THE FAMILY of an 86-year-old who has been allowed only two hospital visits in four weeks has described the situation as 'unacceptable and cruel'.

Rebecca Render, florist at WP Horsley in Malton, said her father, Peter Stead, was confined to a single room at York Hospital with no television and little access to a telephone.

She said: "My dad was admitted over four weeks ago and in that time mum has only been allowed to visit twice .

"I think this is totally unacceptable and cruel , he is alone in a room more or less bedridden and has no TV, so only has the interaction of the nursing staff when they are in the room caring for him .

"The reason we can’t visit is that covid is on the ward which again I understand but I would be more understanding if every member of staff on that ward was living with the restrictions too , but no they are going out , meeting family and having fun and I don’t have a problem with that but why keep us away from my frail dad , just doesn’t seem fair. My mum just wants to see the man that she’s been married to for 59 years.

My dad has had an illness nearly all his life and has had amazing treatment from the NHS over the years , so I want to make it clear I am not complaining about the treatment but about the ridiculous restrictions . At this point I’m thinking will I ever see my dad again."

A spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:“Our utmost priority is the safety of everyone in our hospitals, whether it is patients or staff.

“The extreme situation of Covid means we have, from time to time, been required to restrict visiting to our hospitals or wards where visiting may pose a risk to highly vulnerable patients. This is not a decision we take lightly and we do understand how important it is for patients to remain connected with their family, friends and carers when they come into hospital. We continually review our visiting guidance so that when it is safe to relax visiting restrictions we do so.

“Exceptions are made for end-of-life situations, patients who are vulnerable such as a learning disability, dementia or cognitive impairment or other extreme circumstances where the Nurse in Charge deems this as suitable. However, when patients are on a ward which is closed due to Covid we ask families and carers to keep in touch virtually until visiting can be safely resumed.

“There are currently 109 patients with Covid-19 in York Hospital alone and our staff are working tirelessly, as they have done for the past two years, in exceptionally challenging conditions to provide safe care within the national infection prevention guidance we have to follow.”