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Coronavirus (COVID 19)

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Please follow the latest advice on the Coronavirus websites.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:   

  • a new continuous cough

  • a high temperature

  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

                 

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NHS at George Eliot Hospital and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must: 

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms. 

Read more about what you can and cannot do

The use of face coverings when coming to hospital at George Eliot Hospital

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are introducing new measures at George Eliot Hospital to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday, 15th June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

Further information will be available here.

119 Testing Call Centre

By calling 119, members of the public, who don't have online access, can book a coronavirus swab test and ask any questions relating to having a test and getting results. This includes about drive through test sites, mobile test units and home tests. The call centre is open from 7am to 11pm and ca

n be accessed  by people with speech or language difficulties as well as by people whose first language isn't English.

Healthcare and community support services in Warwickshire (during the COVID-19 pandemic)

For the latest resources, information and sources of support for local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic and how to access health and community support services across Warwickshire please click here.

Smile Month Digital Resources and advice

Smile Month Dental Self Help Tips for Patients                 

Diabetes support

Three new online tools for people living with diabetes in the West Midlands are now available on the NHS to help people manage their condition during the coronavirus pandemic.

The three new online services will allow people to manage their condition online, with a range of online videos and training available on each app for children and adults.

People living with Type 1 diabetes can access the following technology from today:

  • Digibete: Children and young people with Type 1 diabetes and their families will be able to use the DigiBete App and website for a wide range of awareness, education, training and support resources.

  • MyType1Diabetes: Adults with Type 1 diabetes can access the service directly by visiting myType1diabetes.nhs.uk, it includes videos and eLearning courses, to help people understand more about their Type 1 diabetes and increase their confidence in how to manage it.

People with Type 2 will be able to access the following from later this year:

  • Healthy Living for people with Type 2 diabetes: The platform provides users with the skills and knowledge to manage their Type 2 diabetes effectively, including advice on emotional and mental wellbeing, and helps users adopt and maintain healthy behaviours around diet and exercise.


Updated 18 May 2020

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FAQs

General

Who do the recommendations apply to?

The recommendations apply to everyone working or visiting in a hospital setting.

The use of a surgical face mask applies for all staff when not in patient-facing clinical settings (where appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be used in line with published guidance), including:

·       clinical (medical, nursing, allied health, diagnostics etc) and

·       non-clinical staff (administration, porters, volunteers, cleaning, estates staff, contactors working on NHS sites, etc).

The use of face coverings applies to all members of the public when in hospital, including those visiting patients or attending outpatient appointments.

This guidance does not cover the use of masks for inpatients nor the use of masks as personal protective equipment. This should be managed in accordance with existing guidance.

What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?

All surgical face masks are classified as either Type I, IR, II, IIR, and are medical devices provided by the hospital.

Face coverings can be cloth or homemade and should cover the nose and mouth of the wearer.

What supplies of face masks will be made available?

Surgical face masks will be made available through hospitals’ usual PPE deliveries. Since Sunday, 7 June 2020 a larger quantity of surgical masks have been sent out each day to help hospitals prepare for the additional need. Initially extra deliveries have focused on type IIR masks, and type Is and IIs will also be delivered and will be clearly labelled so staff do not use these in clinical settings.   

Outpatients and visitors

Why are we asking visitors/patients visiting the site to wear face coverings?

Outpatients or visitors coming to the hospital will need to wear face coverings to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it

Outpatients should be advised of the need to bring a face covering ahead of coming to hospital for planned and outpatient care (outpatient appointments etc); for example in appointment setting calls and confirmation letters. 

What happens if an outpatient/visitor does not have a face covering when they come to the hospital?

If an outpatient or visitor does not have a face covering when they come to hospital, one should be provided by staff on arrival.

Local implementation plans should identify how this will be managed.

How do we communicate this new rule to visitors/outpatients?

The need for visitors/outpatients to wear a face covering when visiting the hospital site should be communicated through appointment letters, social media, local news stations/papers and through signage displayed at entrances to the site throughout wards and departments.

Staff should use any opportunity to inform patients of the rationale for face coverings. Consider using hospital volunteers to remind patients/visitors as they arrive on site. A face covering is not a medical/surgical mask. If outpatients and/or visitors do not have face coverings, the trust/hospital may need to provide surgical masks or consider having a stock of face coverings available.

A toolkit has been developed to support local communication with outpatients and visitors and will be made available to trust communications teams via regional communication channels.  

What does this mean for shielding patients?

For those patients who are currently shielding, and who have been provided with a surgical face mask for their appointments, these should be worn. Where not already provided, patients should wear a face covering.

What about cloth/homemade/donated face masks?

Outpatient and visitor face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade (www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering)   All visitors will be expected to comply with two -metre social/physical distancing and the recommended hand hygiene measures.

Where applicable, visitors to high risk COVID-19 areas of the hospital or visitors of patients with confirmed COVID-19 must wear appropriate PPE as per the current IPC guidance  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control

Staff should comply with the guidance on wearing a surgical face mask (as appropriate when in clinical/non-clinical areas) while at work.

Does my face covering worn for religious beliefs/cultural practice qualify?

Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

What if an outpatient/visitor is unable to wear a face covering?

For some, wearing of a face covering may be difficult, and therefore all other measures must also be considered and introduced e.g. social/physical distancing, timed appointments; being seen immediately and not kept in waiting rooms. Individual risk assessments should be undertaken where required; for example, patients with mental health and learning disabilities. Such risk assessments must be documented.   

What about the impact of masks on communication for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment?

The use of face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic may have an impact on patients who are deaf or have a hearing impairment as they can block the face of healthcare workers and prevent the ability to use visual cues such as facial expressions and lip reading.

The Government's PPE procurement team has sourced an initially small number of clear surgical face masks to support communication with patients who may be deaf or hearing impaired. They are working with regions to identify where those are best distributed.

Where clear masks are not possible, the below diagram outlines some good communication tactics to consider supporting patients and visitors who are deaf or have a hearing impairment: