To enhance our step to keep staff safe, we will now encourage patients to wear a surgical mask during interactions with staff, e.g. during ward round or physical examination/ history taking/ nursing care etc.  This will not apply to patients using oxygen supplementation etc, or to patients who cannot tolerate it, either for physical or psychological reasons. 

We will provide patients with surgical masks at their bedside.

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 maintain and expand our current arrangements safely. 

Therefore, as of Monday, 2 August, 2021, our visitor policy will change. The Trust will extend the criteria to include more ward areas and patients will be able to nominate two visitors for an hour each. Please note that only one nominated visitor will be allowed at a time

This will be via a pre-bookable slot on an electronic booking system currently being extended and similarly subject to a negative lateral flow test and strict infection prevention control. Relatives are being asked NOT to call the ward to attempt to book a visit as wards will contact the nominated visitors to book a visiting time.

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).

At the entrance to the hospital, visitors will be asked to follow hand hygiene measures and given a Type ll Fluid Resistant Mask. We also ask that our continued social distancing measures are adhered to throughout.


Emergency Department

Please be aware that visiting or accompanying people to the Emergency Department or Urgent Care Centres at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and Burnley General Teaching Hospital remains restricted.

One person may accompany or visit people seeking or receiving treatment in the Emergency Department if the patient has:

  • Mental health needs
  • Cognitive impairment such as Dementia
  • Communication challenges such as visual or hearing impairment

In addition, any child under the age of 18 can have one nominated parent or carer accompany them to the Emergency Department.

Last days of life.


Inpatient arrangements

Each patient is allowed two nominated visitors per day.

Only one person can visit at a time and these two visitors should not change throughout the patients’ stay, without agreement by the ward manager (in exceptional circumstances). This is essential to reduce footfall and adhere to PHE guidelines in protecting our patients and staff.

In exceptional circumstances, such as for patients receiving end of life care or where the visitor themselves needs assistance, two visitors from the same household or “bubble’’ may be allowed with extended visiting times if agreed with the nurse in charge of the ward.

For adult patients, no children under 16 are permitted to visit except in compassionate circumstances. This must be arranged in advance with ward staff.


Outpatient Appointment arrangements

Outpatients are allowed one person to attend their appointments with them as long as they comply with the Trust’s rules around restrictions as set out below. This is with the exception of maternity - see the maternity restrictions here.

  • Additional visitors will be considered in the following cases:
  • End of Life Care

For patients who are near end of life, up to four family members may be permitted at the discretion of the ward manager.

Childrens Ward / CAU

Both parents or carers can attend Children’s Ward to keep the family unit together (only one parent on the Children’s Assessment Unit)

In exceptional circumstances, depending on the needs of the patient and with the agreement of the Nurse in Charge, other visitors may be allowed.


Day Surgery for Children

One parent or carer may attend with a child for planned day surgery.


Patients in all services needing additional support

An additional nominated individual (not classed as a visitor) can provide support to a patient at the discretion of the nurse in charge. This may be to help meet the patients’/ individual’s needs and could include:

  • A patient/individual with mental health needs
  • Any cognitive impairment
  • Communication challenges such as visual or hearing impairment
  • When the patient is receiving significant/bad news
  • Mobility assistance

Other considerations for extended/additional visiting should be considered using an individual risk-based approach.


Restrictions

You MUST not visit or attend an appointment with a patient if you or they:

  • Have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Are isolating as a contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive or been to an overseas location where the foreign office has advised two weeks isolation.
  • Have been contacted by Test and Trace to say you or they are a contact of a COVID-19 positive person.
  • Have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Are shielding due to anticipated surgery.

Also if any local or national lockdown restrictions are in place that would not support inpatient visiting.

Visitors and patients should cleanse their hands on entering and leaving the hospital (this stops other germs) and entering and leaving clinical areas.


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.

COVID-19 Family Liaison Service

COVID-19 Family Liaison Service

If you require support contacting the ward or unit your loved one is staying on, our Family Liaison Service can help.

Call 01254 735435 Monday – Friday, 08:30 am - 4:30 pm
(An answerphone is available for out of hours messaging)

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.

When it is necessary to attend the hospital, the patient should attend alone, where this may not be possible, please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements.

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.

Surgical face masks (that are provided at all entrances) must be worn by ALL patients, visitors and staff while in our hospitals unless exempt. 

NB. These measures will remain in place after the Government lifting of restrictions on Monday, 19 July, 2021.

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.

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

 

Travelling to and from your appointment

When travelling to and from your appointment, please follow the guidelines which include keeping a safe distance from others and travelling by car, bike or walking if possible. Wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving different areas. Go to www.gov.uk and search for ‘Staying Safe Outside Your Home’.

 

Wearing a surgical mask FOR ALL APPOINTMENTS

In line with ELHT Trust policy, please wear a surgical mask to your appointment, this will be provided on arrival. For guidance on how to wear and make a face mask, visit www.gov.uk and search ‘Face covering’.

These measures will remain in place after the Government lifting of restrictions on Monday, 19 July, 2021.

When attending your appointment

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

  • Social distancing measures will be in place
  • There will be additional infection control procedures and clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment such as surgical face masks
  • Your appointment may be at a clinic that is not your usual venue
  • The appointment may take longer than usual
  • Arrive on time and not early so that you do not have to spend too much time in waiting areas of the hospital
  • Outpatients are allowed one person to attend their appointments with them as long as they comply with the Trust’s rules around restrictions as set out below. This is with the exception of maternity – see the maternity restrictions here.

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

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.

Face coverings in hospital buildings

The use of face coverings when coming to hospital

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 to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

Surgical face masks (that are provided at all entrances) must be worn by ALL patients, visitors and chaperones while in our hospitals unless exempt. 

These measures will remain in place after the Government lifting of restrictions on Monday, 19 July, 2021.

What does this mean for me?

If you are coming to our hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, you will be required to put on a surgical mask on entry to the hospital (or healthcare setting). The surgical mask should remain in place covering your mouth and nose for the duration of your attendance in the hospital (or healthcare setting). This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

If you are wearing a cloth-based or homemade face covering you will be required to change to a surgical mask on entry to the hospital (or healthcare setting). This is in line with national NHS guidance as a surgical mask provides greater protection than cloth-based or homemade face covering.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade and may be worn in other environments outside of hospital or healthcare settings. 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.

Please note that our visitor guidance has not changed.

For some people, wearing a surgical mask or 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 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 wearing a surgical mask while in the hospital (or healthcare setting).


How to wear a face covering Coronavirus Awareness Poster (1).png

 

To enhance our step to keep staff safe, we will now encourage patients to wear a surgical mask during interactions with staff, e.g. during ward round or physical examination/ history taking/ nursing care etc. This will not apply to patients using oxygen supplementation etc, or to patients who cannot tolerate it, either for physical or psychological reasons.  

 

We will provide patients with surgical masks at their bedside.

Dropping off essential belongings to patients

Where possible, we encourage you to avoid any unnecessary travel.

We have a belongings drop off service; this allows relatives to drop-off essentials for patients, without entering the hospital.

Relatives are asked to pack essential items only such as toiletries, underwear, and clothing (see list below), in a sealed clear visible bag, labelled with the patient’s name and ward. Once the items have been logged and documented, they will be placed into one of our patient property bags before being taken to the ward. Staff will not take responsibility for the valuable items once given to the patient.

·       Toiletries

·       Underwear

·       Dentures

·       Toothpaste

·       Footwear

·       Hearing Aid

·       Glasses

·       Nightwear

·       Clothing/footwear

·       Mobile phone and charger

·       Puzzle books

·       iPad/Tablet

 

Patients assessed to have an impaired mind or brain (Learning Disability, Autism, Dementia or Delirium), will be allowed therapeutic objects such as memory books, music cd’s, photos of loved ones, dolls, soft toys etc.; where it is identified they would benefit from having these items.

·       Memory books

·       Music cd’s

·       Twiddle muffs (dementia)

·       Photos of loved ones

·       Dolls

·       Soft toys / animals

 

Valuables (cash, jewellery, etc.) will not be accepted. Only pre-packed, sealed and non-perishable food (not home made or hot food) can be accepted.

Bags need to be taken to the designated drop-off area for the specific hospital site (see below). Once the member of staff has shown acknowledgement, visitors are to place items into a hospital property bag. The member of staff or volunteer will then document and log all of the items on to the pro-forma, listing the patient's property.

Items that are contained in a sealed and clear visible bag, can be placed directly into the hospital property bag, once the items have been logged and documented by a member of staff. You will be provided with a copy of the pro-forma listing the patient’s property.

It is essential that no relative using this service enters the hospital.

We cannot take any requests from households with any COVID-19 suspected or actual symptoms, or if you have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace.

Only leave belongings with our volunteers, and never leave any bags unattended please. The Trust cannot accept responsibility for personal belongings left outside the stated drop-off open hours.

For more information or if you have any queries, please call our Family Liaison Service on 01254 735435, seven days a week, 8am – 6pm – (An answerphone is available for out of hours messaging).


Drop off points and operating times:

Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital - Level 2 Entrance (near the Grane Restaurant).
8:30am - 3pm, Monday - Friday (excluding Bank Holidays), 10am - 2pm, Saturday - Sunday

Please note our service at Blackburn will be operating on 31 May 2021, 10am - 2pm. All other sites will remain closed. 

Burnley General Teaching Hospital - Reception Desk, Phase 5, Area 7
10am - 1pm, Monday - Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

Pendle Community Hospital - Main Reception space
10am - 1pm, Monday - Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

Clitheroe Community Hospital - Reception Desk, Chatburn Road
10am - 1pm, Monday - Friday (excluding Bank Holidays)

Accrington Victoria Community Hospital - No inpatients currently

Surgical face masks (that are provided at all entrances) must be worn by ALL patients, visitors and staff while in our hospitals unless exempt. 

These measures will remain in place after the Government lifting of restrictions on Monday, 19 July, 2021.

Shuttle bus service

The shuttle bus service for staff and patients will continue to run on the existing timetable, with an additional two buses every day. One at 7:15am from Burnley General Teaching Hospital, and one at 7:30pm from Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

Please note that the shuttle buses will seat fewer people as there are social distancing rules in place.

The service will run as normal on the upcoming Bank Holidays.

From Monday, 15 June, 2020, face coverings must be worn by everyone using the shuttle bus service.

These measures will remain in place after the Government lifting of restrictions on Monday, 19 July, 2021.

 

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