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Advice for those with appointments at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals

Due to the COVID19 pandemic and changes to recent national guidance we are taking a number of precautions to reduce risk to our patients.

All outpatient clinics and inpatient theatre lists are being reviewed and there may be changes to planned appointments and operations. For outpatients it is possible that your clinic appointment may be converted to a telephone call or video conference. Some inpatient operations are being cancelled to avoid using hospital beds for routine surgery during this time.

The majority of patients having day case surgery at Ashford Hospital will continue to have their surgery as planned, except where our clinicians are needed to provide additional support to wards.

Our clinical and administrative teams are currently reviewing where changes to clinics and theatre lists will be required and will contact affected patients as soon as possible.

Urgent emails should be marked as urgent in the subject, otherwise teams will respond as soon as possible.

 

Wearing Face Masks in our Hospitals

All patients, visitors, and staff are expected to use a new surgical mask issued by the checkpoint teams when they arrive at all hospital sites. If you are wearing your own face covering or mask you will be asked to remove this and use a new mask for the duration of your visit. The mask must cover your mouth and nose and be worn at all times, unless your clinician asks you to remove it.

There are checkpoints by each entrance and you will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided and have your temperature taken (by a forehead thermometer). On exit, please dispose of the mask in the clinical waste bin provided and sanitise your hands.

It is expected that everyone on the hospital sites wears a mask with the following exceptions, in line with national guidance:

  • children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate

 

Outpatients and Imaging Appointments Update

The majority of outpatient appointments will be virtual – either via telephone or video. We are in the process of moving as many appointments as possible over to a video format using a system called Attend Anywhere. You will receive a letter, phone call or text message to confirm when and how your appointment will take place.

Face-to-face appointments will only take place where they deemed clinically essential and the majority, including imaging appointments, will take place at Ashford Hospital. Please watch this short animation to explain what will happen when you come for your appointment.

If you have any questions about your appointment please call 01784 884361.

 

Visiting Ashford Hospital

The safety of patients, visitors and colleagues working on the hospital sites is our absolute priority. If you do need to attend hospital in person we would like to reassure you that every possible infection prevention and control measure is being taken. Your visit will feel different to previous visits, with changes put in place to ensure the safety of everyone.

The key measures you will encounter are:

  • There are 3 designated entrances:
    • Main Entrance – Blood tests, Maternity, Ophthalmology, Infusion Suite
    • Outpatients – all outpatient appointments / diagnostics (excl. Ophthalmology).
    • Entrance 3 – Radiology (X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, mammography, bone density), Pre-op Assessment, Day Surgery.
  • You will be only permitted into the building 10 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Please try and attend your hospital visit by yourself. Anyone attending with you is likely to be refused entry to the hospital / asked to wait in the car unless there is a valid reason for them to support you during your appointment.
  • Inside each entrance is a ‘screening’ station. You will be asked a series of COVID related screening questions and also have your temperature taken. To avoid a wasted trip on the day please do not attend if you are experiencing a fever, fatigue, cough or sore throat or currently taking antipyretic medication to combat fever (paracetamol / ibuprofen etc).
  • You will be asked to use one of the wall mounted gel dispensers on arrival.
  • If you are attending for a blood test please ensure you have an appointment and you also bring your blood test request form with you on the day.
  • If queuing for entry to the hospital, the screening desk, a reception desk or sitting in one of the waiting areas please maintain at least a 2 metre distance from any other patient.
  • We have reduced the number of patients booked into each session to allow time for the additional screening measures.

We thank you for your support in following this guidance and in doing so to help keep everyone safe.

 

Visiting St Peter's Hospital

St Peter’s Hospital has introduced a series of measures to ensure you are kept safe during your visit.

  • There are 3 designated entrances:
    • Main Entrance - Endoscopy, Neurophysiology, MRI, Respiratory physiology, Cardiac physiology, Radiology, Dermatology.
    • Duchess of Kent - staff entrance, SAU.
    • Abbey Wing - Women’s and Children’s services
  • You will be only permitted into the building 10 minutes before your appointment time.
  • Please try and attend your hospital visit by yourself. Anyone attending with you is likely to be refused entry to the hospital / asked to wait in the car unless there is a valid reason for them to support you during your appointment.
  • Inside each entrance is a ‘screening’ station. You will be asked a series of COVID related screening questions. To avoid a wasted trip on the day please do not attend if you are experiencing a fever, fatigue, cough or sore throat or currently taking antipyretic medication to combat fever (paracetamol / ibuprofen etc).
  • You will be asked to use one of the hand sanitising dispensers on arrival and you will be provided with a face mask, if you have worn a mask you will be asked to remove and either dispose of it or store it in your bag/pockets.
  • A member of staff will obtain your temperature;
    • If “green” indicating your temperature is below 37.8 you will be able to proceed to your appointment
    • If “red” a second temperature will be taken on a different thermometer
    • If second “red” you will be advised of this and the fact that you may not be able to proceed with their appointment. You will be directed to an area of privacy and the service with whom your appointment is with will be contacted for their advice. If the appointment needs to be postponed, you will be asked to return home with the recommendation and contact 111, if necessary for further advice. The department with whom you had your appointment will arrange a new appointment
  • If queuing for entry to the hospital, the screening desk, a reception desk or sitting in one of the waiting areas please maintain at least a 2 metre distance from any other patient.
  • We have reduced the number of patients booked into each session to allow time for the additional screening measures.
  • Finally, although you are not required to self-isolate for this appointment, please ensure you minimise contact with others as much as possible in the 14 days leading up to your appointment.

Please support St Peter’s Hospital in following the guidance written above and in doing so helping to keep patients and staff safe.

 

Outpatient Text Reminders

If you have previously opted out of receiving outpatient text reminders from Ashford and St Peters hospital. Due to COVID 19 there have been some clinic changes and we may need to notify you by text if you do not need to attend the clinic.

If you wish to opt back in to receive these reminders please contact us on 01784 884351.

If you do not opt in then please ensure you contact your Clinic Officer prior to attending any appointment in person to check that you still need to come to the hospital.

 

Before your appointment

Once your appointment has been made, you will receive a letter to confirm the date, time, location and details of any samples you need to bring. Please read your letter carefully and remember to check whether your appointment is at Ashford, St Peter’s or one of our outreach clinics at another location.

We have recently launched a new Appointment Confirmation Service, to help remind patients of their routine hospital appointments and reduce the number of missed appointments. The reminders are made using a combination of automated telephone calls and calls from call centre staff.

 

Contact us if you need to cancel or change your appointment

Missed appointments, or Did Not Attends (DNAs), cost the Trust financially and in wasted clinician time. If we are aware of a change, we can then allocate the slot to another patient.

So please give us as much notice as possible by calling the appointment centre on 01784 884351 (Ashford) or 01932 723831 (St Peter's).

You can also email the team at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

You can find out more about our outpatient sites and specific department clinic numbers via the links below:

 

 

Outpatients at Ashford

Outpatients at Ashford Hospital

Read more about clinics at Ashford including useful contact numbers.

 

Outpatients at St Peter's

On arrival: Please go directly to the department / reception area as indicated on your appointment letter. If you are unsure where this is, please ask at main reception.

Outpatients at St Peter's Hospital

Read more about clinics at St Peter's as well as useful contact numbers.

 

What to bring with you

  • You appointment letter
  • Any samples requested
  • Any medication you are taking
  • Money to pay for car parking, prescriptions and refreshments

 

On the day of your appointment

On arrival in the department please use the self-checking kiosks. You will be given a printout with a generic number with guidance where to go for your clinic appointment. This will be displayed on the TV screens when the Doctors is ready to call you.

There are always nurses and reception staff around to help you if you need any assistance. For more information, please click here.

 

Waiting times

We try our best to ensure that our clinics run on time, but unforeseen delays can occasionally happen and our staff should keep you informed.

 

Your consultation and students

Our doctors work in teams under the leadership of a consultant and you will be seen a senior member of the team who is familiar with your case. You may not always see the consultant named on your letter or the same doctor every time you visit.

As a teaching hospital, there may be medical or nursing students present during your consultation. If you would rather they were not there please let a member of staff know.

 

After your consultation

If you need further tests or investigations the clinic nurse will explain what you need to do or where you need to go. If the doctor would like you to book a follow-up appointment you can do this at the outpatients reception.

You may receive a follow-up phone call after your appointment asking for feedback about our outpatient’s service.

 

Patients / visitors who wish to make recordings

It is Trust policy, with the clinician’s consent, to allow patients/visitors to photograph or film themselves whilst on Trust premises. However, under no circumstances are patients/visitors allowed to make any recording which might include another patient/visitor/member of staff without their express consent. Trust staff have the right to ask patients/visitors to refrain from making recordings if they deem it to be inappropriate in any way.

 

 

Changing Places Facilities

We have a Changing Places room in Outpatients Ashford on the first floor.

At St Peter's, the room is behind the cafe in the main outpatients reception.

This facility is open 08.30 – 18.00.

 

Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") as they have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people who use them.

 

Keeping You Safe

 

SMS for Appointments

To keep our patients informed about appointments and to cut down on DNAs, we send information out via SMS as appointment reminders for our patients.

This service is provided by an external company called Healthcare Communications UK Ltd; please see their website to view their Privacy Policy.

If you do not want to receive these alerts to your mobile phone, please let us know and we will remove you from this appointment service.

 

Cancelling your Appointment

If you need to cancel or change an appointment, please contact 01784 884351 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..