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Coming into hospital and clinical services

Updates on clinical services

The Emergency Department at Royal Stoke University Hospital will no longer treat minor injuries in adults or children in order to free up vital resources.

During this time Haywood Hospital will be able to provide these essential services to the local community. Orthopaedic surgeons and emergency nurse practitioners from Royal Stoke will join the Haywood Walk-in centre team to provide an enhanced service.

We are asking the public to consider if they are in need of these facilities and make an informed choice on attendance. Patients attending Royal Stoke will be re-directed to Haywood Hospital and those attending A&E at County will be redirected to the fractures clinic.

Please note that all other emergency services at Royal Stoke, including the Major Trauma Service and the Children’s Emergency Department (ages 0 to 15), and County Hospital will be operating as normal for major injury and illness.

Patients will be able to speak to an expert clinician who will offer advice on the next steps to take. Anyone who needs advice out of hours should telephone NHS 111 in the first instance for guidance.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes but the safety of our patients must remain a top priority and it is important to ensure we fully comply with the actions taken by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Minor injuries at County Hospital - Patients must first enter via A&E reception before being seen in the fracture clinic between 9am and 6pm.

Orthopaedic surgeons and Emergency Nurse Practitioners will provide this service.

Outside of these hours you may be asked to return the following day.

Patients who have an eye emergency are also being asked not to attend hospital straight away and instead call a telephone number and speak to a specialist.

Please contact the Emergency Eye Clinic on 01782 674300. This service is available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 12 noon.

Whilst we endeavour to accommodate patients on the site nearest to where they live, because of social distancing and additional cleaning requirements. We are encouraging patients, wherever possible, to attend the appointment offered, even if this is at a different site to their normal attendance. However, we do recognise that for some patients this might be difficult. Should a patient still want to receive what might be a later appointment and be seen at Royal Stoke Hospital this can be arranged by calling the main hospital number (01782 715444) and then they can select appointments team and speak to one of our advisors.

The Freestanding Birthing Unit (FMBU) at County Hospital will close temporarily from Monday 23 March to help staff at University Hospitals of North Midlands provide safe maternity services to all pregnant women. This decision has been made as part of a planned strategy to help UHNM cope with extra pressures and demands being faced as a result of COVID-19.

The temporary closure of the FMBU will allow UHNM to make the best use of maternity staff and provide a safe service at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

All women booked into the FMBU are being contacted and will be offered delivery at the co-located Midwifery Birthing Centre (MBC) at Royal Stoke.

Michelle Rhodes, UHNM Chief Nurse, said: "We have a duty to provide safe care to our patients – including our expectant families and this decision will help us achieve that."​

All clinics are currently appointment only

Please attend alone with the only exception being essential carers

Please attend as close to your appointment time as possible to support social distancing

Please do not attend if you have:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

If you have any of the above symptoms please re book no sooner than 7 days from when they started.

You will not be seen without a paper blood test request from your doctor

Find out more here

Breast Screening Service has resumed and if you are eligible for an appointment you will receive a letter asking you to call our service and we will arrange a suitable appointment for you.

We are offering Socially Distanced appointments in-line with Government and Public Health Guidance.

Please do not attend if you have any major Covid symptoms;
• High Temperature
• Recent continuous cough
• Loss or change to your sense of smell.

If you have any changes in your breast or symptoms that are causing you concern please contact your GP.

 

Cancer services at UHNM during COVID-19 from UHNM NHS Trust on Vimeo.

NHS England and NHS Improvement, in collaboration with the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), reached a national agreement with Independent Sector (IS) healthcare providers to secure all available inpatient capacity and resource in every area in England to form part of the national response to COVID-19.

The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS (UHNM) Trust has been working in collaboration with the Independent Sector and the inpatient facilities provided by the Nuffield Health North Staffordshire Hospital, Clayton Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme, ST5 4DB.

The Cancer Centre Emergency Assessment Unit (direct admission unit) will also be relocated to the North Staffordshire Nuffield Hospital.

The Nuffield will continue to accommodate haematology and oncology patients requiring a hospital inpatient stay and is being staffed by UHNM Cancer Centre nursing, medical, pharmacy and support staff. All UHNM policies and procedures continue to be followed whilst patients are being housed at the Nuffield including the current visiting restrictions.

Day case chemotherapy will continue at the Cancer Centre at Royal Stoke University Hospital  

Some cancer surgery has also transferred to Nuffield Health North Staffordshire Hospital from Royal Stoke.

Coming into hospital

To help reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep our hospitals safe you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, there are face mask dispensers available at all entrances.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. 

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.

You are required to wear a face mask throughout the duration of your hospital stay.  This will help to keep you and others safe.  Suitable masks will be provided by the hospital.

There are some instances when masks do not need to be worn such as:

  • If you require some types of oxygen support.
  • If you are eating or drinking.

If there is a reason why you feel unable to wear a mask, please discuss this with the ward manager. If it is agreed that you are not able to wear a face mask all day, please ensure you put one on when a member of the care team asks you to or when they enter the room you are in unless you have been told otherwise.

Thank you for your support as we know that the masks can get uncomfortable.

A mask should:

  • Cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably.
  • Fit comfortably and securely against the side of your face.

When wearing a mask you should:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on.
  • Avoid wearing the mask around your neck or across your forehead.
  • Avoid touching the part of the face that covers your mouth and nose, as it may be contaminated with the virus.
  • Change the face mask if it becomes damp.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing.
  • Only handle the straps, ties.
  • Dispose of it carefully in a waste bin.
  • Once the mask is removed, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser.

Whilst in Hospital and if you are an inpatient:

  • For your own safety and that of others, please do not move away from the bed area allocated to you unless required to attend other departments for tests or investigations. This includes:
    • You are requested not to mix with other patients, staff or visitors unless in a controlled way.
    • You are requested not to visit a shop whilst an in-patient. Please ask a member of staff and they will help organise a delivery for you.
    • You are requested not go to any of the entrances for fresh air.
    • If you smoke, please refrain from smoking for the period of time you are in hospital. Please let staff know if you are struggling and they can provide you with nicotine replacement products.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and signage will be displayed advising people of the appropriate entrances and exits to use to ensure this can be done safely.

Due to social distancing, if you do attend an appointment accompanied, your chaperone might be asked to wait outside of the department during your appointment.

Please ensure you use hand gel available on entering and exiting our hospital sites.

We will do everything possible to provide essential surgery at this time. However, the coronavirus pandemic is placing huge demands on the entire health service and is changing the way we work and your surgical care may be affected in many ways.

Your assessment and care may be disrupted, delayed or performed differently during the pandemic.

Your surgical care may also be different to normal

Before your operation

  • Most of your consultations will occur by telephone or by letter.
  • The added risks of getting coronavirus will be discussed and in some cases this may change treatment options.
  • Your pre-anaesthetic assessment may be done by telephone with a nurse, and possibly an anaesthetist too.
  • We will arrange for you to have coronavirus testing approximately 72 hours before your operation by taking a virus nose and throat swab. Your operation is likely to be postponed if you test positive or are unwell. Unfortunately this test is not always accurate and you might be developing COVID-19 coronavirus infection even if the test is negative.
  • In addition, if you are having major surgery, you may require a CT scan of your chest the day before surgery, to ensure there are no changes associated with COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Your procedure is likely to be postponed if the CT scan is abnormal.
  • Unless surgery is an emergency, whilst at home waiting for the procedure you will be asked to take some steps to reduce the possibility of developing the infection from 14 days before your operation. These include:
  • Avoid being face to face within 2 meters of people outside your household or support bubble.
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Keep indoor places well ventilated
  • Work from home if you can
  • Reduce the number of people you are in proximity with in the workplace
  • If you have to travel think about how and when you do so – avoid public transport if you can and if you cannot, try to avoid traveling at the busiest times
  • Wear face coverings in crowded places in line with government instructions
  • Keep your hands and face as clean as possible – wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap and use sanitiser after contact with objects particularly outside your home.
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands.
  • Wash your clothes regularly

Members of your household should also adhere to this guidance during the 14 day period to minimise the risk of passing Covid-19 onto you.

Two to three  days before your planned date of admission you will have a swab to see if you have Covid-19. After this is done you must increase the measures you take to isolate from others. You should:

  • Not leave your house/garden
  • Not have any visitors except those who provide essential care
  • Make arrangements to have food and medicines delivered to your home
  • Wash your hands more regularly using soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face/mouth/nose with your hands
  • Wipe down all surfaces in your home with soap/disinfectant regularly.
  • If you live with others you should minimise any time spent in shared areas, ensure that those areas are well ventilated and that 2 meter distance is maintained. Where possible you should sleep on your own and use different bathroom and towels. Where you have a shared bathroom it should be wiped down after every use.
  • Travel should be avoided for all except essential trips and these should be by private car with a household member with care taken to sit as far away as possible from the driver and to ensure there are open windows for ventilation. If you cannot source private transport to come to hospital for your operation please let us know and it will be provided for you. When you come to hospital you should wear a face covering, this does not have to be a surgical mask.
  • If you or any member of your household develops Covid-19 symptoms (fever over 37.8 degrees C/new persistent cough/sudden loss of taste or smell) you should let us know as soon as possible by telephoning either the Pre-Ams department (RSUH 01782-676961/CH 01785-236197) or your Consultant’s secretary.

After your operation

  • We will discharge you as soon as it is safe, and as far as possible we will follow you up by telephone.

Depending on the level of COVID-19 coronavirus circulating in the local population, you might be carrying the virus without showing any symptoms when you come for your operation. Coming to hospital might also increase your chances of contracting COVID-19 virus despite all the precautions we will take. However, considering the decreasing level of COVID-19 virus in the general population (May 2020), the risk of either of these, is low.

If COVID-19 coronavirus infection occurs when you have surgery or while you are in hospital, this could either make your recovery more difficult, or increase your risk of serious illness and death. In some circumstances this could mean that the risk of surgery may be too high for us to offer the surgery, but for those patients that we do offer surgery to, we will do everything we can to perform your operation safely. We will listen to your concerns and discuss them with you.

Considering the extra risks of surgery due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, you may wish to delay your operation, and we would understand your reasons for this. However, we don’t know how long the pandemic conditions may go on for or whether a second wave will occur, and if so, when. There may be very long delays if waiting for COVID-19 “free” conditions. Future dates for surgery may also take longer than normal to arrange. These delays could make surgery more difficult or less successful.

UHNM, along with the wider NHS, is responding the national coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak.

If you are still required to come into hospital we would request that you attend by yourself, or if you need support, with a maximum of one other person.

If you would prefer not to attend your appointment/procedure, please inform us by the telephone number on your admission letter.

Due to the large amount of calls we are currently receiving, please only ring if you have an urgent query.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, if you do need to attend hospital for an outpatient appointment, you will be asked to take some steps to ensure you can get the care you need in an environment that keeps you safe.

Before your appointment

You will receive an automated telephone and text message to remind you about your appointment, so please make sure we have your up-to-date details.

If you can no longer make your appointment or no longer need it please call 01782 676676 or email uhnm.appointments@uhnm.nhs.uk. Your referral may be closed and you may not be offered another appointment if you do not let us know.

If you have any of these symptoms: cough, fever, loss of taste or smell then please do not attend your appointment.

Please bring with you to your appointment

  • Your appointment card or letter.
  • Any medication you are taking.
  • Details of existing medical conditions and/or allergies you have.
  • Samples if requested.
  • Proof of entitlement to free prescriptions and/or travel. You may be entitled to claim your travel expenses if you are receiving supplementary benefits.

When you arrive for your appointment

To help us adhere to the government guidelines during the current Covid situation please could you attend as close to your appointment time as possible. Most clinics at Royal Stoke have a self check facility in the main entrance.

Face Coverings/Masks 

All patients and visitors are required to wear face coverings. These can be cloth and/or handmade. More information is available on our website www.uhnm.nhs.uk   

Social Distancing

All patients and visitors will be asked to maintain social distancing and where possible all patients should attend appointments alone. If you do need to be accompanied, your chaperone may be asked to wait outside of the department during your appointment.

After your appointment

Before leaving, please hand in your ‘clinic outcome form’ to the receptionist and ask for a survey so that you can tell us how we did.

Getting to and from hospital

There is a free shuttle service between Royal Stoke and County on the hour, every hour, between 6am –10pm Monday to Friday and two hourly at weekends. Call 01782 813047 to book. (office hours 9am-5pm).

 

 

Fever detectors have been installed in some areas of the hospital as an extra precaution and some patients may be required to checked by the thermal camera. The cameras record body temperature and identify anyone displaying signs of fever, those detected by the camera can then be seen by a clinician to determine if they have the first signs of a high fever related to an infection/illness such as COVID-19. The action taken on those with a high temperature will vary on the clinical needs of the patient.