Note to patients - Service change

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to make some changes to our services. For an up to date list of changes,visit our COVID-19 Changes to Service page.

Patient visitors during COVID-19 outbreak

To ensure we maximise the safety of our vulnerable patients and keep our staff well at work, we are asking visitors to respect the changes we have made to the public visiting patients in the Trust:

Visits to all adult inpatient wards at Derriford Hospital will be suspended with immediate effect

Exceptions will be made on compassionate grounds, including visits to those who are at end of life. These visits will need to be pre-arranged with the nurse in charge. Exceptions may be made for relatives collecting patients who have been discharged.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but thank you for your understanding in these unusual times.

Single birthing partner and sole visitor for maternity areas

  • Please nominate a single birthing partner to be with you during your stay - they will be the only permitted visitor and will have open visiting to the maternity ward and the delivery suite.
  • No children or young people under the age of 16 should visit

Upon entering the wards, you will be directed to wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. We would ask you to do the same on leaving the ward.

Only one parent or guardian on Children’s Wards

 The Paediatric wards remain open for visiting, with the following restrictions:

  • only one parent or guardian can visit the ward unless there are special circumstances (please discuss with the ward manager)
  • no siblings or young people under the age of 16 should visit

Image of temperature check Attending the Emergency Department

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 symptoms, you will be given a mask and booked in before being directed to our dedicated assessment clinic.


Please also consider whether your journey is completely necessary – you can carry the virus without showing any symptoms. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but thank you for your understanding in these unusual times.

Changes to Non-Urgent Outpatient Appointments

Changes to Non-Urgent Outpatient Appointments

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that the public are being asked to avoid non-essential contact with other people, we have taken the decision that all non-urgent outpatient appointments will be switched to telephone or another non face-to-face method, e.g. online or they will be postponed.

We will be contacting patients over the coming days to rearrange or postpone appointments. However, please continue to attend appointments unless you are notified by us. If you cannot attend because you are self-isolating or do not want to attend, please inform us.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes but the safety of our patients must remain a top priority and it is important to ensure we fully comply with the actions taken by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

If patients are worried we would ask them to please call the number of your appointment letter.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS in Plymouth and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

The latest information on symptoms of Coronovirus infection and areas where recent travel may have resulted in a high risk of exposure can be found on

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.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. See ending isolation section for more information
  • if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. See ending isolation section for more information

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Read the NHS's advice about staying at home.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

·       Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

·       Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

·       Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.


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