Important information to keep you safe from Coronavirus when attending the hospital for your appointment
This guidance 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 face coverings when coming to our hospitals
People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
Following recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, and in line with UK government guidance, we are introducing new measures at NUH to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.
From Monday 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering 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 face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.
Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible.
If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.
For some people, wearing a face covering 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 coverings while in the hospital setting.
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.
Some of our services are now offering video consultations. Below is a short guide will help you prepare for your video consultation.
You will need to prop your phone up and change from the front camera to the rear camera so you can see yourself on the screen. You do this by clicking on this picture on the front of the camera:
You will need to have access to a phone which has either:
- Facetime (if it is an Apple iPhone) or Whatsapp (available for both iPhone and Android phones)
You may need to DOWNLOAD WhatsApp by going to the APP STORE on your phone. It is free to install.
- Has a web browser (like Safari or Google Chrome)
NB – It does not have to be your phone that we use for the video call.
You will be called at, or around, the time of your appointment. If we have a suitable mobile phone number, this is the number that the doctor will use first. If it is technically difficult to do this we can switch to the landline/ telephone.
Do not worry; our doctors are learning about how to use this technology too! We are on your side, and we really appreciate you taking these steps, even if this is doing something new and different for you!
We understand that you may not have made a video call before, but there is nothing to worry about.
If you do not have phone capable of making a video call, please do consider if you have a relative or a close friend who would be able to assist. We do not have to do the video call on your own phone.
We can also try and do the appointment via your laptop or personal computer if you or someone you know has a webcam.
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