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 coronavirus infection and areas where recent travel may have resulted in a high risk of exposure can be found here.
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
Use this service if:
• You think you might have coronavirus
• In the last 14 days you have returned from a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus;
• You've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with coronavirus via coughs and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and also returned home in isolation.
Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases is thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
If you are concerned you may have coronavirus (COVID-19), do not come to our hospitals or visit the emergency department (ED)/A&E.
Instead, please call NHS 111. You can visit the government website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.
Public Health England have produced several useful links regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), some of which can be found below:
Visiting our hospitals
Advice for patients with a planned procedure
A number of patients who have a planned procedure have been calling to check if the procedure will go ahead. Patients who have returned from a category 2 area should still come in for their planned procedure unless you have symptoms.
New guidance for visitors
- No visitors except in exceptional circumstances in agreement with the nurse in charge
- When visiting please pull the privacy curtains to halfway as a sensible precaution to aid social distancing
- Maternity: Only one birthing partner only with no other visitors
- Children's appointments: One parent / carer
- From 1 April the car parking charges will be lifted