be arranged in advance to ensure social distancing on wards.

Timing, frequency and length of visits is decided in order to meet the needs of the patients and the environment, with individual settings determining how many visitors can be present at any given time to maintain safe distancing.

As visiting restarts, hospitals will work to protect patients, staff and visitors from coronavirus (COVID-19) and the following guidance should be followed:

  • No-one should attend the hospital if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating following contact with someone with COVID-19. Anyone attending with symptoms will be politely asked to leave.
  • Anyone attending hospital should wear a face covering and any other PPE as indicated by the clinical team. This is inclusive of children of all ages in order to ensure the safety of everyone in our hospitals.
  • Anyone attending the hospital must keep to strict hand hygiene using the facilities available.
  • Visitors should go direct to the wards where they are visiting. Maintaining social distancing in the communal areas of the hospital where possible.
  • Do not move around other areas of the hospital unless as part of the care of the patient, for example, birth partner attending scan, parent accompanying child or similar situation.
  • Visitors must not gather in communal areas of the hospital with other people.
  • No food products should be brought into the hospital.
  • The current process for drop off and collection of patient items remains in place.

Nurse Director Hazel Borland said: “Visitors are such a critical part of a patient’s recovery - we are delighted to welcome them back to our hospitals.

"We will continue to work hard to support people to see their loved ones in person again and, as people who are unwell in hospital are vulnerable and at a higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) we have to manage these visits carefully.

"This means it will still be a different experience compared to visiting before the global pandemic.

“For those who are making a designated visit to one of our hospitals, we ask them to wear a mask, observe social distancing and follow all hand hygiene guidance. We are reminding anyone with COVID-19 symptoms not to visit.”

Click here to read the full local guidance for visiting.