VISITING hours at Bromsgrove's community hospital will not resume until next week at the earliest, health chiefs have confirmed.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust banned visits - for anything other than emergencies - at the Princess of Wales Community Hospital at the end of last week.

The Trust said the move was taken to protect patients and staff after cases of coronavirus in Bromsgrove tripled inside a week.

That increase led to Worcestershire County Council suspending visits to care homes - and the NHS Trust has followed suit.

In an update on Tuesday morning, the Trust said the visiting ban, which has since been extended to all community hospitals across Worcestershire, would continue for the remainder of the week.

"Any relatives with a visiting appointment booked for this week will be offered a virtual visit supported by ward staff," a Trust statement said.

"The situation will be reviewed again at the end of this week."

Visiting is also suspended at the mental health and recovery wards at New Haven, Keith Winter House, Church View and Tudor Lodge.

The Trust added that there will be some exceptions, for example visiting for patients who are receiving end of life care.

Visiting at Worcestershire’s community hospitals and mental health wards had only reopened on an appointment-only basis a few weeks ago.

The Trust added: "We have made the decision to temporarily suspend visiting to our wards and inpatient units in Bromsgrove.

"This decision has been made to protect our patients, their families and our staff in light of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the local area."

Initially, only Bromsgrove's hospital and wards were affected but the Trust has since announced that visiting at all of Worcestershire’s community hospitals and mental health wards is suspended.

That includes community hospitals in Malvern, Tenbury, Pershore, Evesham, as well as at Wyre Forest Ward.

Worcester City Inpatient Unit will also remain closed to visitors. The suspension also covers all Worcestershire’s mental health/recovery wards over this weekend.

Visiting at acute hospitals in Redditch, Worcester and Kidderminster have remained closed since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further information on visiting is available online at