Coronavirus Advice


COVID-19 NEW MEASURES
 

To protect patients and staff, all general hospital visiting across Northern Ireland has now stopped. We understand that visits are important to patient’s wellbeing but these are extraordinary circumstances.
 

The ONLY exceptions to this are:
 

  • Paediatrics - any children admitted can be accompanied by one parent or carer at a time.
     
  • Maternity - a person in labour can be accompanied by one birthing partner. There are no visitors permitted in ante-natal or post-natal ward areas.
     
  • Neonatology and Paediatric Intensive Care - a patient in the neonatal ward/ paediatric ICU may be accompanied by one parent-visit duration to be agreed with the Ward Sister or Charge Nurse.
     
  • Critical Care Areas (including Adult Intensive Care Units; Coronary Care Units; High Dependency Units) - one visitor permitted to visit. The duration and timing of the visit must be agreed in advance with the Ward Sister or Charge Nurse-normally be a maximum of one hour.
     
  • Palliative (end of life) care - one visitor permitted to visit.  The duration and timing of the visit must be agreed in advance with the Ward Sister or Charge Nurse-normally be for a maximum of one hour.

For further information on visiting restrictions and query's please click on the document links below:

Visitng Restrictions and FAQ's

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

People must not visit if they are feeling unwell, especially if they have a high temperature or new persistent cough. Children are also not permitted to visit.

Visitors must ensure that they carry out full hand washing or use sanitizer on entry when visiting. They should be bare below the elbows, and have no jewellery except a flat wedding band. Hands should be washed or sanitizer used when leaving.

In recognition of the expected rise in cases across NI, the Trust is down turning non -urgent activity. This will include non- urgent consultant-led outpatient appointments, day cases and inpatient and diagnostic work. This downturn will allow staff to focus on preparations and the training required to care for COVID -19 suspected and confirmed cases. It will also ensure that sufficient capacity is released to address any increase in demand for services.

Currently, only non- urgent outpatients, day case, inpatient and diagnostic services will be reduced. Any suspect cancer or urgent episodes of care will continue.

Patients whose appointments have been cancelled will have received a telephone call or a letter. If patients have not been contacted, they should attend their appointment as normal.

Our Switchboard is extremely busy with calls about Coronavirus.  If you have concerns, please DO NOT telephone the Trust, here is what to do;

  • If you are concerned about Coronavirus, please visit www.publichealth.hscni.net
  • If you are concerned about your recent travel history, please contact the NHS Helpline service by dialling 111
  • If you have a high temperature and/or a new dry persistent cough, stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days
  • Call your GP if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, if your condition gets worse or if your symptoms do not get better after 7 days
  • In a medical emergency, dial 999 and highlight your symptoms

Temporary Changes to Maternity Services

Lagan Valley and Downe Midwifery Led Units will no longer be open for births as from Monday 30 March 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. Antenatal and postnatal care will continue as normal. This is a temporary measure due to COVID-19 and services will be restored to normal as soon as possible. Expectant mums impacted by this change will be contacted by their midwife to discuss the change of birth place and to answer any questions or concerns 

There is also new visiting advice for Maternity, due to covid-19.  A person in labour can be accompanied by one birthing partner.  There are no visitors permitted in antenatal or postnatal ward areas.

As a Trust we understand that the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is causing great anxiety for pregnant women. To support you during this time we have set up a Helpline to help address any concerns you may have about your pregnancy.

The lines will be open Monday to Friday 9.00am -5.00pm and Saturday and Sunday 9.00am -1.00pm,  you can speak directly to a Midwife at (028) 9263 3591, who will endeavour to address any questions or concerns you may have. Lines may be busy so please be patient as we try to answer all calls.

If you have any other urgent queries about your pregnancy please contact EOU at the Ulster Hospital on (028) 9055 0403,  Lagan Valley Midwife Led Unit (028) 9263 3534 or Downpatrick Midwife Led Unit (028) 4461 6995.

 

For more information on Coronavirus  please visit: www.nidirect.gov.uk/coronavirus and https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/

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