Visiting our hospitals – restrictions:

To help protect patients and staff from Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are no longer allowing visitors to our hospitals.

From Wednesday 25 March, visitors will only be allowed if they meet the following criteria:

· 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 (e.g. dementia or other disabilities) are allowed one visitor, but only when authorised by the relevant Matron or Head of Nursing for the ward.

· Patients visiting our Emergency Department can also be accompanied by one person.

We understand this will be difficult and we apologise for any distress this might cause.

You should not visit our hospitals if you are:

· Unwell; especially if they have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough

· Vulnerable as a result of their medication, e.g. a chronic illness, or if they are over 70.

No children under 12 should be visiting without the ward sister or charge nurse’s prior permission.

Visitors should keep the time spent in the hospital to a minimum. We would also ask that you go directly to the area you are visiting, and do not visit other areas of the hospital.

Upon entering the ward, visitors will be directed to wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds. Visitors should do the same on leaving the ward and follow all other guidance given by our staff.

You can familiarise yourself with the symptoms and risk factors for Coronavirus on the NHS website. Information about Coronavirus is also available on the Department of Health and Social Care website.

Keeping in touch with patients

Our staff will be encouraging and helping patients to stay in touch with relatives and friends in alternative ways. We are happy for them to be contacted by mobile phone, and patients can also use our free wi-fi service which enables use of Skype, Facetime, and other services.

Visiting our children’s ward and neonatal unit

Slightly different rules apply to these wards – two visitors are allowed, however we ask that this is limited to parents and/or main carers only. Check with individual wards for visiting hours. If you have any queries please talk to the nurse in charge.

Thank you for your support and co-operation, and for helping to keep patients, staff and visitors safe.

Information for patients:

Planned operations

In line with national guidance, we will now be cancelling all non-urgent, planned operations from 15 April for a period of three months, and we have started cancelling some operations scheduled before then.

This will help us manage demand, and ensure we continue to provide safe and effective care for our patients.

Our teams are contacting the patients who will be affected. If you are not contacted, please continue to attend St George’s Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital (Roehampton) for care and treatment as planned.

Outpatient appointments

We will continue to carry out as many outpatient appointments as we can, but plan to use telephone consultations where possible, although some patients will still need to attend hospital. We will be contacting patients affected over the coming days.

Changes to paediatric outpatient appointments:

· We are continuing to carry out appointments, but patients will be offered a telephone consultation in the first instance

· Your call may be on a different day / time to your scheduled appointment, and we may not be able to give you advanced notice

· If our teams decide you need to attend hospital, they will arrange an appointment for you

· Please do not attend hospital unless asked to

If you have any concerns, please contact the team via their usual contact details.

Temporary closure of Urgent Treatment Centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton

As part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have decided to temporarily close the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton (formerly known as Minor Injury Unit).

This decision has been made to protect patients, staff and the public, and will allow for UTC staff to support the St George’s Emergency Department team at our Tooting site.

If you urgently need medical help of advice, alternatives to attending the UTC are:

· If it is not a life-threatening situation, please call NHS 111 or visit 111 online

· If you require urgent medical care, you can find your nearest Accident and Emergency department by visiting the NHS website

We will be reviewing this decision on a regular basis and will aim to re-open the unit as soon as we are able.