Extra Covid tests required from today for visitors to Northampton General Hospital children's wards

Rules tightened to combat spread of Omicron variant

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 12:00 pm

People visiting Northampton General Hospital children's wards face extra Covid testing from today.

One parent or guardian needs to take regular PCR tests while other visitors to Disney or Paddington wards will be required to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test from that day before entering.

The move comes a week after after NGH and Kettering General Hospital both told all visitors they would need proof of a negative lateral flow test before being allowed in.

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Northampton General Hospital

Sheran Oke, director of Nursing, Midwifery, Patient Services and Infection Prevention at NGH said: “With the spread of the new Omicron variant, we all have a responsibility to make sure that we don’t spread Covid-19, especially to those who are at a higher risk.

“To help to keep our patients as safe as possible from Covid-19 we will be introducing the lateral flow tests for anyone visiting a loved one in hospital with us.

"This will mean that we can make sure visitors’ loved ones are safe and also protect our other patients and our colleagues.

"By supporting us with these tests people are helping us to make sure our patients get to spend precious time with their loved ones in a safe way.

“At this time of year there are a lot of winter bugs so we would also remind anyone planning to visit not to come to the hospital if they have any symptoms of Covid-19, colds, coughs, sore throats, diarrhoea or vomiting”.

■ Click HERE for information on how to obtain lateral flow test kits

New rules for NGH children's wards from Wednesday (December 22) are:

■ One nominated parent or guardian is permitted per patient during their stay. This person will need to have regular PCR tests that will be provided by the ward.

■ Parents can swap over once and the other parent must have a negative PCR test before they can swap.

■ Each patient can have ONE second nominated visitor for two hours between 2pm and 8pm. This person must be an adult, booked in advance by phoning the ward.

■ Every second visitor will be asked to provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test from that day before they can enter the ward.

■ No children, including siblings, will be allowed to visit the wards

Nearly 6,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northamptonshire during the last seven days, according to government figures published on Tuesday — more than during the peak of the second wave back in January.

NHS England published on Tuesday (December 21) also confirmed six previously unreported deaths of Covid patients in Northamptonshire — five at Kettering General Hospital and one at Northampton General.

The data showed 44 people have sadly died while being treated for Covid in the county's hospitals since December 1.