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Coronavirus: information and advice

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is well prepared and has plans in place to cope with the increases in patients requiring hospital admission and respiratory support due to Coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we will continue to review our plans in light of national guidance and developing circumstances.

This page provides links to national guidance and information on the changes we are making in our trust to protect our patients, visitors and staff.

For information about Coronavirus, the latest government restrictions and social distancing, visit the NHS website, click here or visit the GOV.uk website, here.

Visiting

Please note that visiting at all of our hospitals is still temporarily suspended and, until further notice, visiting will only be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • For patients who are receiving end-of-life care
  • For birthing partners in maternity units
  • For parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit.

Visiting at end of life will be restricted to only one relative or nominated next of kin.  If this person is frail or infirm they can be supported by another.

You can find out more here.

Keeping in touch

Friends and relatives will be able to stay connected to their loved ones in hospital by ringing our patient phone line, on 0191 293 4306, available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

There is also the opportunity for friends and relatives to send in pictures and photographs to our patients, by filling out this form, and emailing it to patient.experience@nhct.nhs.uk.

In addition, our patients can make unlimited phone calls to UK landlines and mobiles free of charge via our bedside units to help stay in touch with loved ones.

Non-urgent appointments and operations

We are contacting our patients with non-urgent planned operations and routine outpatient appointments to let them know their appointment is postponed. Emergency admissions, cancer treatment and other urgent clinical care will remain unaffected and continue to go ahead.

We are contacting patients directly – there is no need to call us.

Maternity care during the coronavirus outbreak

We are continuing to do all we can to support pregnant women as this time and have set up a COVID maternity helpline on 07823 907484.

This is for pregnant women who are booked to deliver with us.

The line is open 9am-4pm Monday to Friday and we will answer questions relating to pregnancy, care and visiting.

For clinical advice, women should continue to contact the hospital where they are due to deliver.

Find out more information here.

Chaplaincy support

From Wednesday 1 April, there will now be dedicated chaplaincy telephone lines for our patients to phone a chaplain from their mobile or their bedside phone in hospital.

A chaplain will aim to receive calls and check for messages between 10:30am and 2pm. Please contact the chaplaincy service on either 01670 529690 or 0191 2934268.

Social distancing

We are complying with social distancing restrictions by having ‘takeaway only’ in our Hospital Volunteer Service shops. Our canteens are closed to all members of the public however remain open for our staff. We have marked the floor in order for everyone to remain 2 metres away from one another, and all food is packed in bags to minimise contact.

Volunteers

We are currently appealing to people who could provide an extra pair of helping hands in these unprecedented times to come forward.

We’re calling on those fit and able between the ages of 16 and 68 to support staff working in hospitals and in the community across Northumberland and North Tyneside to get in touch.

Find out more here.

Accessibility

Information on coronavirus in additional formats and languages.

Public Health England has published:

Easy read guides on:

Guidance in other languages including Arabic, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi and Urdu:

For guidance in British Sign Language (BSL):

Signhealth is producing videos explaining the latest information and health advice in BSL. New videos are being uploaded as information becomes available.
Daily updates from the Government are also available with BSL interpretation at 5pm on BBC 107 or 231 and on BBC iPlayer.

Advice for the parents of deaf children can be found via the National Deaf Children’s Society.

For blind people and people with sight loss:

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is publishing it’s latest Covid-19 news and guides.

Hand hygiene

It is essential that everyone keeps good hand hygiene, as it is one of the best ways to keep yourself and others protected against Coronavirus. We have installed handwashing facilities at our hospital entrances and we urge people to use these before entering our buildings.

You should wash your hands when you:

  • Get home or into work
  • Blow your nose, sneeze or cough
  • Eat or handle food

Using the correct technique, for 20 seconds, with soap and water.

For more information, watch the video below:

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