Changes to visiting arrangements and a number of services are in place. For more details visit our Coronavirus page
Wye Valley NHS Trust is taking the first steps to restart some of the services which have been put on hold since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Along with hospitals across the UK, Wye Valley NHS Trust suspended a range of outpatient clinics and postponed routine surgery to make sure it had the resources ready to cope with patients who had contracted Covid-19.
While this meant a reduction in many services, patients needing urgent care – for example, those needing treatment in the Emergency Department, those receiving cancer treatment and some outpatients needing urgent treatment - continued to receive care.
Now, three months on, the Trust is getting ready to reopen a number of urgent outpatient clinics starting next week (w/c Monday, June 1), and aims to begin carrying out some elective surgery in the coming weeks.
At the same time the hospital will continue to treat new Covid-19 patients as well as carrying out other emergency work.
This will mean there are social distancing and infection prevention measures in place, which will include an assessment area at the front of the hospital to carry out temperature checks on patients for Covid-19 as they arrive and we will provide patients with a face mask, unless they have one of their own.
Patients are being asked to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to their booked appointment time and attend on their own.
If this is not possible, the Trust is allowing patients to bring only one friend or relative where they require assistance. Children under the age of 16 are not allowed, unless the patient is a child. There may be situations in the clinic setting where a relative/friend is asked to wait outside the clinic room whilst a consultation takes place.
For patients attending for elective surgery, the Trust is requesting that they self-isolate for two weeks prior to their operation. They will be tested for Covid-19 prior to their procedure to ensure they don’t bring the virus onto the hospital’s wards.
Patients who are tested positive for coronavirus when they arrive may face having their appointment postponed.
The general advice to patients remains that if they have symptoms of coronavirus - high temperature, a new, continuous cough, and/or loss of taste/smell – please do not attend our hospitals/clinics and contact NHS111 for advice.
“These are standard procedures which are being adopted by many hospitals. They’re measures which will help keep people safe and ensure the risk of them catching coronavirus at the hospital is minimised. However, this is a new way of working which patients will not have experienced before when using our services,” said Jon Barnes, chief operating officer at WVT.
“The safety of patients is our priority and we have a great Infection Prevention Team to ensure we’re all complying with the latest guidance and regulations to keep our staff and those we’re caring for as safe as possible”.
“It will take us many months until we get back to anything like the level of activity that we managed prior to the outbreak.
“Things are very different now – we’ve been working hard to ensure that patients don’t need to come into hospital unless it’s absolutely necessary through video consultations between medics and patients.
“This will be the new way of working and we’re sure our patients will adapt to these new processes quickly.”
Notes to Editors WVT:
- Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
- By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
- With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.
For further information please contact:
Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928