COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors

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

To keep our patients, visitors and staff safe – and to limit the spread of COVID-19 - we have had to restrict the number of people allowed on to our hospital sites.

We know that it’s hugely important for patients to see their loved ones while they are in hospital, so have done all we can to support people to keep in contact while keeping them as safe as possible.

The information below sets out what visiting is allowed in each area, although there may be variations in certain circumstances to ensure everyone’s safety. Our staff will keep you informed.

Importantly, it should always be the same visitors – so not multiple friends and family on different days. Unfortunately children are not allowed to visit, and all visitors will have to wear a mask or face covering at all times. If you don’t have one, we will provide one for you.

We really appreciate the support of our patients, visitors and community as our staff continue to work hard to care for everyone who needs us.

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 this year. However, given the second surge of COVID-19, we politely request that our supporters do not visit us on the hospital sites at this present time. Your safety, and that of our patients and staff, is our priority. Unfortunately, we will also be temporarily unable to accept donations of knitting or used items such as toys, books, gifts, or artwork etc.

However, we are able to accept new unused items such as bottles of water and ambient temperatur foods by appointment only. We cannot accept any hot food items. All items will need to be quarantined for 72 hours before they are distributed to staff and used within the wellbeing hubs onsite.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine

From Tuesday 8 December, we will begin offering COVID vaccinations at our hub at Basildon Hospital as part of the NHS vaccination programme. The first cohort of people who are eligible for the vaccine are those aged 80 or over, who we are contacting via text message.

Click here for more information >


General ward areas:

Unfortunately visitors are not allowed on our wards due to the current pandemic, so our staff will keep patients’ next of kin fully updated about their condition.


Surgical wards/Green Zone:

As patients who have had surgery are more susceptible to COVID-19 we cannot allow visitors in these areas.


End of Life Care:

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


Critical Care:

Unfortunately visitors will not be allowed in our Critical Care areas except for End Of Life care, but our staff will keep the patient’s next of kin fully updated.

Paediatrics:

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


Neonatal ICU:

Parents or carers will be allocated three hour slots on a rota basis. Our staff will keep you fully informed.


Maternity

All visitors to any of our maternity departments will need to have details taken, temperature checks on arrival and to wear face masks unless in a delivery room.

Labour Ward/Birthing Unit: 

Women admitted to labour ward/Midwifery Led Birthing Unit to have one birth partner accompanying for assessment. To remain with woman during birth.

Women admitted to Labour Ward for reasons outside of Labour can have one person with them during admission.


Antenatal: 

Women coming in for Induction of Labour (IOL) to have a birth partner attend for start of IOL procedure and then return home. To be called back if women is transferred to Labour Ward or if contracting and needs support during this time.

Visiting on Antenatal ward for all inpatients to be commenced two hours in the afternoon/evening. Staggered times arranged per bed number.

Only one visitor each session and this need to be a consistent visitor. Same visiting applied to antenatal patients who remain on Labour ward.

Partners accompanying for scans to continue as currently in place.

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For the latest updates on early labour, induction of labour or scan appointments,
please visit the maternity page.

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Postnatal:

Visiting to be increased from 1 hour in the afternoon/evening to 2 hours. Staggered times depending on bed numbers.

Same visiting applied to post natal patients who remain on Labour ward.


Maternity ultrasound scans (for Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals):

One person can accompany you, but care must be taken to maintain social distancing in waiting areas.


Emergency Department and Assessment Units:

This will be looked at on a case by case basis so we can maintain social distancing in the unit while supporting those who are particularly vulnerable or unwell.


Outpatients:

Patients should come in on their own unless they need assistance and/or have been asked to bring someone with them.

 

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.