In light of the Government easing some of lockdown restrictions, we have begun to operate some face-to-face outpatient clinics where necessary and practicable. Virtual (online) or telephone consultations will continue to take place for the remaining services to avoid unnecessary visits to our hospitals. If you have an appointment coming up, you will be contacted with information on whether it is taking place at the hospital or virtually.
For patients coming into our hospitals, new measures have been put in place to mitigate against the onward transmission of COVID-19. For example, screens will be erected to protect reception staff and patients; patients entering the hospital will be required to wash or sanitise their hands on arrival and departure; and patients will be required to use their own face covering while in our buildings.
Patients with an appointment should arrive no earlier than 10 minutes before their allotted appointment time to keep the number of people in our waiting rooms to an absolute minimum. Those who arrive any earlier will be asked to wait outside the hospital grounds.
Limited waiting areas
Our coffee shops and food retail outlets will only permit a limited number of people, and seating will be reduced to ensure we comply with the Government’s social distancing rules.
Keeping the numbers to a minimum
To reduce the number of people in the hospital, patients will be required to attend unaccompanied with the exception of:
- Frail patients requiring the assistance of one other person
- Disabled patients or those with a learning disability who will be permitted one person to assist them
- Women in labour who are permitted one birth partner
- Women attending pregnancy scans who are permitted one companion or partner
Patients (and any chaperones) attending outpatient clinics or the labour ward should only come into the hospital if they are free from the symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who has symptoms must not come to the hospital and should follow Government guidance on self-isolation.
Visiting restrictions are in place. The restrictions remain the same now London has entered tier 2 of the Government’s COVID-19 alert levels. They may change as and when the Government announces further restriction plans.
Our Emergency Departments remain open for life-threatening conditions as well as Covid-related emergencies.
These new ways of operating the hospital may take some getting used to but they have been put in place to protect patients and staff. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.