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Advice to patients and visitors

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Visiting is suspended with immediate effect and until further notice.

We know how important visitors are to our patients, however, at this time as we manage the demands of coronavirus (COVID-19) we have made the decision to introduce suspend visiting to patients we are currently caring for.

The only exceptional circumstances where an immediate family member or carer can visit are:

  • The patient you wish to visit is receiving end-of-life care
  • You are the birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour
  • You are a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.
  • You are supporting someone with a mental health issue, who has dementia, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed

Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.

Please ensure that you follow the national guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, staying at home wherever possible, to help limit the spread of coronavirus, protect the most vulnerable people in our communities and our NHS.

Your health, safety and wellbeing, that of our patients, communities and our people remain our absolute priority.

To keep in touch with your loved ones in hospital, we offer a message to a loved one service – read more about the service.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.

A reminder for all our visitors to continue to follow the usual guidance before visiting and whilst at our hospitals:

  • All visitors must wash their hands before and after visiting relatives
  • Visitors must be over the over the age of 16 – children are not allowed
  • Please do not enter the hospital in you feel unwell
  • If you have a high temperature or new cough please return home and self-isolate
  • Please only visit the areas of the hospital where your relative or friend is staying
  • Our restaurant is currently closed to visitors to give our staff a place to be with each other and take some time to rest
  • Drinks and snacks continue to be available from our onsite Costa and M&S. Please use this as a take-away facility

Please bring your own face coverings when coming to our hospital

People infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we have introduced new measures to keep our patients and our people safe.

From Monday, 15 June, you now need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital.

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospital safe. If you are coming to hospital, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety, the safety of other patients (or any visitors who have been permitted by exception) and our people.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please speak to a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. 

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.

You will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

Where do I go for more information?

If you have further questions regarding the changes we have made, please contact the department your appointment is with, as listed on your appointment letter.

Where to go for help

Please remember that the emergency department (ED) is for patients with serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries. If you do not have serious or life-threatening illnesses or injuries, there are a range of services available for you. This includes NHS 111, Urgent Treatment Centres, your GP or pharmacy. You can access more information here.

Norovirus (vomiting bug) 

Please do not visit our hospitals if you have been unwell with sickness and/or diarrhoea, or you have been in contact with someone with these symptoms, until at least 48 hours after experiencing the last symptom. 

Norovirus can spread very easily from person to person – please protect our patients and people by not visiting our hospitals until you are better.

Inpatient comment:

The staff and care have been excellent. They have made sure I have felt comfortable, secure and safe. They are wonderful and exemplary in their commitment.