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COVID-19 (coronavirus) information for inpatients

We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic may be a cause of worry for you, especially if you have a long-term health condition.

This information sets out the actions we are taking to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

At the Trust, we follow official guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO),
the UK government and NHS England.

The situation is changing all the time—please keep up-to-date with the latest advice.

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

It is a virus that affects the lungs and can make it harder to breathe.

What are the main symptoms?

  • A persistent cough (one that won’t go away)
  • A high temperature (over 37.8°C)
  • Difficulty breathing (feeling out-of-breath)

As these symptoms are similar to lots of other common illnesses, so the only way you can be sure that you have COVID-19 is to be tested.

How is it spread?

The virus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. These are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. The droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person which can infect other people who touch them and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why handwashing is so critical.

People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.

Testing and placement of patients

All patients who are admitted to our hospitals are tested for COVID-19 either before admission or on the day of admission. The result allows us to plan your care as safely as possible and enables us to place you in the most appropriate ward or unit.

Patients who initially test negative for COVID-19 and remain in hospital are tested on day 3 and day 7 of their stay, and weekly thereafter. This ensures that we identify patients who may be incubating the infection on admission and did not initially test positive. Patients who test positive are moved to a COVID-19 ward or isolation area to separate them from other negative patients to minimise the risk of spreading the infection.

Protecting our staff to protect you

Our staff have been trained to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect you—as well as themselves and other staff members. The type of PPE can vary depending on the procedure and the COVID-19 status of the patient.

Staff are tested regularly to identify anyone with an asymptomatic infection which could be a risk to our patients. We have recently started immunising our staff which will protect them further and help to protect you.

Other measures

We have increased the cleaning we do in all areas of the hospital for the safety of our patients and staff.

We have limited the number of visitors coming to the hospital for the safety of our visitors, patients and staff.

We have introduced temperature checks of staff, patients and visitors at our hospital entrances to identify anyone with an infection who should not enter the hospital.

Prevention—what you can do to protect yourself and help prevent spread of the virus

You can take measures to reduce your risk of being infected with COVID-19. These include:

  • Maintain good hand hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet, before meals and meal preparation, and after coughing and sneezing
  • Use hand sanitiser or alcohol gel if you are unable to access soap and water to clean your hands
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue, dispose of the tissue and then clean your hands
  • Maintain a distance of at least two meters from other patients
  • Wear a mask, if you are able to, when you are not sat in your bed space or chair—this means that you should wear a face mask when moving away from your bed or chair to go to the toilet or bathroom, or if you move off the ward for an investigation etc
  • Keep your personal items, such as toiletries, inside your locker or bag so we can clean the surfaces around your bed more effectively

Many thanks for your cooperation.

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