Published: 11:43, 18 March 2020
| Updated: 12:21, 18 March 2020
Darent Valley Hospital has banned all "non-essential" visiting to its wards and departments following concerns surrounding coronavirus.
The site, in Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, says it is taking these steps to protect patients and staff following the spread of COVID-19.
The paediatric ward will only allow one parent and carer to be with the child, while the maternity department is allowing one birthing partner to attend.
Parents are the only permitted visitors allowed to enter the hospital's neonatal unit.
For general wards "discretion will be applied" on compassionate ground by the nurse in charge.
In a statement the hospital said: "We are taking all the necessary steps to protect our patients and staff in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
"We are therefore suspending all non-essential visiting at Darent Valley Hospital to our wards and departments until further notice.
"It is essential to minimise the spread of the virus but there will be occasions when the guidance will need to be balanced with our commitment to providing compassionate care.
"We can appreciate this may be frustrating, but we can assure you that it is the safest precaution to take at this time.
"As per usual practice, the ward staff will alert the named contact if their friend or relative deteriorates or becomes seriously ill."
People classed as essential visitors or care givers will be given a special COVID-19 restricted access pass.
For more information, visit www.dgt.nhs.uk.
More by this authorSean McPolin