NORTHUMBRIA Healthcare is continuing to suspend non-essential visiting in hospitals across the county and North Tyneside in an effort to further protect its patients and staff.

The trust has said visiting is only permitted in the following circumstances and the appropriate PPE must be worn: For patients who are receiving end-of-life care or are terminally ill and in the late stages of their illness, for birthing partners in maternity units, for parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit and for long-stay patients and those with dementia or where best interest decisions or exceptional clinical/social matters are being discussed, at the discretion of the nurse in charge.

Women can still bring their birthing partners when attending 12 or 20-week scan appointments, including all emergency assessments, all labour care and post-natal care until discharge, ensuring they follow the strict guidelines in place in the post-natal area.

iPads will continue to be available on wards to facilitate ‘virtual’ visiting and friends and families will be able to stay connected to loved ones by ringing the trust’s patient line on 0191 293 4306 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm or by sharing pictures to