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Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Please do not attend your NCH&C appointment or come to any of our sites if you have coronavirus symptoms. Please stay indoors and avoid contact with others. You can call us to rearrange your appointment for when you are well enough to attend.

The national guidance is to stay at home (self-isolate) for ten days if you have the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature (above 37.8 degrees)
  • a new continuous cough

Our services are running as usual and you should continue to attend your appointment as normal and as appropriate if you are well enough and have not got a coronavirus symptoms.

The NHS and Public Health England are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

Visiting guidance for NCH&C community inpatient units

What to expect when you come to visit and how to prepare (Click here to download this information as a printable leaflet)

This information will help visitors plan their visit and know what to expect as we work together to welcome visitors back to our wards. We are regularly reviewing our visiting arrangements in line with national and local guidance as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Although we are pleased to be able to start to introduce visiting to our wards again, we need to make you aware that we reserve the right to stop visiting on our wards at any time if deemed necessary to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, staff and visitors.

Booking visits

We are currently only able to allow nominated visitors on to our wards and visits must be pre-booked. Nominated visitors will be identified and contacted by a member of the ward staff when a patient is admitted to one of our wards to discuss making a booking. Bookings will be for nominated visitors only and at this time not changeable for another family member or other visitor.

As part of the booking process you will be asked to provide your contact details. This is important information that we will hold securely, enabling us to contact you about your visit and which may be shared with NHS Test and Trace, should this be needed.

NHS Test and Trace is a key part of the country’s ongoing COVID-19 response to help minimise the transmission of the virus.  You can find out more about this here.

The safety of everyone whilst maintaining equity of visiting is a priority for us. The patient may have been transferred to us from another hospital or care facility where visiting arrangements may differ to those we have in place. Within Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, each hospital, ward, or unit is different and therefore we hope you can understand that arrangements may differ.

Whilst we will do all we can to support visiting requests as we understand how important they are for the health and wellbeing of patients and visitors, we are working in line with national and local guidance with a phased approach that considers the health and safety of our patients, staff and visitors. Our visiting arrangements remain under regular review. Please check our website or speak to the ward manager for further information.

***NEW*** Request a visit online:

We are currently trialling the use of a visit request form at some of our units (Alder Ward, Beech Ward and Caroline House). This form provides visitors with a flexible way to request a visit to a patient currently staying in one of our inpatient wards.

Your request will be sent directly to the ward who will then contact you to confirm a date/time based on the availability you provide us.

To log a visit request, please click on the link for the ward you would like to visit and complete the form.

Request a visit on Alder Ward

Request a visit on Beech Ward

Request a visit at Caroline House

Before arriving at the hospital or ward

It is a good idea to write down any questions you have before arriving at the hospital. Where possible you should avoid public transport and drive/walk/cycle to the hospital to minimise the risk of exposure to others.

Please bring as few belongings as possible. These may include a small bag/handbag of personal items, cards and letters from loved ones, clean laundry and toiletries. This helps reduce the risk of infection.

On the day of the visit

You must not visit if you are unwell, especially if you have any of the following documented symptoms of COVID-19: high temperature, cough, sore throat, altered sense of taste or smell, shortness of breath (unrelated to a known medical condition).

You must not visit if you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and / or have been asked to self-isolate or are from an area currently in local lockdown (see GOV.UK guidance for the latest updates).

If any of the above applies, please contact the ward to cancel your visit for that day.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

You will be asked to wear a face mask/covering, which must not be touched or removed during your visit.

Please bring and wear a face mask/covering with you if possible. You may also be provided with other appropriate PPE by staff and guided on where to clean your hands and how to put on the protective equipment. If you are not clear about the PPE, please ask the staff supporting you.

Please remember to inform staff if you have any allergies to latex.

Please note:  The wearing of a face mask/covering correctly is compulsory at all times during your visit.  This is a necessary requirement to protect everyone on the ward.  Unfortunately, if you are not able to comply with this requirement you will be unable to visit. 

Entering the hospital / ward

To aid your visit, our hospital has easily visible health and safety and social distancing guidelines in walkways, corridors and ward areas.

On arrival at the ward our trained volunteers or a member of staff will be ready to meet you and show you to the area where your loved one will be. There are hand washing and sanitising points around the hospital. Please use these on entry and exit.

During your visit

To avoid the risk of COVID-19 transmission, you must avoid touching the person you  are visiting and follow social distancing guidelines during your visit. We also ask that you remain with the patient and do not move around the ward to help minimise risk.

Our staff will do all they can to protect you and support you during your visit and will advise you of additional risks. Depending on other activity that may be happening on the ward on the day of your visit, it may be necessary to end your visit. Please follow all instructions from our staff.

At the end of your visit

It is important that you remove and dispose of your PPE correctly and wash / sanitise your hands.  Please ask a member of staff for guidance as to how to do this before leaving the ward. 

Remember that you should not visit another healthcare facility after your visit.

Other ways to keep in touch with your relative, friend or loved one

We know and understand that visiting in person may not be possible for some people and, to start with, visiting is restricted. We do recommend that you continue to keep in touch with your loved one using our Thinking of You messaging service. You can also keep in touch by arranging a video call from your mobile device. Please speak to a member of staff to arrange this.

The use of face coverings when coming to hospital at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are introducing new measures at NCH&C to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. 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, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

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.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

Where do I go for more information?

If you have further questions regarding the changes we have made across the trust, please speak to a member of staff or contact our Patient advice and liaison service (PALS).

Norfolk Community Resilience during COVID-19

Norfolk is a community, and many in our society will require support during this challenging time.

Some people will already have received letters from the NHS asking them to contact a national helpline so support can be arranged. It is essential that we shield these extremely vulnerable people from the virus, and make mechanisms available to allow them to protect themselves by staying at home.

We are also aware that this list will not identify all people in our communities that need assistance, and urge anyone who needs support to make themselves known.

Therefore, if you are vulnerable (see Government advice on vulnerability) or are struggling to get food or prescriptions because you are self-isolating, please contact 0344 800 8020 or visit the Norfolk County Council website. This line will be open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and at weekends 10am-4pm.

While leaving your house to buy essential food items is currently permissible under the Government’s guidance on social distancing, we strongly encourage all those in extremely vulnerable groups to stay at home.

The Norfolk Community Directory is being updated regularly with information about food provision and how to access it, so please do visit our page if you require further information or support on how you can keep yourself fed and safe.

Some people will also require access to vital medication or health advice during, or due to, the COVID-19 outbreak. Please click here to access vital information about keeping yourself well.

We are fortunate to have been contacted by many conscientious citizens wishing to volunteer their time and services during this challenging time.

Voluntary Norfolk, Momentum and Community Action Norfolk are working with local councils and health providers to recruit volunteers – please visit Voluntary Norfolk to see how you could get involved.