Local Hospitals Restrict Visitors

St George’s and Queen Mary’s announce temporary restrictions for patient visitors

Local hospitals have imposed restrictions on visitors and increased the number of telephone consultations in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Last week (March 13) St George’s and Queen Mary’s Hospitals in Wandsworth announced they were putting temporary restrictions in place for patient visitors.

For the time being friends and relatives are only allowed to visit patients if it is absolutely essential.

They can only visit between 5-7pm on both weekdays and weekends, and no more than two visitors can visit a patient at any one time.

Those with flu-like symptoms, cough, fever or a cold have been told they should not visit the hospital.

Children will not be allowed to visit unless agreed in advance with the ward manager.

However, if patients are critically ill or nearing the end of their life, the trust has said it will do its “very best to accommodate” them.

Kingston Hospital announced similar measures, but is only allowing a maximum of one visitor per patient at a time.

It reminded those who wish to visit that they should wash their hands before entering the hospital, as they move within it and when they leave.

Some non-urgent planned operations at St George’s Hospital have also been cancelled to help manage demand and ensure the hospital can provide safe and effective care for its patients.

Patients who are affected will be contacted by the hospital. If you are not contacted, you should attend your appointment as planned.

Outpatient appointments at St George’s and St Mary’s may include more telephone appointments in the coming weeks and days, and affected patients will be contacted about this.

Kingston Hospital has said it is planning to make most outpatient appointments available by telephone.

A statement on its website reads: “Following national good practice guidance, the clinicians at Kingston Hospital will be providing a telephone out-patient service for most patients but continuing to see patients in the hospital clinic where necessary.

“If you have a pending outpatient appointment we will be contacting you over the phone to inform you of the change in procedure. Your doctor will then call you at the time given to you by our administration team (which may be at the same time as your original appointment or at a rescheduled time)

“An ongoing plan will be made during the call which may be to arrange a further appointment or some tests at the hospital, however for many patients, particularly for follow up appointments there may not need to be any further action.

“If you are not contacted prior to your scheduled appointment, then please come to the hospital for your appointment as previously instructed.”

Public Health England’s advice to protect yourself against coronavirus is as follows:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter

March 16, 2020