Infection prevention and you

HCA Healthcare UK continues to maintain the very highest standards of infection prevention and control measures, as advised by a team of specialists including nursing and medical staff.

We believe our patients have a key role to play in infection prevention. That is why we ask that you do not visit our facilities if you have symptoms of an infection that might spread to other people, such as COVID-19 or a winter vomiting bug (norovirus).

What to do if you have COVID or flu symptoms

It is not possible to tell if you have COVID-19, flu or another respiratory infection based on symptoms alone. Most people with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections will have a relatively mild illness, especially if they have been vaccinated.

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection or diarrhoea/vomiting, you are advised to:

  • Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people
  • Rest and drink plenty of water
  • Take medicine such as paracetamol to help with your symptoms

Remember to clean your hands often to reduce the risk of passing the infection on.

 

Face masks

Universal mask wearing is no longer a requirement across our facilities, with the exception of some high risk departments including Haemato-Oncology, Intensive Therapy Units (ITU) and Paediatric Intensive Care Units (PICU).


As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change and develop, so too will the measures in place. Therefore, please refer to signage and staff in our facilities for the most up-to-date guidance.


COVID-19 screening on arrival

Upon arrival at our facilities you will be asked questions regarding symptoms of COVID-19 (or any other respiratory illness). Please be advised that if you have any of the below symptoms, you will not be able to enter our facilities:


-  A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
-  A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than one hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
-  A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
-  Shortness of breath
-  Feeling tired or exhausted
-  Aching body
-  Headache
-  Sore throat
-  Blocked or runny nose
-  Loss of appetite
-  Diarrhoea
-  Feeling sick or being sick


These symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.


If you are unable to attend your appointment because you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID-19 result, please contact your clinical care team to rearrange your appointment.


Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes before your appointment time, so we can reduce the number of people on site at any one time.


Visitors

Inpatient Visitors

For Inpatient, Maternity and Paediatrics, you are allowed two visitors at any one time, from the day of your admission. Visitors for Haemato-Oncology, ITU and PICU are required to take a lateral flow test before attending the hospital or clinic.


All other visitors are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before attending the hospital or clinic.


Outpatient Visitors

For outpatients, we encourage you to attend alone if possible. This is to help reduce the risk of transmission. We do understand however that some patients may wish to bring someone with them, and so we allow up to one visitor per patient.


Again, all visitors are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before attending the hospital or clinic.


Admissions for treatment

Prior to your surgery or procedure, you will need to take a lateral flow or PCR test. Your clinical team will provide you with guidance on which test is required and when this must be taken. Please be advised that if your test returns positive, the procedure will be delayed and you are advised to follow the current national guidance for COVID-19.


Preventing infection

We encourage all of our patients to be mindful of the need to minimise the risk of acquiring an infection like COVID-19 prior to admission. This might include continuing to wear face masks and avoiding large gatherings. 

 


Staff testing

We have implemented a comprehensive, asymptomatic screening programme for everyone working within our hospitals and clinics, including our non-clinical, temporary and bank staff. Despite government guidelines, our staff continue to isolate following any positive test result.

 

 

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