ALL but essential visits have been suspended at a Borders hospital following an outbreak of coronavirus.

The restrictions at Hawick Community Hospital are in place to reduce “unnecessary footfall”, according to the region’s health board.

The situation will be kept under regular review with visiting rules being eased “as soon as it is safe to do so”.

Examples of “essential visiting” include:

  • a person receiving end-of-life care – we expect this to be defined as flexibly and compassionately as possible, to support patients at the end of life spending meaningful time with their loved ones in their final days, weeks or months
  • to support someone with a mental health issue, or dementia, or a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • in general situations when someone is receiving information about life-changing illness or treatments
  • in these and other similar situations where support from another person is essential for advocacy and wellbeing, family support should be facilitated