Prohibition of hospital visits is necessary ‘last resort’ in the coming weeks, says NHS chief | Coronavirus

A “very hard” few weeks will put the health service under such enormous pressure that hospital managers may be forced to reintroduce a ban on visitors if they have not already done so, a health manager has said.

Matthew Taylor, CEO of the NHS Confederation, which represents NHS trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, told BBC Breakfast on Saturday: “Hospital leaders have to make very difficult choices and excluding visitors is one of the very difficult choices.

“It’s not something anyone wants to do. It’s a last resort. But when you face the kind of pressure the health care system is going to be under in the next few weeks, it’s the kind of thing leaders need to do.

“I understand how much people want to return to normal, and I am convinced that as this year progresses, we will be able to do so, and we all hope that 2022 is the year in which coronavirus just becomes a disease that we live with, not a disease that dominates our lives.But you can have the optimism but still recognize that the next few weeks will be very tough and we have to do everything that is needed to get us through the next few weeks. “

Earlier this week, The Times reported that the government was also considering creating a rule that hospitals should not force women to give birth or participate in scans without their partners present, although stricter restrictions were deemed necessary to slow the spread of Omicron.

NHS efforts to deal with Omicron are hampered because a significant number of patients cannot be discharged from the hospital despite being able to return home, NHS leaders have said.