COVID-19 updates

Help Us Help You Stay Safe in Hospital during COVID-19

Please read the information below, or download the patient leafelt, if you are planning on coming to the hospital:

Download patient information leafletAdvice for attending hospital appointments

Visiting a patient

Nightingale Hospital Exeter

Attending the emergency department

Coming in for a diagnostic scan

Coming in for a planned admission (including day surgery)

 

Advice for attending hospital appointments – updated 06/01/2021

Please attend if you are called in

During this latest lockdown, where possible, we will arrange remote appointments so that you can speak to your clinician from the comfort of your own home and don’t have to travel to the hospital.

However, if you have been asked to come in for a face-to-face appointment, we need to see you, so please still attend. We are following strict infection control processes to keep you safe when you attend for an appointment.

  • Please attend alone if you can, unless a carer is required or in exceptional circumstances, for example, you are expecting to receive bad news. This will help us reduce the number of people coming into the hospital. If you have any questions, please call the number on your appointment letter to discuss this.
  • Please wear a face covering to your appointment and bring a plastic bag with you to put your face covering into, should you need to take it off as part of your examination or treatment.
  • Please try to arrive as close to your appointment time as you can

 

Diagnostic appointments

If you do not wish to attend an imaging appointment because of COVID-19 concerns, we will cancel the investigation and inform the doctor who requested your test. They will need to make the referral again.

Waiting for appointments

We have reduced capacity for appointments due to caring for patients both with and without COVID-19. If you are waiting to hear about an appointment, please be patient. We are doing our best, but you may have to wait longer for your appointment.

Unfortunately, we’ve had to postpone some routine appointments and surgery in order to free up staff to help care for patients in the hospital with COVID-19 and other emergencies. However, we are continuing to see those patients who need to be seen urgently or as an emergency. Cancer related care is continuing as normal.

If you become more unwell, please seek medical help.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

Please download and read this leaflet with advice for patients coming to hospital. 

 

Visiting a patient

(Updated 20 November 2020)

In line with the government announcement, we have taken the difficult decision to restrict visiting as below in order to protect our patients and staff.  Visiting will only be permitted in the following circumstances and PPE must be worn.

General areas

  • Patients in the final days of life will be able to receive visitors on compassionate grounds
  • If the patient’s carer needs to be in attendance to support the patient for physical or mental health reasons

Maternity visiting update: 18 December 2020

From Saturday 19 December we are pleased to be able to welcome one support partner (wearing a mask unless medically exempt) to attend the following:

- 12 and 20 week scans

- Any appointment in antenatal care following a scan for which the support partner is already present

- When attending triage (this means a partner can be present during labour and birth from the point of attendance to the hospital or midwifery unit)

- For the commencement of induction of labour

- At all times on labour ward

- For a two hour time slot on the postnatal wards

This is in line with new guidance released on Monday to support pregnant women at all times during their maternity journey while keeping the risk of transmission of the virus within NHS maternity services (including to pregnant women, other service users and staff) as low as possible. The guidance acknowledges that there may be some challenges and that some trusts will need to make changes to the way we use our facilities to enable support people to accompany women to access their maternity care safely. Unfortunately testing partners is not an option yet due to the national unavailability of tests. However, we are reviewing each area of the service which will take time to fully roll out to pre-Covid status, particularly in the community and where waiting areas are smaller than required for the footfall. Please check our website and Maternity Services Facebook page for any further updates.

Paediatrics areas

To enable social distancing in our Neonatal Units and on our Paediatric Wards, only one parent or guardian will be able to attend at any given time. Again, it is essential we support families to stay safe, but also protect staff to ensure there is always a workforce available to provide the care local families should be able to expect from their local hospital when they attend for assessment because they are possibly in labour

Staying in touch while normal visiting arrangements are suspended

We understand how hard separation can be. As a result, we have introduced a number of measures to help and support families and patients at this time.

  • We ask families to designate one person to contact the ward and act as a liaison point. We will then contact that person as often as we can to give them an update. This family member can then share information and updates with other family members. 
  • We are encouraging people to connect with loved ones using technology such as social media, phone calls, and video calls to stay in touch. If the person you want to speak to does not have access to their own phone or tablet, please contact the ward. Many of our hospital wards have iPads, and staff can help patients to connect video calls with their family members and friends.
  •  To try to connect our patients with their family and friends, we have introduced a “Send your loved one a message” scheme, where you can send a message to an inpatient. We know how much it will mean to our patients to brighten up their days with messages from their friends and family.
 

Dropping off patient property during suspended visiting

If you are dropping off property for an inpatient, please do not go to the ward. Please drop any bags or items to the Hub on Level 6 of Derriford Hospital -  Monday to Friday between 10:00 and 15:00 each day and during the weekend to the Parking Desk between 10:00-14:00. If you can, print a copy of this form, and fill in the details under 'patient details' and 'delivered by', to the best of your knowledge. 

The Hub is located adjacent to Warrens Bakery on level 6, and can be clearly identified as the ‘glass office’. The Parking Desk is located immediately on your right as you enter the main entrance to Derriford Hospital.

The team will place items into a secure location to keep them safe until they are collected by a member of staff from the ward, who will deliver them to the patient.

Please ensure that any items that you bring are inside a bag which is clearly labelled with the patient’s full name and ward. To ensure we can track patient belongings you will also be asked to complete a simple form which includes your contact details.  As usual, please try to avoid bringing valuables or large sums of money into hospital.

Thank you for helping us to keep our patients and staff as safe as possible.

 

Nightingale Hospital Exeter

The NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter has been set up specially to care for patients with COVID-19. In Devon, we were the first region to utilise our Nightingale Hospital to support patients with COVID, as part of our response to the second wave. Patients may be transferred to the Nightingale Hospital from across the south west, including from Derriford.

You can find detailed information about the Nightingale Hospital Exeter in this Patient Information Leaflet.

 

Attending the emergency department

If you are not sure whether you need emergency care, call 111 and they'll be able to advice you. If it's a life threatening situation, call 999.

Please attend the emergency department alone, unless a carer is required and please wear a face covering.

As part of our coronavirus precautions, you will be greeted at the main desk by one of our nurses. You will be asked some basic screening questions and your temperature will be checked.

If this is all clear, you will be booked into the Emergency Department as normal.

If you exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, you will be directed to our dedicated assessment clinic.

Remember that in some situations, the Minor Injuries Units (MIU) in the Cumberland Centre, Tavistock and South Hams Hospital might be able to help you. Derriford's Minor Injury Department has moved to Nuffield. You can read more information about the move and what MIUs can treat here.

 

Coming in for a diagnostics scan

Please download and read this leaflet with advice for patients coming to hospital. 

• Please attend alone if you can, unless a carer is required. This will help us reduce the number of people coming into the hospital. If you have any questions, please call the number on your appointment letter to discuss this.

• Please wear a face covering to your appointment and bring a plastic bag with you to put your face covering into, should you need to take it off as part of your examination or treatment.

• Please try to arrive as close to your appointment time as you can

• All patients undergoing diagnostic tests and imaging scans, are asked to please follow comprehensive social-distancing and hand-hygiene measures for 14 days before coming in for your planned test or scan (see government advice on social distancing on the nhs.uk website). This helps us keep you and others attending our hospital and clinics as safe as possible.

 

Coming in for a planned admission (including day surgery)

Please download and read this leaflet with advice for patients coming to hospital. 

If you are being admitted to hospital, we need you to take extra precautions to minimise the risk presented by COVID-19. If COVID-19 infection occurs when you have surgery or whilst in hospital, this could make your recovery more difficult, or increase your risk of serious illness, or death.

Follow comprehensive social-distancing and hand-hygiene measures for 14 days before admission (see government advice on social distancing on the nhs.uk website)

• Please attend alone if you can, unless a carer is required. This will help us reduce the number of people coming into the hospital. If you have any questions, please call the number on your appointment letter to discuss this.

• Please wear a face covering to your appointment and bring a plastic bag with you to put your face covering into, should you need to take it off as part of your examination or treatment.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Important information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

You can find out more information about COVID-19 here: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/


 

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