Visitor restrictions in QE hospital

Posted on Fri, 26/03/2021

To help protect staff, patients and the local community from the spread of Covid-19, we are introducing visiting restrictions in the hospital from Tuesday 4 January.

Visiting at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Gateshead is being temporarily stopped from Tuesday 4 January 2022 due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the local community.

Nicola Bruce, Director of Operations, said: “The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is now spreading rapidly in the local community and whilst we have been trying to maintain some visiting because we realise how important this is to patients and relatives, unfortunately, the increase in cases does now pose a greater risk of our patients acquiring the virus.

“A proportion of people with Omicron appear to have no symptoms and regrettably, as a result, we have seen some transmission in our hospitals which has been linked to visiting. We have to put the protection of our patients, some of whom are vulnerable or immuno-compromised, as our first priority and so we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily stop all visiting unless there are exceptional circumstances.

“We will continue to monitor the situation with a view to reinstating visiting as soon as we can do so safely.”

Visiting is now limited to:

  • Patients who are receiving end-of-life care
  • Parents or legal guardians of children
  • Mental health patients

 There are still lots of ways to keep in touch with people staying in hospital, including electronic ‘virtual visiting’, bedside telephone calls, or by sending messages to loved ones (ghnt.messagetoalovedone@nhs.net / 0191 445 6047 or 0191 445 6129 between 10am and 12pm, Monday to Friday).

Find out about all the schemes we have in place to contact our patients

If you have any questions about visiting, please contact the ward or department directly. Please be kind to our colleagues when they are making arrangements with you, they are following our guidelines to help protect all patients.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is also on hand to help you with any questions or comments. You can call them on freephone 0800 953 0667 or email ghnt.pals.service@nhs.net

We will continue to monitor and consider this position to look at the possible, safe reintroduction of visiting and how this would be managed. Current restrictions will remain in place while community prevalence, hospital admissions and outbreaks remain high. 

Call us on 0191 482 0000

In emergencies dial 999 / Non-emergencies dial 111

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