Changes to our services

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to make quick, temporary changes to the way our services are organised. This page describes some of these changes.

Changes to admissions

You may be concerned about being in the same hospital as patients being treated for coronavirus, if you do not have the virus yourself. 

We would like to reassure you we are doing everything we can to separate patients with coronavirus and those who are being treated for other conditions. Our staff are also following the most up-to-date advice on infection control.

The safety of our patients and staff is our priority so all patients are tested for coronavirus when admitted to our hospital, even if you have no symptoms. The test may be done before you come to hospital, when you are admitted or during your stay.

If you test positive for coronavirus, it does not mean that you will become unwell with the symptoms. We will monitor you closely to check if you develop symptoms during your stay. You may be moved to a different ward or clinical area. Some tests and procedures may be postponed if you test positive for coronavirus. Speak to your clinical team if you are concerned about this.

Wearing surgical masks

If hospital staff have deemed you to be well enough, you will be asked to wear a surgical mask during your inpatient stay when moving around or leaving the ward.  This is regardless of whether or not you have tested positive for Covid-19, and is to protect you, other patients and staff from Covid-19.

When eating or drinking please try to avoid wearing the mask around your neck – instead put it in a safe place and put it straight back on afterwards. 

Masks should be changed regularly enough to avoid them becoming moist.  This ensures that they will remain effective.

Changes on our wards

We made changes to our wards to care for patients with coronavirus together in one place.

Grouping patients who have coronavirus on wards together minimises the risk of spreading the infection. We aim to provide patients with same-sex accommodation. 

However, at very busy times, some of our wards have had to become mixed-sex, although we always try to keep individual bays as same-sex and ensure privacy at all times. The decision to change some wards to mixed- sex wards has been carefully considered – patient and staff safety remains our priority at all times.

We’ve also transformed some wards and units into additional intensive care areas where we care for patients who are very unwell and who may need a ventilator to help them breathe.