Coronavirus

Iain Davidson, chief pharmacist at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, speaks about the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and why it’s so important.

We are reintroducing some limited visiting at our main and community hospitals in a safe and COVID-compliant way. This is in line with updated guidance from NHS England and the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

All visitors will be required to:

  • Wear the appropriate PPE and must not be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Undertake the current risk assessment

We recommend anyone coming for an approved visit has a Covid lateral flow test prior to coming to the hospital. You can go to a local test site, collect tests to do yourself from a pharmacy or test site, or order them online. You can find your nearest site on the NHS England website or by calling 119.

From Monday 12 April our visiting arrangements are:

Adults

Critical Care, Coronary Care, Higher Care bay on Wellington Ward, Phoenix Ward, and the PICU on Harvest Ward

One identified visitor per day by prior arrangement with the Ward Leader (this must be one of two identified people)

A person receiving end of life care, regardless of their Covid status

The number of visitors will be limited to 3 close family members. This can be increased at the discretion of the Ward Leader to a maximum of 4 (from within the social bubble).

One visitor will be allowed for one hour, but more than one visitor can attend within a 24-hour period.

A person receiving longer term care, eg Garner Ward and Marie Therese House

Limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient.

Visiting times will be staggered to accommodate visiting for other patients.

Where possible, visits will be accommodated outdoors.

Visitors will need to be tested for Covid-19 using a lateral flow test.

Exceptional circumstances

These will be referred by the Ward Leader for approval by a member of the Care Group Triumvirate / Senior Leadership Team and approved by one member of the Executive Triumvirate or out of hours Executive on Call.

Paediatrics

One parent at any time and both parents to be present in the event of a critically ill child.

Maternity Services

Pregnant women and people can have one support partner with them at:

  • Early pregnancy unit appointments
  • ALL maternity scan appointments including growth scans
  • ALL antenatal clinic appointments (Community and hospital)
  • ALL Community Postnatal appointments
  • Day assessment visits
  • Throughout labour in Delivery suite and birth centres
  • Subject to individual approval, between 2-5pm every day on Wheal Rose and Wheal Fortune wards

To ensure everyone can stay safe;

  • All partners are asked to wear a mask at appointments and while moving around the building (unless exempt)
  • We ask that partners have a Covid lateral flow test prior to visiting on the wards. You can go to a local test site, collect tests from a pharmacy or test site, or order them online. You can find your nearest site on the NHS England website or by calling 119.
  • We will open windows to allow for extra ventilation during visiting times, please ask a staff member for extra blankets for yourself or your baby if required.
  • Partners may be asked to wait outside especially in settings with limited waiting room.
  • Please follow the guidance given by staff on the day of your appointment. The guidance will differ slightly depending on where you are having your appointment.

You must not visit if you have any of these symptoms:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Changes to your sense of taste or smell

If you do, you must say at home and go online or call 119 to arrange a Covid-19 test.

Many patients with smartphones and mobile devices are keeping in touch using our free hospital wifi. However, we know that not all patients have this technology and we are helping them to keep touch with trust devices, telephone and other messaging options.

At the Royal Cornwall, West Cornwall and St Michael’s hospitals there is also a Staying Connected service where family members and close friends can send a message or photograph through volunteer patient ambassadors. They can email rcht.covidstayconnected@nhs.net leaving the patient’s name, date of birth and the name of the ward they are on (if known), together with the message they want to send, or they can call 01872 253793 and we will call them back.

For community hospitals family and friends can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service team by calling 01208 834620 or by emailing cpn-tr.Palscft@nhs.net.

We will continue to review our visiting policy on a regular basis throughout the pandemic and will do everything we can to help patients and families keep in touch.

 

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS in Cornwall 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 cronavirus-covid-19

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

Use this service if:

  • you think you might have coronavirus;
  • in the last 14 days you've been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus;
  • you've been in close contact with someone with coronavirus.

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.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict guidelines. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that come into contact with suspected cases are thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.

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.

Following the announcement that an individual in Cornwall has been confirmed as having the coronavirus, PHE is carrying out a thorough risk assessment to trace this individual’s movements in the last fortnight. Patients and staff can be reassured that their safety is the top priority, and patients are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual. The local NHS and Cornwall Council are working closely with PHE to support this work. PHE is prioritising contacting people who might have had close and sustained contact with the individual to provide them with health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details in case they become unwell. If you have not been contacted you do not need to take any action.

Useful Resources

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