VISITING at Shropshire’s two hospitals has been suspended to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) has suspended all visiting to wards at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford, and the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

SaTH had previously applied visiting restrictions, but the latest update means tighter restrictions as the hospitals work hard to protect staff, patients and visitors from becoming ill.

Dr Arne Rose, medical director for SaTH, feels the decision is necessary to protect the safety of everyone at the hospital.

“We have not taken this decision lightly,” he said. “And we appreciate it may be frustrating or worrying for the families and friends of patients, but we can assure you that it is the safest precaution to take at this time.

“In line with our usual practice, ward staff will contact next of kin if a patient in our care becomes seriously ill or if there are changes to their treatment.”

Exceptions to the suspension of visiting will be applied to children’s services, maternity and the neonatal department, as well as for end of life care patients.

One parent/carer will be allowed to be with the child on the children’s ward, and two named visitors are permitted – these visitors can alternate.

One birthing partner will be allowed into the delivery suite on the maternity ward – staff will contact birthing partners when women are transferred to the delivery suite.

Only parents will be permitted to visit the neonatal unit.

End of life care patients will be permitted to receive visitors, but this will be restricted to next of kin and an additional two visitors.

Dr Rose added: “We the support of our patient and staff with this difficult decision which will help us to better protect staff, visitors and patients from this infection.”