COVID-19 Information Resources

In this section, we have links to resources regarding COVID-19 and the services at our hospitals.

 

Infection Prevention Control Guidelines and Visiting

 

In line with national guidance, our infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors. Please read the information on this page for more detail about our current guidelines. More information can be found here.

COVID-19 Management and New Measures

 

We have put in place a number of measures that will enable us to prioritise how we provide care, enabling us to focus on those patients who are critically ill.

These measures include:

  • Postponing some routine and non-urgent elective procedures and operations.
  • Continuing to prioritise those who need urgent and cancer care.
  • Working together as a system with partners, to enable additional bed capacity, deployment of staff, as well as timely and safe discharge of our patients into the community, to support our Covid-19 response.
  • Moving more of our outpatient services to virtual appointments to reduce the need for patients to come to our sites, which in turn reduces the risk of increasing levels of Covid-19 transmission.

We would like to thank the public for their support at this time, and remind people to follow the national guidance to reduce the spread of Covid-19; this will help protect our families, keep frontline services running and save lives.

Click here to watch our short video explaining the new measures.

For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Over 18s

If you’re over 18 or have previously received a letter saying you are at high risk or are clinically vulnerable from COVID-19 and you haven’t yet been contacted to book your vaccine, you can now book an appointment via the NHS using this link

Please do not call Ashford or St Peter’s Hospitals Switchboard as we will not be able to book a vaccine appointment for you and it is important that are phone lines are available for those who need to contact us. For further information, please see the NHS website.

Trust to begin trialling new entrance checkpoint systems

On Wednesday 10th February 2021, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will begin trialling a new digital checkpoint system for everyone who enters the main entrance at St Peter’s Hospital.

When you enter St Peter’s Hospital through the main entrance, there will now be a digital checkpoint where you must undertake the following steps:

  • Step 1: Sanitise your hands using the alcohol hand gel available
  • Step 2: Put on a new surgical mask, which will also be available at the checkpoint
  • Step 3: Stand in front of a thermal camera which will check your temperature and detect whether you are wearing a mask.

The camera will then either display a green light which means you have a face mask on and your temperature is okay after which you can then enter the site, or a red light which means you have not got a face mask on or you have a temperature. If after applying the face mask the red light still flashes this will indicate you have a temperature. If this is the case, patients should speak to the member of staff manning the checkpoint or someone on reception. If you have a temperature or any other Covid-19 symptoms, you should return home immediately and both you and your household should begin to self-isolate. You should book a Covid-19 test as soon as possible.

Staff entering the site will have their own checkpoint to pass through with the same requirements as the patient checkpoint. The digital checkpoints will be clearly signposted for both staff and patients so they are aware of which queue they would need to join when entering the site.

In addition to the new digital checkpoint system, a next exit route will be in place and clearly signposted by the cash point in the main entrance to allow for a socially distanced flow of patients and staff arriving and leaving through the main entrance.

In the coming weeks, the system will also be introduced at the main entrance of Ashford Hospital, and if the trial proves successful, the new system will be rolled out to other entrances across the Trust.

Keeping you safe when visiting ASPH

As we move into the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic we are restoring and recovering our services and safety for you and our team remains our absolute priority.

With this in mind we have made significant changes at our sites in line with government regulations. However we also need your support with these measures too. So please watch our short animation and read our information sheet. Thank you for your support and patience in following the guidance and helping to keep everyone safe.

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

 

It’s #NotTooMuchToMask

As a Trust, we are supporting the national #NotTooMuchToMask campaign which aims to encourage us all to continue to be cautious, despite lockdown and legal restrictions being lifted.

The campaign focuses on asking everyone to continue to wear facemasks when in public, maintain good hand hygiene, keep areas well ventilated and to meet outside where possible, to undertake contract tracing and of course to take up the offer of both doses of the vaccination.

Across our hospital sites, there has been no change to our current Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures or visiting restrictions. We continue to maintain best IPC practice across all areas of the hospital sites, not just wards and clinics, in line with national guidance.

Outpatients and Imaging Appointments

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 884351.

Road Map for ASPH Visiting from Monday 17th May

The Government Roadmap is on track and planned Step 3 easements will go ahead on 17 May. The data shows that the government’s “four tests” for easing restrictions have been met.

We are pleased to announce that visitors will be allowed into St. Peter’s site in a controlled manner from Monday 17 May 2021. The roadmap highlights the changes for each of the patient groups.

There will be a dedicated telephone line manned by 1 volunteer for visitors to book a time to see their loved one. This telephone line will be manned Monday to Friday 9.30am - 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm. The number is 01932 723318. If any visitors need to book a visiting slot outside of those hours they will need to contact the relevant ward direct. (Please click here for list of ward numbers).

Any patients who have a registered carer may have a daily visit of up to 1 hour. This includes the patient groups of learning difficulties and severe dementia. Remaining Adult inpatients may have 3 visits per week for 1 hour and this will be one visitor only per session, but can be a different person each time. No children or babies will be allowed.

There is one slot available every day for each bed/patient.

Children’s wards, maternity, A&E and ITU are managing the situation locally as highlighted in the roadmap.

Ashford hospital will not be allowing inpatient visiting at the moment, except for Wordsworth Ward and Chaucer Ward. Please phone 01784 884488 if you are enquiring about a patient.

This situation will be constantly reviewed and further visiting changes may occur depending on Covid incidence within our community and also transmission rates.

Many thanks,

Andrea Lewis RRC
Chief Nurse

Visiting Arrangements for Patients at the End-of-life

We have made some changes to the visiting arrangements for patients at the end-of-life. We are now able to accommodate one nominated visitor for up to one hour each day or two nominated visitors on alternate days during a patients stay. The patient must still be referred and reviewed by the Specialist Palliative Care Team prior to visiting, and visits must be pre-arranged each day with the ward nursing team.

Visiting Arrangements

Other visiting restrictions still remain in place and this is due to the risk COVID-19 continues to present within the community and our hospital and the associated threats of outbreaks with this.

If you have a family member who is a patient with special circumstances – such as learning difficulties, emotional and behavioural difficulties, or dementia, who would really benefit from a visitor then please speak to the ward nursing team and they will advise further.

Bereavement Office

Our Bereavement team provides advice and practical help for relatives immediately after the death of a loved one.

Please contact the team on 01932 722319 from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm. At weekends and bank holidays, there will be a reduced service 10am to 2pm.

Please use the hospital switchboard (01932 872000) if the service is not available. They will be able to direct your enquiry to the appropriate person or department / ward.

Maternity and Antenatal

The safety of our mums and newborn babies is our highest priority. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, as part of our Infection Prevention and Control strategy, we need to implement a strict visiting policy to help prevent transmission and safeguard those we care for. The restrictions at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals have been implemented due to the increased incidence of COVID-19 in our local community. We appreciate your support and understanding with these measures.

Homebirth Services

Our Homebirth Service is running as normal.

If you are healthy, are having an uncomplicated pregnancy and live within the area where we provide a community midwifery service, you may want to consider a homebirth as an option. Homebirth has been shown to reduce the likelihood of interventions in health pregnancies. Homebirth is not an advisable option should a complication arise in your pregnancy, or if you have either a medical or obstetric history that indicates that a hospital birth is more appropriate.

We aim to run a 24-hour service but very occasionally this not possible because the community midwives maybe attending another homebirth or it maybe due to staff sickness. On these very rare occasions your Midwife will keep you informed and explore other options with you.

Elective Inpatients
We are beginning to restart elective surgery that was reduced or suspended due to Covid-19. The majority of planned surgery will take place at Ashford Hospital but we are also utilising other hospital sites. We are working hard to prioritise patients waiting for surgery and to safely increase theatre capacity. If you have been referred to ASPH we will be in touch to arrange your appointment and explain the process you need to follow 14 days prior to surgery.

Emergency Inpatients and Cancer Treatment
Urgent and cancer patients are being clinically reviewed and surgery will continue (where appropriate). Diagnostic testing will continue for these patients.

Supporting Recovery from COVID-19

The Therapies team at Ashford and St Peters have developed a range of resources to help you in your recovery following discharge from hospital with COVID-19.

Each patients recovery journey will be different, but you may experience feelings of fatigue, shortness of breath, reduced tolerance for exercise, loss of appetite, difficulties with eating and drinking or voice issues. The guidance provided is based on general rehabilitation strategies and should not replace any individual advice you have been given.

Donations to the Trust
In these worrying times, the generosity of people and businesses from our community has been truly amazing. We are so grateful for all of the contributions and donations that have been made to support our staff. We are making arrangements to ensure these donations reach the team and vulnerable members of our community; so that you can be sure your generosity is really being put to good use. We don’t want anyone to put themselves at risk in order to support us, so here are a few pointers if you want to help ... find out more.

Latest NHS Information and Advice about COVID-19

You can access all the latest information on symptoms, testing and tracing, self-isolation, treatment and social distancing on the NHS website.

You should use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • high temperature
  • new, continuous cough
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

111 will tell you what to do and help you get a test if you need one. Stay at home and do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy. If you cannot get help online then call 111.

 

If you are worried about a child:

Call 111 if you are worried about a baby or child under 5. If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call 999. You can access more advice about coronavirus in children here.

NHS App and QR Codes
We encourage all patients and visitors over the age of 16 who live in England or Wales to download and use the NHS Covid-19 tracing app. It’s the fastest way of knowing when you’re at risk from coronavirus. The quicker you know, the quicker you can alert your loved ones, and your community.

There is no need to change any of the settings on the app when you enter the hospital sites.

We have placed a number of posters with QR codes in specific areas of the Trust. Where you see these posters please use the ‘Venue Check-in’ function of the app and scan the bar code.

For more information please visit www.covid19.nhs.uk.

Thank you for your support.

Patient Resources

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

For all the latest information including the risk of COVID-19 in the UK, advice for travelers, symptoms of Coronavirus, how it is spread and advice around public places and self-isolation visit the NHS website.

In this section:

 

When to self-isolate

Self-isolate if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you're waiting for a coronavirus test result
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive

There is separate advice if you're told by NHS Test and Trace that you've been in contact with a person with coronavirus available here.

For information about self-isolating when you travel or return to the UK, see GOV.UK: how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

 

How to self-isolate

Don't

  • do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
  • do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
  • do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

 

How long to self-isolate

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll usually need to self-isolate for at least 7 days.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Read more about how long to self-isolate.

 

How to avoid spreading the infection

It's very important to do what you can to reduce the risk of you and other people getting ill with coronavirus.

You can spread the virus even if you do not have symptoms.

 

Do

  • stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with when outside your home
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • if you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, such as in shops or on public transport

 

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

 

Advice for people at high risk

All the latest information and advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus can be found here.

 

Pregnancy advice

If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, you can get advice about coronavirus and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstretricians and Gynaecologists.

 

Update on Disabled Parking

The disabled car park is still open at St Peter’s Hospital but the nearest entrance to the hospital is temporarily closed. This is due to new processes for infection control screening, and in particular, so they, like other visitors to the Trust can be given a surgical mask, have a temperature check and sanitise their hands at a central access point.

Disabled persons are kindly asked to enter via the Duchess of Kent or front entrance at St Peter’s Hospital. If a disabled person or their carer needs assistance to get to the entrances, please phone the porters directly via 01932 722036. There will be signs in the car park to also assist visiting.

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