Visitor restrictions, in place in hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside since December, are being lifted tomorrow.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust brought in the restrictions in mid-December in response to rising rates of norovirus in the area.
It today announced that the partial visitor restrictions are to be lifted tomorrow, with original visiting times re-instated.
Elaine Henderson, director of nursing, said: “It’s been another long hard winter but people should be in no doubt that these restrictions – put in place early after lessons learned from 2017/18 – have made a huge difference.
“We know it’s hard to have restrictions on visiting loved ones when they are in hospital and we only implemented them to keep our patients and staff safe. In spite of this, we have had nothing but the greatest support from the public and are hugely grateful for it.”
The only exception to the lifting of restrictions is that the prohibition on children under 12 visiting the trust’s sites will remain in force for the time being.
Elaine continued: “For now we have taken the decision to maintain restrictions on children under 12 being visitors at our hospitals. This is due to this age group being both very vulnerable to, and the most likely to carry, infection(s).
“We understand that this can cause difficulties but we must remain mindful that flu is still circulating in the wider community.
“We will keep this under constant review with a view to lifting it as soon as possible.”