Current face mask guidance

We are continuously monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our hospitals and in our communities. We are currently seeing an increase in the number of cases and this is rising quickly.

In response, it is necessary for patients and visitors to wear masks in all areas of our hospitals and other healthcare settings (including home and social care setting visits) from Wednesday, 05 October 2022.

The wearing of masks is an important safety measure to control the unintended transmission of COVID-19.

The requirement to wear a Type IIR fluid-resistant surgical face mask applies to all colleagues, visitors and outpatients unless exempt on entry to our hospitals and these are provided.

Masks should be worn when walking and working in public spaces, clinical areas and non-clinical areas. This includes corridors and stairwells, rest areas, staff rooms, staff bases, libraries, site shopping and restaurant facilities and shared offices.

Visitors and Outpatients

Visitors and outpatients will now need to wear a Type IIR fluid-resistant surgical face mask on our premises. These will be provided on entry and remain in place for the duration of their time within the hospital or other settings. 

Infection Prevention and Control Guidance

It remains very important to ensure robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance as the best means by which to minimise and hopefully stop nosocomial transmissions. We can all play our part by following these very simple steps:

  • Rigorous application of hand hygiene Ideally, wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with hot water and soap but if not available use hand sanitisers.
  • Rigorous application of respiratory hygiene Catch it, bin it, kill it!
  • Compliance with social distancing requirements Keep your distance, on corridors keep left and walk in single file, do not dwell in corridors, stairwells or enclosed spaces.
  • Appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Please follow the latest guidance including the wearing of a Type IIR fluid-resistant surgical face mask as described in this letter.

Visiting guidance for relatives of patients

The Trust recognises that visiting is an important element of supporting patients to recover and return home and we’re keen to ensure patients can continue to have contact with their loved ones safely. 

As of Tuesday, 28 September, current visiting arrangements have now been extended for our adult inpatient wards and the following measures are in place:

  • Adult patients will be able to have two visitors at a time, between 2pm and 7pm.
  • This must still be booked via the individual wards to ensure this is managed appropriately.

Outpatients are allowed one person to attend their appointments with them, as long as they comply with the Trust’s rules around restrictions.

On children’s wards and paediatric outpatients, both parents or carers can attend to keep the family unit together (this includes our Children’s Assessment Unit). Between 10am and 8pm, two visitors can attend at a time, including the parent or carer.

Within maternity services there is open access to the partner of all mothers with a new-born. Siblings of the new-born are welcome between 10am and 7.30pm.  Extended family and friends can visit during the hours of 2pm-4pm and 5.30pm-7.30pm. Two adult visitors are welcome, in addition to the partner and siblings, during these times and visitors may differ from the afternoon to evening session.

In the Emergency Department, adults can be accompanied by one person and children can have two parents or carers accompany them.

These measures will be evaluated regularly and should an outbreak occur on any ward visiting restrictions will be reinstated for that area only. This is in line with the Trusts processes for any other infectious outbreak (such as norovirus).

Please do not visit if you are feeling unwell yourself and displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or vomiting and diarrhoea. 


Wearing of Masks

Please see the top of this page


Changes

Please be aware that the Trust may have to reinforce restrictions at short notice depending on possible local or national restrictions put in place by Public Health England.

We appreciate this is a very troubling time for everyone, and so we ask for your help in respecting these rules which are an essential safety measure.

Appointment guidance

If you are well and have a planned appointment at the hospital, please attend as normal unless we contact you. Our outpatient clinics are still currently going ahead, so unless you have been contacted by the hospital, either by text, phone or letter, please attend your hospital appointment.  

However, some appointments, where it is clinically appropriate, are being changed to telephone appointments, so that you do not have to travel to the hospital. If your appointment has been changed, we will send you a text to your mobile phone, so please keep checking. If you don’t have a mobile phone, you will be contacted by either telephone or letter. If you are not contacted, please attend as planned.

If your appointment is for a clinical procedure, such as an operation, endoscopy, or scan, these too are going ahead as planned. You will only be contacted if it has been cancelled.

Outpatients are allowed one person to attend their appointments with them, as long as they comply with the Trust’s rules around restrictions.

Your health, safety and wellbeing, that of our patients, communities and staff across the organisation remain our absolute priority.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.

For guidance regarding mask wearing - please see the top of this page. 

Patient Information: Attending an appointment

This is guidance to keep you safe when attending your appointment

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact on the NHS and all services within the NHS. As a result, you may have waited longer than normal for your appointment and we would like to apologise for this. We recommend that you now attend your next scheduled appointment that accompanies this leaflet and want to assure you that we will have a range of measures in place to help protect you from Coronavirus.

Please DO NOT attend an appointment if you or any member of your household are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, are self-isolating or are awaiting the results of a test.  For more information on symptoms/shielding/self-isolating please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

If these apply to you, please contact us to discuss it so that we can reschedule your appointment for a different time.

Contact Details

If you need to cancel or change your appointment please telephone the department on the number provided in your appointment letter.

Patient Information: Receiving a healthcare appointment at home

This is guidance to keep you safe during your home visit appointment

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact on the NHS and all services within the NHS. As a result, you may have waited longer than normal for your appointment and we would like to apologise for this. We recommend that you now receive your scheduled appointment at home and want to assure you that we will have a range of measures in place to help protect you from Coronavirus.

 

Please call before your appointment if you or any member of your household are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, are self-isolating or are awaiting the results of a test. For more information on symptoms/shielding/self-isolating please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

If these apply to you, please contact us to discuss it before a healthcare professional visits you.

 

If you are identified as clinically extremely vulnerable and have been shielding, please contact us for further advice before your appointment.

 

Preparing for your HOME VISIT APPOINTMENT

 

If possible:

  • In line with ELHT Trust policy, please wear a face covering for your appointment.  For guidance on how to wear and make a face mask, visit www.gov.uk and search ‘Face covering’.
  • Open a window to make sure the room  where your health professional will be meeting with you is well ventilated
  • Please open the doors for your health professional when they arrive and leave.  It is important that they minimise touching surfaces in your home.
  • Make a space so that your health professional can see you alone. Other members of the household should maintain social distancing.
  • Prior to your appointment, your health professional will ring you to go through a few questions about your health on the day

 

During your appointment

We have a range of measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19:

  • The health professional will adhere to social distancing measures during the visit, as appropriate for the assessment/intervention
  • They will be wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and an apron
  • The appointment may be shorter than usual and may partly be carried out on the phone or via video consultation where possible
  • The health professional will need you to dispose of the bagged personal protective equipment in the household waste.

 

Due to the COVID-19 response, our service may have a reduced number of appointments available. If you choose not to have your appointment, please contact us. It is helpful for us to know why so we can help with any concerns you might have.

 

Contact Details

If you need to cancel or change your appointment please telephone the department on the number provided in your appointment letter.

Temporary changes to maternity services

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trust has made some changes to maternity services.

Advice and guidance for expectant mothers and their loved ones is available here.

ELMS GP Out of Hours services on the Burnley General Hospital site temporarily suspended

East Lancashire Medical Services (ELMS GP Out of Hours services) delivered on the Burnley General Teaching Hospital site

In the current unprecedented conditions, and as we do everything we can to address the impact of the COVID-19 virus, a decision has been made to TEMPORARILY suspend the GP Out of Hours service delivered from the Burnley General Teaching Hospital Urgent Care Centre with effect from 6:30pm on 1 April 2020, until further notice. 

This decision has been taken to safeguard both the public and NHS employees and support the current national policy of suppressing the spread of COVID-19 by moving to telephone and video triage and treatment thereby minimising face to face contacts. As a consequence of the COVID-19 response, over recent weeks the number of GP Out of Hours face to face GP appointments has reduced dramatically.

During the period of this temporary suspension, ELMS will redeploy their staff and clinical resources across Pennine Lancashire to where it is best placed to support patient needs. There are significant increases in GP Out of Hours resources due to COVID-19, but the service needs to be delivered in a different way, with an increase in telephone and video consultations and home visits undertaken by exception, where face to face assessment is absolutely necessary.

Patients referred to the service via NHS 111 will be offered the same level of access via initial remote advice, care and support with face to face consultations still available at Blackburn and via home visits, by exception, following clinical assessment.

We realise that this may cause some inconvenience, but we are sure that our staff, patients and community understand that we are in unprecedented times and we need to react to the needs of our population and ensure that appropriate action is taken to suppress the spread of COVID-19. 

Please note, this notice only affects the GP Out of Hours service at Burnley General Teaching Hospital on a temporary basis and a full service will be reinstated as soon as possible.

All other services at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, including the Urgent Care Centre, are not affected by these changes.

Keeping active

Expert physiotherapists have designed a set of six simple exercises that you can do from your own home to make sure that you are getting some exercise.

Find out more on:

https://www.csp.org.uk/public-patient/keeping-active-and-healthy/staying-healthy-you-age/staying-strong-you-age/strength

Testing for COVID-19

To find out more about the testing programme for Covid-19 across the region, please follow this link https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/CoronavirusTesting. You can also use this testing matrix to learn more about how to access testing for Covid-19 and about the NHS Test and Trace service.

Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.

If you develop symptoms (a high temperature OR a new continuous cough OR a loss or change to your sense of smell OR taste) the Government advice is to stay at home for ten days and to book or order a test. For more information on testing, CLICK HERE. If you live with other people, they also should stay at home for ten days from the day the first person got symptoms. 

If you do not improve, or if your symptoms worsen, seek advice from NHS 111 online. If you have a routine hospital appointment during your period of self-isolation, let us know and we will rearrange your appointment for you.

We’d like to assure our patients and the public that our staff are both practised and skilled in treating patients with infectious diseases and we are confident in our procedures for dealing with this virus. The Trust has robust infection control measures in place and is following the most up to date national guidance and procedures at all times.

Please familiarise yourself with the symptoms and risk factors for Coronavirus on the NHS website:

Useful documents