An update on COVID-19

Posted: November 5, 2020

Accessing our services during the national lockdown

Following the Government's announcement about a four-week lockdown, we wanted to give an update on what this means for the services we provide to you. 

Please watch this message from Kevin McNamara, our Chief Executive:


We know that many people are concerned that we may need to cancel operations and appointments and further restrict visiting - as we had to during the first wave of the pandemic. 

We want to be clear that at this point in time, we aren't cancelling any appointments due to COVID-19, and our visitor guidance remains unchanged.

That means that only one visitor is allowed per patient at a time and you must call the ward or department in advance if you plan to visit.

Clearly, that position may change but if it does, we will update you on this website, and patients will be notified directly. 

We are here to care for our local communities and we don't want to have to stop any of our activity unless we really have to.

When we cancelled activity earlier in the year, the unfortunate knock-on impact was that patients are now having to wait longer for their treatment, and for that, we are sorry. 

Please be assured that we are working really hard to see as many patients as we can, but we now have less bed capacity than we did before the pandemic due to the need for everyone to socially distance.

The positive news is that our performance has been recovering relatively well but we still have some way to go and continue to ask people to bear with us. 

It's really important that you continue to attend your appointment as normal at this time; you may be putting your health at serious risk otherwise - please see Coming to hospital or attending a GP appointment.

If you can't come, please let us know so we can quickly give that appointment to someone who really needs it. 

We know that some of you may be worried about coming into hospital, but we'd like to reassure you that the hospital is a safe place to visit.

We've taken every precaution to keep patients, visitors and our staff as safe as we possibly can. 

These measures include reducing the number of entrances in use, asking everyone to wear a face mask or covering and to observe social distancing at all times.

We have also introduced one way systems in areas where this is possible.

Please help us to help you by observing these rules.

If you need urgent and emergency care, do not be afraid to reach out to us - we are here for you. If have an urgent medical problem and you're not sure what to do, call NHS 111. 

If you are expecting a baby, and have planned check-ups booked, please attend them and reach out if you have any concerns.

For more information about visiting in our Maternity Services, please see Maternity Services: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - further information.

And if you have any other appointments scheduled, please continue to attend unless we notify you otherwise. 

This year has been like no other and as a community, we are facing another uncertain period with not only concerns about the risk to our physical health but also the impact on our mental health as we cope with our lives being turned upside down in many areas.

Please remember there are excellent services provided by the NHS and charity sector that can help - please see the  NHS website: Get support from a mental health charity (www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/).

Thank you for your continued support to our incredible teams - it means a huge amount to our staff knowing you are behind us and supporting your local hospital and community services at this really difficult time. 

Stay safe and look after each other.

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