RD&E services during Coronavirus


Face coverings and social distancing

Wearing a face covering

People infected with Coronavirus can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the UK Government, we are introducing new measures to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday the 15th of June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital or care setting as a visitor or outpatient.

Face coverings intend to protect against unknowingly transmitting the virus to others if you have it without having symptoms.

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.

See our leaflet: 'Wearing a face mask or face covering during COVID-19, Guidance for staff, patients, contractors and visitors' (click to download).  

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 a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.

Social distancing and other measures

In addition to wearing a face mask or
covering, remember:

  • Continue to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing.
  • Clean your hands more frequently and thoroughly either with alcohol hand gel or soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your face with unclean hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you
    cough and sneeze if you are not wearing a mask.
  • Do not come to work or attend your appointment if you are unwell.
  • Ensure you are well hydrated before putting on your mask or face covering. You must not pull it down to eat or drink, but remove it and replace it.
  • When you remove your face mask or face covering, ensure you continue to follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing.

Changes to entrances and exits

You might also find that changes have been made to entrances and exits of the building you are visiting, with signage indicating which direction to travel in. This is to help keep patients and staff safe and prevent queues where possible.

Please observe all instructions on hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing.

Latest outpatient information

Before attending your outpatient appointment please read the following important guidance and note the additional requirements at this time:

Must reads

  1. Additional Patient Guidance re: COVID-19 for all patients attending an Outpatient Appointment (click to download)
  2. A leaflet on wearing a face covering during COVID-19 (click to download)

Face covering

From Monday the 15th of June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital or care setting as an outpatient.

Face coverings intend to minimise the risk of people transmitting Coronavirus unknowingly, as it is possible to have mild or no symptoms. For more information, please see above. 

Social distancing and other measures

Please observe all instructions on hand hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing - see 'Face coverings and social distancing' above. 

Please contact us if...

  • You or a member of your household has tested positive for Coronavirus.
  • You or a member of your household has received a letter from the NHS instructing you that you need shielding from Coronavirus.

Please contact us via the details on the top of your appointment letter, as soon as possible before your appointment. 

Do not attend until you have had a conversation with one of our clinical team. 

Thank you! 

Latest in-patient information

Face coverings for staff and visitors 

From Monday the 15th of June 2020 all our staff and visitors will be required to wear a face covering in our hospital and care settings.

Face coverings intend to minimise the risk of people transmitting Coronavirus unknowingly, as it is possible to have mild or no symptoms.  

We know that this can look strange but please be assured that we are still the same kind and compassionate people caring for you. 

In-patients (people staying in hospital) generally do not need to wear a face covering. However, you may be asked to wear one on occasion, if deemed necessary by our clinical staff.

Click here to download our leaflet on face coverings

Restricted visiting 

Please be aware that we are currently operating restricted visitor times, to provide additional protection for our patients and staff during the Coronavirus outbreak - see below for details. 

Wherever possible, we encourage that loved ones avoid face-to-face visits and instead use the Family Liaison and Remote Visiting Services we have in place - click here for details.

Latest visitor information

Visiting restrictions across our hospitals latest update

From Saturday 4 July, we are pleased to announce that we will be reducing some of the visiting restrictions that have been in place during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Wherever possible, we would still encourage that loved ones avoid face-to-face visits and instead use the family liaison and remote visiting services we have in place (see below).

We are now able to permit one visitor per patient for a maximum of one hour per day, between 4pm - 7pm, as long as an appointment is made in advance with the ward staff.

Please telephone to make an appointment with the ward staff between 9am - 11am in the morning of the day you wish to visit, at the latest. Please make appointments for weekend visits during the week if possible.

Remember, you will need to wear a face covering in the hospital and maintain social distancing rules of 2 metres throughout any visit.

These new arrangements apply to Maternity visits as well.

When not to visit

You should not visit if you have a new, persistent cough or high temperature (of 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher).

Additionally, if you live with someone who has symptoms you will need to stay at home for 14 days starting from the day the first person in your house developed symptoms and should not visit.

Restrictions remain in the Emergency Department

We regret that no visitors are allowed in the Emergency Department, where we are unable to accommodate visitors while maintaining social distancing.

Special arrangements

Special arrangements permitting visits for children, patients with dementia or delirium, learning difficulties, or for those receiving end-of-life care, remain unchanged. Please contact the relevant department / ward area to confirm. 

We know how important contact is for patients and their families and friends, but we must continue to prioritise safety so that COVID-19 does not spread in hospitals.

Thank you for your understanding and compliance. 

Changes to catering outlets at the RD&E

To protect patients and staff during the Coronavirus outbreak, we have made some changes to our catering outlets. Please visit 'Our sites' for the latest information on what is available and where.

Family Liaison Service

In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, to help us maintain social distancing and reduce the risk to our staff and patients, we made the difficult decision to restrict visiting across the Trust.

We know that staying in touch with loved ones is really important during a hospital stay, so to help patients and their families keep in touch, we have launched a new Family Liaison Service which is available across all of our hospital sites.

The Family Liaison Service can:

  • Relay personal messages to and from patients who are staying on wards.
  • Arrange virtual visiting with a video call to family.
  • Receive essential items for patients.

Please be aware that all medical information will continue to be shared with the patient’s recorded next of kin by the ward staff.

To find out more and use this service please click here to visit our Patient Advice and Liaison pages.

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