Important information to keep you safe from Coronavirus when attending the hospital for your appointment
The guidance on this page is provided for both your safety and to maintain safety of patients and staff within our hospitals. We are following strict social distancing wherever possible and ask you to do the same.
Important Information: Use of surgical face masks when coming to our hospitals
You will now need to wear a surgical face mask at all times inside our hospitals.
What does this mean for me?
We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a surgical type IIR face mask (not a face covering) at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.
People visiting our hospitals can bring a type IIR surgical face mask with them, or alternatively pick one up from the face mask dispensers at the hospital’s main entrances. If, for some reason, there isn’t a supply of face masks as you enter – please wear a face covering and ask the department you are visiting for one. They department will provide you with a surgical mask so you can swap over.
These surgical face masks are designed to be worn in medical settings to limit the spread of infection. Unlike cloth face coverings, they are manufactured to a recognised standard and offer enhanced protection. This decision has therefore been made in the interests of patient, visitor and staff safety.
If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this.
All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to wearing face masks, if not exempt, while in the hospital setting.
Are you exempt?
You will be exempt from wearing a surgical face mask if you:
- are a child aged 11 or under
- have certain physical disabilities that make putting on or removing a face mask difficult
- have a learning disability or autism that makes wearing a face mask difficult
- would experience severe distress putting on, wearing or removing a face mask
- have any communication needs that require you to lip read
- have a health problem or condition that could be affected by wearing a face mask, for example, problems with your breathing
If you are unsure about whether or not you are exempt you can check the full list of exemptions on gov.uk.
If you are exempt and would feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear a face mask, you can download and print our exemption card here:
Please come with a visor or ask one of the voluntary workers on our hospital entrances or the department you are attending for a visor.
Visiting is currently restricted due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19. This is in light of continuing hospital admissions and the need to protect our patients and staff. See our Visiting Arrangements During Covid page for more information.
When visiting a patient in our care, please respect our Visitors’ Code. You can view this here:
Appointments via telephone or video call
Unless we have asked you to come into the hospital to see your clinician in person, all outpatient appointments are being replaced by telephone or video consultations.
Maintaining your safety is a top priority to us while planning and providing your care and treatment. This leaflet gives you information on the processes we have introduced to ensure that your safety is maintained.
It is critically important that we have the correct mobile telephone number for you.
Your doctor will aim to call you within 30 minutes either side of your scheduled appointment time.
If you miss the telephone call, or are not able to answer, your doctor will review your notes, write a letter to you and your GP and make follow up arrangements as necessary.
Video appointments and consultations
Some of our services are now offering video consultations.
Video consultations are an easy way for you to have your appointment with your care team, without the need for you to travel to the hospital. This can save you time, money, and the difficulty of getting to the hospital.
We have partnered with DrDoctor to deliver this service to you. You will receive a text message with your secure video appointment link prior to your appointment.
Find out more about video consultations here, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), an introductory video and a leaflet explaining the process.
Appointments requiring you to attend the hospital (face to face)
Please note: From Monday 15 June when you come into any of our hospitals you will be required to wear a face covering at all times. Please ensure that you bring a face covering or mask with you to hospital.
While there remains a possibility of you developing or contracting coronavirus when you attend the hospital, we have taken every precaution to minimise this risk. We have introduced appropriate social distancing measures and you will see that staff will be wearing the necessary protective clothing in clinical areas.
Please observe the signage and use the alcohol gel at the stations provided.
We will do all that we can to ensure that your consultation is done in the shortest possible time.
On arrival to the hospital please use the alcohol gel available, and use them regularly during your visit.
To support us to maintain social distancing for the safety of our patients and staff please come alone to your appointment. One person can accompany a patient under the age of 18, patients with dementia or those at the end of life.
We would encourage relatives or carers to wait outside of the building or in their car. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would appreciate your co-operation as we try to reduce the numbers of people walking around our hospitals.
Walk on the left hand side of the corridors, give way to others and comply with the maximum numbers displayed on the lifts.
Outpatient tests (e.g. x-rays)
Some tests will require you to have nose and throat swabs taken 48 hours prior to your attendance. If this is the case you will be provided with instructions for where to go and what you need to do.
No test is 100% sensitive, but if your test is negative it reduces the risk that you may be infected. If your result is positive, your clinician will determine the next steps in relation to your care.
Travelling to and from hospital
- Patients should make their own arrangements and are reminded that parking is limited at our hospitals.
- A limited number of Blue Badge parking spaces are available at both sites.
- Should you wish to use public transport:
- The Park and Ride sites at Queen's Drive and Wilkinson Street are serviced by the Medilink bus which links the QMC and City Hospital.
- The hospitals are also on regular bus routes.
- The tram stops at QMC. You can use the tram if you are coming from the city centre. Other areas along the tram routes include Beeston, Chilwell, Hucknall and Hyson Green.
You can find out more information about getting to our hospitals (including maps) at: https://www.nuh.nhs.uk/patientsgetting-here
What should I do if I develop symptoms?
If, at any point prior to your appointment, you or anyone within your household develops symptoms of coronavirus, such as:
- A new, continuous cough
- A fever/ high temperature (above 37.8˚C)
- Sudden loss of smell and taste
You must seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
If you do not have access to the internet, call NHS 111.
You should also contact the booking team via the number on your appointment letter to rearrange your appointment for when you are feeling well again.
Handwashing and respiratory hygiene
There are general principles you should follow to help prevent the spread of airway and chest infections caused by respiratory viruses, including:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser. Do this after you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, and before you eat or handle food
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
Further sources of information
NHS Choices: www.nhs.uk/conditions
Our website: www.nuh.nhs.uk