Coming into hospital
When you arrive at your appointment you will be asked a number of screening questions. This helps us to keep everyone safe. The questions will check if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you have travelled to any high-risk areas recently.
Every time you come into hospital, remember:
Maintain social distancing - Keep a 2 metre distance from other people where this is possible. Signs giving instructions are set out on the floor and walls of our hospitals – please look out for these.
Practice good hand hygiene – Avoid touching surfaces where you can and regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds when there is an opportunity to do so.
Wear a face mask – You must wear a face mask or face covering at all times when on the hospital site. This includes both inside and outside the hospital buildings. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth. A face shield is not adequate protection so you should only wear one if you are exempt from wearing a face covering. If you don’t have one with you, please pick up a surgical mask from a reception area as soon as you arrive.
Come by yourself - Unless you need special assistance, please don’t bring anyone else with you to your appointment. This is to limit the number of people coming into our hospitals, and so limit the risk of transmission. If you have a carer they can attend the hospital with you – they do not need to be from the same address.
Arrive on time - We have spaced out appointment times to allow greater time for patients to be seen and to limit the number of patients waiting in a clinical area. It’s vital you do as much as you can to arrive precisely on time for your appointment and, if appropriate, arrange to be picked up on time too. If you arrive too early or too late you may be asked to leave.
Download the NHS COVID-19 app - This free app helps to trace people who may have been in contact with someone following a positive test result. We have set up QR codes in public, non-clinical areas of our hospitals - such as cafes, shops and reception areas. Please scan these codes if you remain within these areas for longer than 15 minutes. We do not have QR codes in our clinical waiting areas, outpatient clinics or on wards. This is because we will use our patient information system to trace patients in these areas if required.
Having an operation or procedure
For planned health care such as operations and certain diagnostic procedures, you will receive specific advice relating to COVID-19. If you need to have a swab test, our team will be in touch to help you arrange this.
You will also be told if you need to self-isolate before coming into hospital. This advice may be different depending on the surgery or procedure you are having. Most patients will need to self-isolate for 3 days and show two negative Covid-19 test results before being admitted to hospital.
If you need some help while you are self-isolating, NHS Volunteers Responders can help you with daily tasks such as collecting your shopping or prescriptions or call you for a friendly chat. Please call 0808 196 3646 any time between 8am-8pm.
Discharge from hospital
After your treatment, the team looking after you may decide that you are suitable for early discharge from hospital, with appropriate support. This is to help reduce your length of stay in hospital and the risk of catching any coronavirus associated infection.
This may mean, depending on the treatment you have had, that a lot of your recovery will be at home supported by the community team and/or in our outpatient clinics. Please be assured we will carefully consider your case to make sure that the quality of your care is not compromised.
You will receive regular phone calls at home from our specialist nursing team, after your surgery. We understand your situation may be stressful and we will support and reassure you as much as possible whilst at home.
You may be moved to a ‘step-down’ unit to complete your recovery. This may be at another hospital. Following discharge, we will check on you by telephone. Some follow up care may need to happen at your local hospital or with your GP.