King's responds to coronavirus

13 March 2020 - Details on patient services, visiting restrictions and infection control procedures

King's arch infront of Golden Jubilee Wing

In response to the increasing numbers of people being tested and treated for coronavirus, we are taking steps to redirect our resources at King’s.

Therefore, with the exception of surgery for cancer and other life-threatening conditions, we have stopped all elective inpatient activity until further notice at King's College Hospital and the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).

Day surgery

Day cases will continue but are being reviewed on a daily basis.

Outpatient appointments

Outpatient appointments will be conducted by virtual clinics or telephone consultations as long as it is clinically safe to do so. If you have an appointment in the coming days or weeks, you will be contacted in due course.

Emergency care

The Emergency Departments at King's College Hospital and the PRUH remain open for those requiring emergency care.

Maternity services

Currently, 12-week, 20-week and 36-week pregnancy scans are continuing at King’s and the PRUH. Arrangements for * other maternity appointments will be communicated to women over the next few days.

If you are pregnant and begin to experience any symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate and phone your named midwife or the maternity helpline for advice.

Temporary suspension of home births

For the safety of pregnant women, their families and our staff we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our home birth service. We are running a full maternity service from the hospital labour ward. Women in labour should call the Maternity Helpline for advice on when to come to hospital.

Visiting

In light of the Prime Minister’s announcement on social distancing, we have taken the decision to limit all but essential visiting at our hospitals. Currently, no visitors are permitted with the exception of:

  • Birthing mothers who are allowed one birthing partner
  • Paediatric patients who are allowed one parent or carer
  • End-of-life patients who are allowed one visitor
  • Patients with specific care needs (i.e. dementia or other disabilities) who are allowed one visitor when authorised by relevant Matron/Head of Nursing for the ward/area.

This decision has not been taken lightly but the policy is in place to protect the health of our patients, staff and the public.

Closure of pathway between the PRUH and Sainsbury's car park

At the PRUH we have had to temporarily close the pathway that leads from Sainsbury’s car park to the hospital grounds. This is to accommodate a new covered passageway that has been created between the main hospital and the Day Surgery Unit (DSU). The DSU is now being used for emergency surgery and the covered passageway allows patients to be transferred from and to the main hospital while maintaining their privacy. Relocating the operating theatres to the DSU has freed up space in the main hospital for COVID-19 wards and critical care provision.

Infection prevention and control

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital 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.

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.

You can find the latest information and advice on the GOV.UK website.

Rapidly changing situation

The national situation is changing quickly and we are responding in line with official guidance. As a result, hospital phone lines will be busier than usual so please check back on this page regularly for the latest information about services at King’s and the PRUH.

We appreciate this is a challenging time so thank you for your continued understanding.

Page created: 13/03/2020
Last reviewed/updated: 27/03/2020


For further information please contact:
King’s College Hospital
COVID-19 response
kch-tr.mediateam@nhs.net
Extension: +44 (0)20 3299 9000