We continue to maintain visiting restrictions (one person, once for one hour each day) via slots pre-agreed with the ward, full details can be found on our visitor page.
Patients and Visitors
Please read the information below if you are planning on coming to the hospital:
(Updated January 2022)
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.
It is very important that you do not delay coming forward for your scan, particularly if your doctor has referred you as they suspect cancer (also known as 2ww - 2 week wait).
The risk of delaying treatment is very significant, but some people are naturally a bit hesitant of attending the hospital during the pandemic. Our departments have taken some important steps to ensure you can safely attend for your scan,
If you do not wish to attend an imaging appointment because of COVID-19 concerns, please contact the department so that we can reassign the appointment slot. This means that we can see as many people as possible as we address some of the delays that covid has caused. If you do cancel your appointment, we will cancel the investigation and inform the doctor who requested your test. They will need to make the referral again.
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.
We have more information available for patients waiting for planned procedures and operations available by following this link: Information on waiting times
Unfortunately, we've had to postpone some 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 as an emergency. We are trying very hard to continue to offer cancer care as planned.
If you become more unwell, please seek medical help.
Patients who are discharged home from hospital who have not been treated for COVID, will receive a follow-up telephone call from a nurse within 48 hours of discharge, to check everything is ok.
Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.
(Updated Thursday, 6 January 2022)
A reminder of the visiting rules:
Please undertake a Lateral Flow Test prior to visiting and bring proof of your negative test result with you, either in a clear plastic bag or by photographing it and bringing the photograph with you on a mobile device.
Absolute and strict compliance with adherence to wearing a hospital provided surgical mask (not any other face covering) for the full duration of the visit in a clinical area.
Limited visiting must take place in a safe and COVID-compliant way. Where visiting is allowed, we have a Rule of 1. This means one visitor for one hour, once a day, per patient. Unless special circumstances prevail, this is one person per each patient's stay and not a different person/family member each day.
Each bed in our ward bays has an allocated visiting hour. This is to ensure there is a maximum of one visitor per bay at any one time. Patients in side rooms will also be allocated a visiting hour by the ward manager.
The patient is asked to nominate one person to be their visitor for their entire stay to visit during their allocated hour.
Get tested: Rates of COVID-19 are still high across Plymouth. It is really important that everyone takes a lateral flow test twice a week before heading out, even if you are fully vaccinated. If you display any symptoms of COVID-19 you must isolate immediately and take a PCR test. For more information on how to Get Tested, please visit Plymouth City Council's Get Tested Information
Compassionate visiting: under compassionate circumstances, for example, where a patient is at the end of their life or in other exceptional circumstances, the ward manager has the discretion to extend visiting.
Patients who are positive for COVID cannot have visitors, except under compassionate circumstances.
Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus should not visit, nor should anyone who has been in contact with some confirmed or showing symptoms even if these are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others. If visitors have symptoms they should isolate for the required period and organise a test.
Visitors will be asked to comply with measures to limit the spread of the virus by wearing a surgical face mask, sanitising their hands on entering and exiting the ward and observing 2m social distancing. All visitors are required to report to the nurse in charge before entering the patient bed areas. Visitors will be asked to provide the ward with their contact details for the purposes of track and trace.
There are exceptions - please see list below for further details[i] - and the ward manager retains discretion for compassionate visiting.
This approach will be reviewed in line with NHS and Government guidelines and local Public Health advice and we reserve the right to temporarily stop visiting in any ward or area affected by an outbreak.
(Updated 23rd August 2021)
Ruth May, the Chief Nursing Officer for England, has informed all maternity service providers that they need to use the availability of testing mechanisms to reduce risk of transmission to the pregnant person, support persons, staff and the wider public.
Therefore, we need to ensure that all pregnant persons and support partners attending appointments show evidence of a negative lateral flow test on arrival at any routine appointment. This does not apply to any triage or Delivery Suite admission, where testing will take place on arrival as is the case now.
This test should have taken place within the 24 hours prior to the appointment (but preferably as close to the appointment as possible). Tests can be ordered here:
If you test positive, please let your midwife know and any routine appointment will be rearranged.
For up to date information, please visit the University Hospitals Plymouth Maternity Services Facebook Page.
We welcome partners of pregnant persons requiring support through antenatal and scan attendances, for the start of induction of labour, during labour, as well as in the postnatal period.
A partner can attend each appointment with the pregnant person; however will need to wait in a waiting area or car until called. Partners can attend at all times for a triage assessment or in labour.
One support partner can attend the postnatal ward between 10.00 and 20.00 each day.
Support partners and visitors are required to wear face coverings when in the hospital, unless exempt.
We are continuing to ask that for routine appointments, you and your support partner do a lateral flow test prior to your appointment. Thank you.
For outpatients, one parent or guardian will be allowed to attend, with the ability to allow two (from a family bubble) if appropriate in discussion with the consultant.
In the Children's Assessment Unit, one parent or guardian will be permitted, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
When a child is admitted, one parent or guardian can be in attendance. A second parent/ carer will be offered a flexible hour slot to visit.
In line with our Carers' Policy, we will give a choice on whether the carer wishes to take on/continue with their caring role while the person is in hospital. We will ensure that they have the access and support necessary to enable them to provide care should they so choose. The time allowed on the ward may be limited.
[i] Exceptions are listed below:
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.
If you are not sure whether you need emergency care, call 111 and they'll be able to advise 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.
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 10 days before admission (see government advice on social distancing on the nhs.uk website)
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
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/