The impact of Coronavirus on our services
The impact Coronavirus is having on day to day lives changes on a day to day basis but we want you to be assured that we are still here, working to help those who need us wherever we can.
The one thing we can all do is stay at home unless it's really necessary. This will help stop the spread of this virus.
We are following all updated guidance and are adapting our services, using innovative ways of working and technology wherever we can but some of our services are being impacted. Please bear with us if things are different from our usual ways of working.
As the situation regarding Coronavirus is changing so quickly, we urge anyone visiting our services to phone ahead so they can check the latest information.
Patients, service users and visitors will be asked to wear a mask when accessing our services, although some people will not be able to wear a mask and may be excluded. The circumstances in which a person has a reasonable excuse include those where they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering or because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010 (7)), or without severe distress.
Changes to patient visitors
The health, safety and wellbeing, of our patients, communities and teams across the organisation remain our absolute priority. As a result, in line with national guidance, visiting has been suspended until further notice.
There are some exceptional circumstances where one visitor, an immediate family member or carer, will be permitted to visit.
Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss this and make any appropriate arrangements.
Please find other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones in hospital, like phone and video calls.
All visits to patients must be pre-agreed with the nurse in charge and would be limited to one hour and to people from the patient's household or social bubble.
Visitors entering wards will be asked to wear Personal Protective Equipment, hands must be washed before and after the visit and two metre social distancing observed throughout.
Please note, this is a guide and arrangements within units may vary, and these arrangements could be subject to change.
If you visit any of our locations
It's important to follow the latest guidance to stay safe and help keep others safe too.
Key Coronavirus symptoms:
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- 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 3 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
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
If you have Coronavirus symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
- You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
What is a support bubble?
A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from 1 other household.
Find out more about making a support bubble with another household on GOV.UK.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
you're worried about your symptoms
you're not sure what to do
Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective and gives you the best protection against the virus.
The vaccine is currently being offered to people most at risk from coronavirus but will be offered more widely as soon as possible.
Please click here for more information (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae)
You can also find more information in this Covid Vaccine easy read leaflet https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/951000/PHE_11843_Covid-19_Easy-read_leaflet.pdf
How safe is the vaccine?
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.
To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:
Covid-19 vaccine ingredients
The approved Covi-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg.
Easy read resources – official publications from Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England and NHS Improvement
- Local Restriction Tiers
- Advice for people who are most likely to be very poorly if they get coronavirus.
- Staying alert and safe
- PHE has also produced Advice on education and childcare andEasy read advice about Coronavirus
- NHS England and NHS Improvement sent an ‘at risk’ letter to the group of people whose physical health conditions mean they are at the greatest risk from coronavirus. An easy read version of the letter can be found here
- NHS 111 guidance and video help for people with a learning disability or autism
- NHS England guidance on the restoration of community services
- Ask Listen Do – Information and resources to make giving feedback, raising concerns and making complaints about education, health and social care easier for children, young people and adults with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and carers.
There is a lot of information about Coronavirus that is available from official sources. But here are some links that you may find useful:
For information about coronavirus, how to help control the virus, advice on staying safe and all the latest guidance click here: General information about Coronavirus
For more information about getting NHS help when you need it during the coronavirus outbreak
GOV.UK - for the latest updates on shielding guidance from Public Health England, as well as information on the Government support offer for those on the Shielded Patients List (SPL).
NHS.UK - provides patient-facing information on health services and medical conditions.
NHS Digital - for detailed information about the Shielded Patient List and the method that has been used for identifying people who may be clinically extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus.
NHS Volunteer Responders - the NHS is also providing further support to those at highest clinical risk via the GoodSam App and NHS Volunteer Responders. People who are shielding can request support from the NHS Volunteer Responders by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. This service will not replace any local voluntary referral schemes already established but will complement these.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.