RELATIVES of hospital patients will be able to visit their loved ones as part of a new scheme being piloted by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Visiting has been suspended at hospitals, including Hexham General and Haltwhistle War Memorial Hospital, since March, due to Covid-19 regulations.

But the trust is trialling a new scheme for relatives to visit patients by appointment only.

They will be able to see loved ones on wards at Haltwhistle hospital, and others outside the district, at Alnwick Infirmary, Berwick Infirmary, and Blyth Community Hospital.

At Hexham hospital, and also at Wansbeck, and North Tyneside General Hospital, people will be able to visit patients on medicine, care of the elderly, and mental health wards.

The relatives of patients in these pilot areas will be contacted to make arrangements to visit if they wish. Visiting is not permitted on surgical wards at general hospitals, or at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, at Cramlington. However, a review is ongoing.

During the pandemic, visiting has open in special circumstances. Visit