COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors

COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors - updated April 2021

As we move into the next phase of lockdown on Monday 12 April, we are gradually relaxing our restrictions on visiting across our hospitals.

From Monday (12 April), each patient will be allowed one visitor.

Visiting times will be between 2-3pm and 6-7pm. However, to ensure we can maintain social distancing we will only be able to have two visitors in a bay at any one time, so this will need to be by prior arrangement with ward staff.

Not all patients can bring a visitor when attending the emergency department. To ensure the safety of both staff and patients only vulnerable patients who require complex/difficult decision making may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them. This applies to outpatients and diagnosis settings as well.

All visitors will have to adhere to all the infection control guidelines, including wearing PPE.

Patients in critical care (non-covid areas) will be allowed one visitor – but by prior arrangement with the critical care unit. Visitors are not allowed on to wards where patients have been isolating prior to admission.

We will keep these restrictions under constant review as the national guidance continues to change.

 

Outpatient appointments and cancer treatment

To manage the current Covid pandemic we have reduced our current footfall for outpatients in our hospitals and freed up staff to participate in Covid related duties.

Our current outpatient activity will continue either by telephone or virtual appointments at all sites. 

Patients requiring a face to face appointment, where possible, will be seen at one of our green sites, where there are no Covid patients, based on clinical urgency. Please be assured that social distancing measures and the use of face masks will be in place for all clinics.

We're using local independent hospitals to help us prioritise patients who have clinically urgent needs or are suspected to have cancer. All patients with suspected cancer should attend essential appointments for diagnosis or treatment.


Donations

We have been overwhelmed with the incredible support we have received from members of the public and businesses locally and nationally throughout the pandemic.

To discuss making a donation or to find out more please contact the fundraising team on 01702 435555 ext. 6401 or 01268 524900 ext. 2897 or email msecharity@southend.nhs.uk


General ward areas:

From Monday (12 April), each patient will be allowed one visitor.

Visiting times will be between 2-3pm and 6-7pm. However, to ensure we can maintain social distancing we will only be able to have two visitors in a bay at any one time, so this will need to be by prior arrangement with ward staff.


Surgical wards \ Covid wards

Unfortunately we still can’t allow visiting in our intensive care units or our Covid wards.


Green wards

No visitors are allowed on to the green wards where patients have been isolating prior to admissions.


End of Life Care:

Where patients are nearing the end of their life, two visitors can be with them at any time. 


Critical Care:

Patients in critical care (non-covid areas) will be allowed one visitor – but this needs to be by prior arrangement with the critical care unit.


Paediatrics:

One parent or carer can be with their child at any time and they are allowed to stay overnight.


Neonatal Units - current access for parents:

Currently Basildon and Southend can facilitate unrestricted access for Parents to see their babies, but only one parent can be present at the baby’s cotside at any one time to allow social distancing (in exceptional circumstances this may be changed)

At Broomfield both parents have unrestricted access.


Important Maternity Services Update

The newly released Government initiative offers all members of the public, 2 lateral flow tests per week as part of the effort to control the spread of COVID. The lateral flow tests can be accessed from pharmacies, community hubs and online.

Please follow the below link for more information: 
https://www.gov.uk/find-covid-19-lateral-flow-test-site  

To report your result to the NHS use the link below: 
https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result

The progress with this regular testing enables us as a service to move safely and positively towards women attending ALL appointments with their partner/supporter. This will include antenatal and postnatal appointments in the community setting. 

If you are seeing your Midwife within a GP surgery or Children’s Centre it is their decision if your partner/support person can come in to the appointment. 

We would recommend that all women and their partner/support person begin this regular testing straight away.

We are also doing our best to accommodate two birthing partners being present during your labour and the birth or your baby. Currently at Basildon maternity unit we are undertaking a refresh of the facilities within delivery suite and the postnatal ward, therefore at present we are not in a position to safely facilitate a second birth partner/support person until such works are completed.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause. We will keep you updated as soon as we are in a position to change this.

Two birth partners are allowed at both Southend and Broomfield hospital sites now. 

Please remember:

  • If your partner/support person’s test result is positive, or if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID, then they will be asked to follow the Government guidance and self-isolate. It is advisable to think about having another birth partner/support person on standby just in case this happens.
     
  • All women are tested on admission for Covid-19. If your test results come back as positive your partner will be asked to go home to isolate and return when you are in established labour.
     
  • You will both be expected to wear a surgical mask throughout all appointments. A visor is available if you are mask exempt.  Hand sanitizer is available throughout the hospital.
     
  • Please note that children are NOT currently able to come to the department for appointments or to visit.


We thank you for being patient, and do understand how difficult this situation is for everyone.


Emergency Department and Assessment Units:

When attending the emergency department the patient may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them with any complex/difficult decision making. This applies to outpatients and diagnosis settings as well.


Outpatients:

When attending an outpatient appointment, patients may be accompanied by one close family contact, or somebody important to the patient, to support them with any complex/difficult decision making.

 

Supporting your recovery after COVID-19

As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind. 

These changes should get better over time, some may take longer than others, but there are things you can do to help. 

Your COVID Recovery helps you to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.