THE Welsh Liberal Democrats have today called for a review of the lockdown rules regarding hospital patients to ensure that those who need it can have a family member with them during their hospital admission.

Concerns have been expressed that people admitted to hospital who are elderly or have a language barrier are struggling to communicate with healthcare staff, delaying their diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

Usually when someone whose main language of communication isn’t English, or who finds it difficult to communicate due to Alzheimer’s or another illness, a family member would be there to help them communicate with doctors and nurses. But under current rules people admitted to hospital cannot have anyone accompany them.

The part claims that providing more flexibility in the rules will reduce the need for external translators, who are current trying to fill the void, and ensure quicker treatment to be delivered, saving lives in the process.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said:

“Being admitted to hospital can be a scary experience for many people, especially when they find it difficult to communicate with the doctors and nurses doing their best to diagnose and treat them.

“We know that people across Wales already struggle to access healthcare services in their native tongue. There are also people, particularly elderly patients, who struggle to communicate their problems or medical history due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

“That is why the Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for a review of the current isolation rules around hospital patients to allow vulnerable people to have a family member accompany them during their admission.

“This will ensure everyone can receive treatment in a timely and efficient manner, while also reducing the need to hire external translation services and thus freeing up additional resources to be spent on treating more patients.

“I hope the Welsh Government will look at this issue quickly and seriously as the longer we wait, the more people’s lives could be put at risk unnecessarily.”

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