Covid: South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals suspend visits

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Visits are being suspended at Sunderland Royal Hospital (pictured) and South Tyneside District Hospital

Health bosses have suspended visits to adult inpatient wards at hospitals in South Shields and Sunderland amid a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Chiefs at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said they were "concerned" at the rate of increases.

There are currently 56 confirmed cases in the hospitals, a spokesman said.

There are certain exceptions including for women in labour, who can have one person with them, and patients receiving end of life care.

The ban also applies to the Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit at Houghton Primary Care Centre.

The trust said alongside the other two exceptions, children receiving treatment and patients with dementia, learning disabilities or autism will also be able to have one person accompanying them.

Anyone attending an outpatient appointment and people attending the emergency departments at South Tyneside District Hospital and Sunderland Royal Hospital have been asked to attend alone, wear a face mask and maintain social distancing.

Trust director Melanie Johnson said: "We know how important visiting is, so we understand how frustrating this news will be for our patients and their loved ones."

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