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.
Please see also our 'Hospital Appointment Guidance' page on the Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissionig Group (CCG) website which also covers Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust.
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.
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 cannot 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.
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