Visiting a patient in our community hospitals (updated in July 2020)
With immediate effect, we have made some small changes to our visiting arrangements. The key change is that one close family member can be given permission to visit a person who is COVID-19 positive in an end of life situation.
These updated visiting arrangements will apply to all acute and community hospitals across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly:
- end of life (including where a patient is COVID-19 positive) – one close family member
- children and neonatal unit – one parent/carer at any one time
- maternity – one birth partner only.
Relatives wishing to visit in any end of life circumstances must contact the ward for permission. If the patient being visited is Covid-19 positive, the ward leader/nurse in charge will need to get authorisation from:
- one person from their Care Group Triumvirate and 1 person from the Corporate Triumvirate (Director of Nursing, Medical Director, Chief Operating Officer) – during core hours (9-5)
- The On-Call Manager and the On-Call Executive Director – out of hours
Whilst visitors will come at their own risk, they must be risk assessed before visiting and given appropriate advice. Visitors must be asked to sign the guidance and risk assessment (attached below) when they arrive on the ward.
Visitors will be required to wear appropriate PPE at all times, whether or not the person they are visiting has COVID-19. They must all be given advice about social distancing, handwashing and risks associated with the removal of gloves to hold hands.
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 nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-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.
Cornwall Mental Health and Wellbeing
A range of accessible information plus guides for children and older peope are available from the NHS Library.
Number of UK cases and latest figures - updated at 2pm every day:
Table of confirmed cases split by upper tier local authority:
Public facing information
NHS information – the first port of call for the public:
Latest information and advice:
Blog about contact tracing:
Blog about self-isolation:
Blog about the five things you can do to protect yourself and your community:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): What is social distancing?
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Public information campaign
Resources for the public information campaign: