Coronavirus—our hospitals and services

01 May 2020

Important changes to NHS and Chelsea Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust services outlined here to inform public, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Updated 12 June 2020.)

NHS staff are working to expand the services we offer while keeping patients and staff safe from COVID-19 and other infections.  We need the public to help us by following our advice and using NHS services in the right way.

You must follow Government advice on handwashing and other precautions. If you have to leave your home, try to keep two metres away from other people. 

From 15 June 2020 we ask all those entering the hospital to wear a face covering. We will also check your temperature.  Young children and those with breathing difficulties do not need to cover their face. Staff in non-clinical areas will be wearing masks, but these are clean masks, not those previous worn in clinical areas.

Hospitals

Our hospitals are focused on treating people who have COVID-19 and on other clinically urgent patients. Do not go to hospital only because you think you have COVID-19 symptoms. You should always use the 111 online service for advice. If you cannot get online, telephone 111.

You should only call an ambulance in what you think is a life-threatening situation.

Procedures and tests

We will be increasing the numbers of procedures, operations and tests. This will be planned and implemented carefully and the hospital will contact you as needed.

Our hospitals have dedicated areas for treating COVID-19 patients, keeping them separate from other patients. The hospitals are working closely together so that if one hospital has a high number of cases, patients needing a bed may be transferred to another local hospital.

Hospital visitors

From 15 June we are allowing more visitors in the hospital.

Adult ward - One named visitor per patient can visit during 3-7pm seven days a week. This must always be the same person. 

End of life care patients who are negative for COVID-19, can have more than one family member visiting at any one time. End of life care patients who are positive with COVID-19 can have one family member visiting wearing appropriate PPE. Visiting times need to be agreed on each unit.

Maternity - One birth partner as before, but they can now visit for the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal stay, but cannot stay overnight in the antenatal and postnatal period. Birth support such as doulas and Independent Midwives can also be present at Birth if agreed in advance by the Head of Midwifery. Partners can also be present for scan appointments. We are sorry, children cannot visit at present.

Paediatric wards - Two family members can visit if they live in the same household, they can both visit together. They must always be the same people.   

Emergency care for patients who do not have COVID-19 symptoms

Emergency care for patients whose condition is serious but not related to COVID-19 will continue as normal. In a life threatening emergency you should call 999 as usual.

Outpatients

During this period, we will be offering outpatient appointments, but this will be usually by telephone or video. 

For information: GP services

Local GP practices are focused on helping their patients who have COVID-19 and are not operating normally, but are all open from 8am–6:30pm.

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should always use the 111 online service for advice in the first instance. If you cannot get online, telephone 111. Do not go to your GP surgery as this may lead to the virus spreading further, including to practice staff.

If you need a GP appointment about another matter, you should stay at home and ring the practice in the first instance.

There are special GP-run clinics in Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster for patients who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and need to see a doctor. Doctors from the local NHS will staff these clinics. More information about these clinics will be available very soon. 

We know that some GPs and their staff are likely to become unwell or to have to self-isolate. This will put general practices under pressure. To deal with this, local practices are working together in networks to support each other. It is possible that if you need to see or speak to a GP, you will be given an appointment with a different doctor or practice to the one you usually see.

How can you help?

We are grateful for your understanding of the pressures on the NHS in this difficult period.

The best way in which you can help is to follow the public health advice. Wash your hands regularly, every time you enter or leave your home, and at least once an hour.  Avoid all unnecessary travel. If you have to go outside for any reason, follow the guidance on social distancing.  If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must stay at home for at least 7 days. If a member of your household has been infected but you have not been, you should stay at home for 14 days. 

Please also follow this advice on how to use NHS services. The NHS 111 online service should be the first place you go for advice. 

Thank you.

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