UPDATE: Wednesday, 10:30am
Ms Stewart has been told by Bendigo Health staff that herself and some members of her family will be permitted to visit her mother while she continues to receive care.
Visitor restrictions at Bendigo Health have left one family devastated after they were unable to see their dying relative this week.
Marita Stewart had been regularly visiting her 81-year-old mother at Bendigo Health's palliative care service, but was allegedly refused entry yesterday.
"The doors were locked," Ms Stewart said.
"A nurse came out and we exchanged some clothes I had for mum and I received some clothes that I took away and the door was closed.
"They said to me that due to coronavirus they were in full lockdown and they would decide in due course when they felt that my mum was at the end-of-life so that we could visit."
Palliative Care Australia is the national peak body for palliative care and defines end-of-life as 'the last few weeks of life in which a patient with a life-limiting illness is rapidly approaching death'.
"Mum has between zero and three weeks to life," Ms Stewart said.
Her mother is receiving palliative care for ovarian cancer and bowel obstruction.
A Bendigo Health spokesperson said the health service has restricted all non-essential visitors to protect patients, families, staff and the community amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"Visitors are allowed on compassionate grounds to visit patients in our palliative care unit," the spokesperson said.
"For Bendigo Health palliative care patients in the last days of their lives, according to the Victorian End of Life Pathway, immediate family - spouse, parent, sibling, child or significant other - are able to visit."
Temperature testing will also occur for all staff and visitors on arrival.
"Two relatives at any one time are also allowed to stay overnight at a patient's bedside," the spokesperson said.
"Bendigo Health will take individual circumstances into consideration as we understand the coronavirus pandemic is concerning and distressing for all."
A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said there are no restrictions on visitors for end-of-life care.
"Family and loved ones will be able to provide support to a resident who is dying," the spokesperson said.
"Restrictions on the number and age of visitors will not apply when support is being provided to a resident who is at the end of life."
Ms Stewart's daughter Sandie Ward said her family is confused and distressed at being unable to see their nan.
"We just want to visit her," Ms Ward said.
"We are happy to follow rules if they have been put in place, but my nan's prognosis is not good and her condition could deteriorate within 24 hours."
Patients have been provided tablets to interact with family members who they cannot see face-to-face.
"Mum is nearly 82 years old and she is not used to technology," Ms Stewart said.
"She became a bit angry and agitated with the whole process."
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