Important information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Date: 23 March 2020

Covid

The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The latest information on symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronovirus) infection and areas where recent travel may have resulted in a high risk of exposure can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Please stay at home if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • shortness of breath

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Please refer to the latest national guidance at nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Update to Trust visiting arrangements

In line with guidance from NHS England we have updated our visiting policy with immediate effect from Thursday 26 March 2020.

Visiting is suspended until further notice.

The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are listed below.

  • The patient is receiving end-of-life care.
  • A woman in labour (who may have one birthing partner).
  • A parent or appropriate adult visiting a child.

Exceptions may be made on compassionate grounds. Please discuss these with the nurse or midwife in charge.

Outpatient Appointments

Most outpatient appointments have moved to telephone appointments to reduce the number of patients attending the hospital. Patients with a scheduled Outpatient appointment should not attend the hospital, but should expect a call from their consultant or responsible clinician instead.

Wherever possible, telephone appointments will be at the same time and date as the original appointment. Please be aware that calls from the hospital will be shown as an “unknown number” on your phone so we ask you to please accept the call. 

If the consultant or responsible clinician considers that there is an urgent need for a face-to-face consultation following a telephone appointment, then an appointment on the hospital site will be arranged. Patients should only attend the hospital if they have a confirmed appointment following a telephone appointment.

Please do not attend the hospital for your outpatient appointment from Monday 23 March.

Elective and non-urgent surgery

Following the recent instruction from NHS England to suspend non-urgent and elective operations, we will be rescheduling some surgeries and procedures. We are currently in the process of contacting patients to let them know that from Monday 23 March their planned surgery will not be going ahead on the scheduled date, and to advise them of next steps.

Urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be continuing as normal.

We realise that postponing a scheduled surgery is extremely distressing and we are contacting everyone affected as soon as possible. Cancelling non-urgent operations and outpatient appointments will free up staff to undertake training, beds, theatres and recovery facilities ahead of the predicted COVID-19 peak, and we thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Reminder

If you have a new persistent cough or high temperature then please do not visit our hospital.

 

  • Summary:

    The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.