Michaela Tait, Patient Experience and Engagement Manager at MKUH, has sent us this up-to-date information about Covid-19 (coronavirus) as at March 17th, 2020.
Restrictions on visiting hours and non-urgent appointments to be rescheduled
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has taken steps to protect patients, staff and visitors and maintain the running of its services as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, including introducing restrictions on patient visits and postponing routine operations.
Urgent operations and operations that form part of cancer treatment will go ahead and patients should attend as planned.
These measures aim to reduce visitor footfall across the hospital – and with it the risk of spreading the virus – and maximise the number of hospital beds available for patients needing emergency care.
Visiting the hospital: new restrictions
- With immediate effect, visiting hours will be limited to one visitor per patient, per day, between the hours of 4pm and 7pm for all adult inpatient wards.
- We would advise that children under the age of 16 years of age do not attend the hospital to visit a family member/ loved one.
- The number of people who can accompany patients to the Emergency Department and all Assessment Units and Outpatient Departments (including scans, x-ray and other imaging appointments) is also being limited to one person per patient.
- In Maternity, visiting is restricted to one person only for all appointments, labour and birth, and postnatally (the hours of visiting are not restricted).
- In Paediatrics, visiting is restricted to two parents or guardians and no siblings (the hours of visiting are not restricted).
- There may be exceptions to these restrictions, which will be discussed with patients’ families or next of kin and decisions made on an individual basis.
- Upon entering the wards, please ensure that you either wash your hands thoroughly (for 20 at least seconds) or use the alcohol gel provided. We would ask that you do the same on leaving the ward.
- Please do not visit the hospital if you have flu or cold-like symptoms.
- Please follow any instructions given to you by clinical staff.
Routine planned surgery is being postponed during this time. Patients who have appointments for planned routine surgery will be contacted by the hospital and their appointments rescheduled.
We are increasing the availability of virtual clinics, consultations using Skype and telephone appointments, in order that we can accommodate the appointments of as many patients as possible without the need for them to come into the hospital. If this affects your appointment, the hospital will contact you.
Some outpatient appointments and diagnostic appointments (scans, x-rays, endoscopies etc) will need people to continue to attend the hospital. If you have not heard from the hospital with a change to your appointment, please attend as planned.
Chief Executive of Milton Keynes University Hospital, Professor Joe Harrison, said: “We are taking precautionary measures to limit the number of people coming into the hospital to help prevent the potential spread of Covid-19.
“We know that some of these measures – including restricting visiting numbers and times – will be difficult for patients and families, but we believe it’s the right thing to do to help protect everyone in our hospital and in our wider community.
“We are working around the clock to ensure we can continue to provide as many services as possible, as well as planning for a potential increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 who need hospital care. It is a challenging time, but the hospital and local health and public services are doing everything possible to care for those who need us most.”
What to do
Stay at home for 7 days if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
This means staying at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back.
- a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly.
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.
Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading. This is particularly important for people who:
- are 70 or over.
- have a long-term condition.
- are pregnant.
- have a weakened immune system.
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
Use the NHS 111 online Covid-19 service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home.
- your condition gets worse.
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
For more information visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/