Attending NUH during COVID-19
This page is for patients and carers who are asked to come to our hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic and explains the changes we have made to help to keep you safe. It also tells you about things you need to do.
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.
You can find more information about making the most of your telephone or video appointment in this advice sheet: Making the Most of Your Telephone or Video Appointment
We need to make sure that we have correct contact details for you as we will still need to send appointment letters and other information.
If you have moved house, changed your telephone number or changed you GP, please get in touch with us to let us know by contacting the Data Quality Team on: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 82020 / 82021 / 82022 or by email at Dataqualitynuh@nuh.nhs.uk.
Maintaining your safety is a top priority to us while planning and providing your care and treatment. This page gives you information on the processes we have introduced to ensure that your safety is maintained.
You will now need to wear a surgical face mask at all times inside our hospitals. We have produced a patient information leaflet on Wearing a Surgical Mask While in our Hospitals and this can be downloaded below
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.
For some people, wearing a surgical face mask may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.
If you are deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.
All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to wearing face masks while in the hospital setting.
Face mask exemption cards
As surgical face masks are now mandatory in our hospitals, we understand that some people are exempt from wearing one.
This is why – in line with Government guidance - we have created face mask exemption cards. These cards are designed for you to discreetly let us know that you have a valid reason as to why you cannot wear a face mask.
When you arrive at our hospitals, you can request an exemption card from the main entrance of the QMC, City Hospital or Ropewalk House. If you are unable to get a card at the entrance, you will be able to request one from the outpatient reception area of your clinic.
Here are some of the reasons why people may not be able to wear a face mask in our hospitals:
- Children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- People who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- If you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate
We are also creating face mask exemption lanyards for our staff who are exempt from wearing a face mask, so please keep an eye out for these.
What you need to do when you come for an appointment
To keep you and our staff safe, please follow this guidance:
- DO NOT ATTEND if you, anyone in your household or the person bringing you shows any signs of Coronavirus, that is a fever (temperature) and/or a new and persistent cough, loss or change to senses of smell or taste. Contact us on the telephone number in your clinic appointment letter and we will tell you what you need to do.
- Use the hand gel provided on arrival into the department and wash your hands regularly throughout your visit including before eating/drinking or after using the toilet.
- If you are in the shielding group and we ask you to come to the hospital, it is important that you come. If you think we do not know that you are shielding or you feel concerned about attending, please contact us using the telephone number in your appointment letter.
- Some appointments 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
- Arrive a maximum of 5 minutes before your appointment and leave our building promptly when it is complete. We are spacing out appointments so our waiting areas do not become overcrowded.
- Walk on the left hand side of corridors, give way to others and comply with maximum numbers displayed on the lifts.
- Please adhere to any social distancing guidance provided within the department you visit.
- To support us to maintain social distancing and safety of our patients and staff please come alone, unless it is essential for someone to accompany you, or you need to bring your carer.
- Relatives or carers may be asked to wait outside the clinic/department. We apologise for any distress this may cause and would appreciate your co-operation at this challenging time.
There are exceptions for the carers of certain patients only. Please do ask us about this, if possible contact us in advance using the telephone number in your letter.
- One parent can stay with a child under age 18, again, please telephone in advance and our staff will advise.
- Currently it is still government policy to avoid public transport if possible. This means that more staff and patients are travelling to hospital by car so there is sometimes very limited availability of parking. If you are able to be dropped off that is preferable but otherwise you may need to plan extra time.
- Unfortunately parking is limited at our hospitals. Government guidance remains to avoid public transport where possible. If you are using public transport please adhere strictly to the current government guidelines for social distancing.
- The Medilink bus stops at the Park and Ride at Queens Drive or Wilkinson Street and drops off at the QMC and City Hospital. Many local bus services stop at QMC and City Hospital.
- 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.
- A limited number of Blue Badge parking spaces are available at both sites
- You can find out more information about getting to our hospitals (including maps) at: 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 have developed any of the following symptoms of coronavirus, you should not attend your appointment and seek clinical advice using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service: 111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
- A new, continuous cough
- A high temperature (above 37.8˚C)
- A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
You should also contact the booking team on 0115 849 3392 to rearrange your appointment between 8 am-4:20 pm Monday to Thursday and 8 am-4 pm Friday.
NHS Volunteer Drivers
If you meet certain criteria, it may be possible for you to have an NHS volunteer driver to bring you for your appointment. This depends on where you live and availability. A referral is made by an NHS worker. The best place to get advice about this will be from your GP Practice.
Here’s how we are keeping NUH as safe as possible for you, our patients
Staff wear face masks in all public areas
- We have agreed visitor restrictions, communicated in patient letters, on our website and through our social media channels
- We have Increased signage and posters - particularly at entrances
- Wall and floor stickers remind everyone to keep 2m apart at all times
- There are restrictions and signage on all seating, both inside and outside of our buildings
- 'Keep Left' signage throughout our hospitals
- There is clear guidance and signage for all lifts, including maximum occupancy
- The use of perspex screens to protect you as patients and our staff in public areas
- Our staff use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This can include masks, visors, gloves, aprons, hoods and gowns
- The type of Personal Protective Equipment worn will depend on the type of appointment, surgery or procedure you are having
- We have created more space in clinics, departments and on the wards so that patients can be two metres away from other patients
- Staff are also social distancing. This means they may not come as close to you as they may have done in the past
- We have reduced the number of people coming to our hospitals
- We are changing the location of some of our clinics, departments and wards
- Extra cleaning is taking place including extra dedicated ‘touch point’ cleaning on our corridors for your increased confidence and safety.
- Hand gel and soap and water are available for your use in the hospital. Please wash your hands frequently
The measures we are taking currently are based on the most up to date evidence we have.
Nottingham University Hospitals remain committed to providing the best care possible for you should you need to come to the hospital.