As part of Virgin Care’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, we are putting measures in place to protect patients, visitors and staff.
We are making some changes to out-patient appointments, this leaflet is to outline what safety measures we have put in place and what we expect of you.
We are restricting face-to-face consultations to essential services only and we have had to significantly reduce the provision of routine procedures across our service. We confirm that all pre planned Appointments are still going ahead. If you would prefer a telephone or video appointment, please speak to us to see if this is possible.
Please note that you will be asked a series of screening questions around COVID-19 when you arrive at the service by reception.
You will also have your temperature taken by an infrared non touch thermometer, this is to help keep our patients and colleagues safe.
All our staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with Public Health England guidance.
Please do not arrive early for your appointment, please arrive on time, if you arrive early, where possible please wait in your vehicle. We aim to reduce the amount of time patients are in the service.
Do not bring children and family members to your appointment unless necessary.
Children who are attending appointments should be accompanied by one adult only.
Translation services will be provided if needed do not bring family members for this purpose
You will notice that some seating areas have been cornered off and that there are markings on the floor to ensure social distancing, please obey these signs.
If you, or someone living in the same house as you, develops any of the following symptoms:
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in a 24 hour period (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure temperature)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or tasteVisit: www.111.nhs.uk/COVID-19 for advice on next steps and on self isolating.
- If you were due to have an appointment, please call our service using the telephone number at the top of your appointment letter to advise them of the situation when possible.
- For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Please do not come in for your appointment
Look after your mental health – support and guidance is available to access on line at Every Mind Matters https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Please follow Government advice published at nhs.uk/coronavirus.
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are 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, for more information please see https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-guidance#guidance-for-the-public
What services have temporarily stopped?
In line with current guidance, we have temporarily ceased the provision of the following procedures:
- All routine Minor Surgery appointments
- Patch Testing
- Routine Face to Face appointments
Our decision is based on advice that has been issued from the British Association of Dermatologists, Public Health England and NHS England. The recommendations include restrictions in face-to-face contact with healthcare professionals, and the expansion of remote (online/telephone) consultations and prescribing.
We provide consultation, advice and treatment from consultants, specialist GPs and specialist nurses for a wide range of dermatological problems (skin complaints).
Our community dermatology service is consultant led and accepts referrals for patients of all ages.
All referrals are triaged with some conditions seen initially by our nurse specialist, who is supported by the consultant.