Coronavirus – latest information and advice
COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.
For all the latest information including the risk of COVID-19 in the UK, symptoms of Coronavirus, how it is spread and advice around public places and self-isolation, visit the NHS website (opens in new window).
Message from our CEO Daniel Elkeles
The number of seriously ill patients with COVID-19 in our hospitals continues to follow the national downward trend, however we know that COVID-19 will be with us for some time. This means that we need to continue to adjust both the way we work and our environment.
We want to make sure that our patients and our staff are as safe as possible and that we can care for both emergency patients and those requiring our outpatient and elective services. Within the constraints of our buildings we want to ensure that people coming for a planned care procedure access dedicated areas of our hospitals. This means that over the next few weeks you will see some changes to where you enter our buildings and how you move around them.
For outpatients we will be continuing to provide telephone and video consultations, where it is possible and appropriate, and only physically see those patients who need to see us face to face. We are having to adjusting waiting rooms and clinic rooms, to enable social distancing.
If you, or someone you know, needs medical attention but have been reluctant to do so, please be assured that GP, community and hospital services are all still available and we can all safely treat the people who need our services.
You may not be seen in the same way as you have in the past, but we are still here and can see you safely.
I would like to end by saying a huge thank you to everyone who has supported our staff – either through kind words, pictures and thoughts or donations – it has meant so much.
Coronavirus - latest information and advice 2
Most outpatient appointments will take place over the telephone or via a video call. Please do not come in unless we tell you to.
We are reintroducing essential face-to-face outpatient appointments. If you have received an appointment please follow the following:
- You must wear a surgical face mask when coming to your outpatient appointment.
- Surgical face masks are compulsory for all patients and visitors in all areas of our hospitals, clinics and health centres. Please make sure you are wearing a surgical face mask before you enter any of our buildings.
- If you have had any of these symptoms in the past seven days do not visit or attend hospital:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If you have come into contact with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days or have been advised by the Track and Trace team to isolate in the last 14 days you should not attend hospital. Please use the phone number on your outpatient appointment letter to contact us if you are not going to be able to attend your appointment.
If you bring anyone with you for the appointment they will not be able to enter the building unless they are absolutely required to support you. Anyone who accompanies you must also wear a surgical face mask and not have had any COVID-19 symptoms in the last seven days (high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to smell and taste) or been advised by the Track and Trace team to isolate within the last 14 days.
As you enter our buildings you will go through one of our friendly checkpoints to ensure it is safe for you to go in and so that you receive help if you need it. We have introduced one-way systems throughout our hospitals to control human contact, please refrain from stopping to talk with people you may recognise as this will clutter the corridors of our hospitals and jeopardise the one-way system in place.
As we increase the number of services and number of face to face appointments, we will be changing the entrances and exits to our buildings. We will ensure our website is updated with all of these changes which will come into place over the coming weeks.
Visitors to our hospitals
Unfortunately we are not permitting visitors to our hospitals at this time.
If you are visiting paediatrics and neonatal services, one visitor wearing a surgical face mask is allowed.
Do not visit if for any reason you are feeling unwell, especially if:
- you have a high temperature
- a new, persistent cough
- or have a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should self-isolate at home and organise a test; members of your household should also self-isolate.
When visiting or attending for an appointment you need to wear a surgical face mask at all times when you are on hospital grounds.
For the latest guidance and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.