Coronavirus

Information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the NHS website and on the government coronavirus (COVID-19) page. Please familiarise yourself with the symptoms and the latest advice. If you are worried that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) please stay at home and follow the PHE guidance for staying at homeDo not attend A&E or your GP surgery.

Non-urgent advice: NHS 111

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.

Hospital care

Our hospitals are open and 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.

At our hospitals you may notice that staff are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which looks different to their usual uniforms. This could include gloves, aprons, masks, visors, goggles and gowns, depending on which area of the hospital you are in.

This is a precautionary measure in place to keep patients and staff safe during the coronavirus outbreak and prevent the spread of infection. The protective equipment worn by our staff is in line with national NHS guidance.

Patients who test positive for the coronavirus are cared for away from the rest of the patient population.

Visiting patients

Compassionate visiting guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 2021)

We are now welcoming visitors in a careful, considered and COVID-safe way.

To protect the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff, where possible, we ask visitors to perform lateral flow testing twice weekly. Lateral flow kits can be obtained via: www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.

Adult general areas

We are now allowing one visitor per patient for up to one hour each day between 2 and 8pm. These must be pre-booked, so please contact the ward beforehand or go to https://patientbooking.bsuh.nhs.uk and register an account and book a visit.

Maternity

For updated information, please visit: 

Paediatric services

One parent/carer may be resident at all times with the child or young person admitted to the children’s wards.

Visiting on the wards will be restricted to one additional visitor to the resident parent/carer. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to accommodate visitors under the age of 16 years old.

In exceptional family situations: visiting arrangements can be discussed and alternative arrangements may be agreed with the nurse in charge.

Neonatal services

Visiting on the units will be restricted to the same one parent/carer with a designated other from the same household. 

The parent/s must remain with their baby at all times.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to accommodate visitors under the age of 16 years old unless they are the parent/carer.

In exceptional family situations: visiting arrangements can be discussed and alternative arrangements may be agreed with the nurse in charge.

All visitors must:

  • Wear a surgical mask at all times within the hospital – these can be supplied
  • Clean hands with the alcohol gel provided when entering and leaving the hospital and the ward
  • Keep personal belongings to a minimum. Please bring as few bags, coats and other loose belongings with you as possible – ideally just a mobile phone and keys placed in a plastic bag you can throw away as you leave
  • Maintain a safe distance from other people at all times
  • Dispose of your mask in a bin when you have left the hospital site
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home.

If you are visiting a high risk area or a person known to be COVID-19 positive, you will be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment. You will be informed in advance and staff will help you with this if needed.

Do not visit if:

  • You feel unwell or have any respiratory or flu like symptoms, high temperature or loss of taste and/or smell
  • Your household is isolating due to suspected COVID
  • You have been in contact with someone else who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID
  • You have returned from overseas and are required to quarantine before visiting.

Information for others

Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist with the patient’s communication and/or to meet the patient’s health or social care needs.

Other people who are in attendance to support the needs of the patient, for example; a familiar carer/supporter/personal assistant, are not counted as an additional visitor.

Where possible please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss local considerations and make appropriate arrangements.

Patients may be accompanied by one close family contact or somebody important to them patient, to support with complex/difficult decision making.

Keeping in touch

We continue to encourage patients and visitors to continue to use digital services such as Facetime, Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp to stay in touch with loved ones during their hospital stay. 

Within the Trust, we have access to some iPads and mobile phones for use and we will continue to operate initiatives to enable loved ones to keep in touch remotely.

Messages for loved ones:

Families and friends of our patients can now send their personal messages and letters to loved ones in hospital. Please make sure to include your relative’s name and the ward they are on and send your messages by email or post.

  • Worthing & St Richard’s Hospitals: email wshnt.MessagesToLovedOnes@nhs.net or post letters to: Messages to Loved One, St Richard’s Hospital, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6SE. Messages will be printed and laminated for delivery to the wards Monday to Friday.
  • Brighton Hospitals and Princess Royal: email bsuh.letterstolovedones@nhs.net or call 01273 664511 Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00 and speak to a member of the PALS team who will write your message down and deliver them to your loved one.

Thinking of you: 

The Trust is also keen to receive messages of support for patients who may not have any loved ones from anyone, regardless of where they live or if they are a member of an organisation. The Trust is inviting people to send their messages to Thinking of you by email or post.  

  • Worthing & St Richard’s Hospitals: email wshnt.MessagesToLovedOnes@nhs.net, or post letters to: Messages to Loved One, St Richard’s Hospital, Spitalfield Lane, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 6SE. Messages will be printed and laminated for delivery to the wards Monday to Friday.

Supporting patient recovery