Visiting a relative or friend
The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, communities and staff continues to be our top priority. As cases continue to rise in the community, we are maintaining all of the safety measures that we have had in place over the course of the pandemic after lockdown restrictions ease across England on 19 July 2021.
As part of measures to keep everyone safe, we are currently welcoming small numbers of visitors into our hospitals where possible. We are aware of how difficult it has been for families to visit their loved ones during the pandemic, and we appreciate your patience. We regularly review our visiting policies, and we hope to welcome you back into our hospitals when it is safe to do so.
For more information on the specific visitor guidance for each hospital, please visit: St Bartholomew's Hospital, Newham Hospital, Whipps Cross Hospital, Mile End Hospital and The Royal London Hospital and click on the orange Covid-19 drop down tab. Our teams can also offer support with facilitating virtual visits.
Our hospitals are adapting so we can continue to care for patients safely while the coronavirus remains a threat to everyone’s health.
All staff and visitors must wear a surgical face mask (e.g. disposable, single-use masks which are composed of 3 layers), unless you have a medical exemption or are under 11 years old. Face coverings are not permitted. Please also use the hand gel available, and wash your hands more often and maintain social distancing. When you arrive at our hospitals you will be provided with a mask to wear at all times.
When you arrive, you will be asked some questions about why you're visiting the hospital and whether you have any symptoms.
We are caring for Covid-19 patients in separate areas of our hospitals, so the right infection control measures are in place for them and to protect you.
Many of the patients we are seeing with Covid-19 are healthy, young and unvaccinated like 31 year old Quincy. Getting your Covid-19 vaccine remains the best thing you can do to protect yourself. Your GP or local council will have a range of options available or you can book an appointment at the NHS Covid-19 vaccination centre, The Street at Westfield via the National Booking System.
We're here to care for you
Our hospitals are very busy right now but please be assured that the NHS is open for business and it's safe for you to seek help when needed. Your first port of call should be NHS 111 unless it's a life-changing emergency - please use our A&E carefully.
We are seeing an increase in Covid-19 admissions , but we have planned for it. As set out in our current operational plan, we are actively preparing for a third wave, however we are not expecting a repeat of the previous sharp peaks.
As part of this plan, we have reopened our 15th floor unit at The Royal London Hospital, dedicated to caring for patients with Covid-19 who require critical care. This is so we can separate our Covid and non-Covid pathways and protect our elective care activity, which we intend to keep running for as long as possible.
We understand many patients have been waiting a long time for elective care. We are prioritising seeing patients who need care the most or urgently, and are working hard to see as many patients as soon as we can. If your planned operation was cancelled, and would like an update on your care, please get in touch with your care team.
We have also restarted routine face-to-face outpatient appointments for patients who need to be seen in person. If you have been asked to attend hospital for your appointment, it is safe to do so. We continue to offer telephone and video consultations for patients who do not require a face-to-face appointment.