An NHS hospital trust has come under fire for giving ICU visitors a form telling them that if they are “black, Asian or minority ethnic” they should not visit because they are deemed to be at higher risk of COVID-19.
The “patient visitation disclaimer” from Wye Valley NHS Trust (depicted below) also tells the over-65s, pregnant women, diabetics and obese people, among a list of 11 categories, that they are “discouraged from visiting” for safety reasons. It informs the visitor he or she has “chosen to visit a loved one in hospital during a global pandemic”, as though that is something blameable for which he or she should feel ashamed.
Visitors are expected to sign this acknowledgement that they are not welcome along with a pledge to follow all directions of hospital staff as regards masks and personal protective equipment “in order ensure [sic] maximum safety to [sic] everyone”.
Visitors further pledge that if they live with black, Asian or minority ethnic individuals, over-65s, pregnant women etc., then following their visit they will “take measure [sic] to minimise the risks” by moving out to “live elsewhere” or otherwise avoid such people, for an unspecified period of time.
While the disclaimer appears to be specifically for visitors to COVID-19 patients, the person who had been given it ahead of visiting a friend and sent it to the Daily Sceptic was visiting someone who did not have COVID-19 and had not tested positive for it, so the trust was evidently giving it to at least some visitors for non-Covid patients.
Will the NHS ever move on from the pandemic or is this to be a permanent state of affairs? Are black people, pregnant women, the over-65s etc., to be “discouraged” from visiting forever, or just for the foreseeable future?