Out-patient and Emergency Department visits
National guidelines mean patients are expected to wear a face covering – which could be a scarf, homemade mask or mask offered on your arrival, in the clinic, Emergency Department or ward. Staff wear surgical face masks to protect patients and each other.
Women in labour are excluded but, when attending antenatal or postnatal appointments as out-patients, must also wear a face covering.
Children and babies under three years old should not wear a covering under Department of Health and Social Care guidance.
You’re encouraged to keep a physical distance from others while moving around the building, wash your hands regularly and use the alcohol gel dispensers on entering and leaving the hospital.
Most out-patient consultations are conducted over the telephone or by video call.
For urgent and emergency out-patient visits, patients are met by a member of staff on entering the clinic area and asked a few simple health questions, have their temperature taken and are directed to a socially-distanced seating area.
Wherever possible, patients are asked to attend the Emergency Department or an out-patient appointment alone and to arrive no more than 15 minutes before the appointment time. Due to Covid restrictions, the person bringing you here can’t come onto the ward, although there are exemptions for anyone who requires additional support, such as people with dementia, learning disabilities and other conditions where a carer needs to attend. Please speak to the nurse in charge if you feel this applies to you.
Our Emergency Department is for patients with urgent and immediately life-threatening conditions, so please consider visiting the NHS 111 website or calling their phoneline or contacting your GP surgery or pharmacist unless your condition is an emergency.
Please note that you should not attend an out-patient appointment if you should be self-isolating because you, or somebody close to you, has, or has had, symptoms of Covid-19 such as a high temperature, new, continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.