Coronavirus In Hospitals
Addressing patient concerns about Coronavirus in Hospitals
While we empathise with public worry over coronavirus, there is an ongoing concern that patients are potentially placing their health at risk by refusing treatment in clinical settings, particularly hospital appointments and elective and diagnostic procedures.
Their health may be at risk if they do not get the treatment that they need to manage their condition.
Hospitals are working hard to clear the backlog of referrals which built up during the pandemic. Please be patient. It is not possible to expedite all referrals
Hospitals across Kent and Medway have a range of processes in place to minimise the possibility of coronavirus being transmitted to patients. These include:
- Mandatory masks for visitors and regular hand gel stations around the building
- Controls on the number of people allowed to visit and accompany patients
- Restrictions in the use of waiting areas to allow social distancing
- Some hospitals are also testing temperatures before allowing people onto their site.
- Patients who are attending hospital for a surgical procedure will have a Coronavirus test beforehand and will go through the hospitals ‘Green Zone’. This is an area that has been set up for patients who have been pre-screened to be free of coronavirus, to reduce the possibility of the virus being passed on.
- Patients who get a coronavirus test before a procedure will either get a coronavirus test sent to them by post, or the team at the hospital responsible for their care will arrange one for them on site. The postal tests are part of a new government testing pathway for elective patients; this is being gradually rolled out across Kent and Medway on a specialty-by-specialty basis and is likely to become the norm in due course.
A final issue relating to hospital attendance and coronavirus is the recent increase, reported in hospitals across the patch, of patients deliberately circumventing rules limiting visitors.
This often takes the form of patients leaving ward areas – and even leaving buildings and sites – to see visitors en masse in areas where rules on visitors cannot be easily enforced. While the wish to see more family and visitors is understandable, this behaviour is putting patients and NHS staff at risk of contracting coronavirus