Important information for patients and visitors
Our hospitals are adapting so our staff can continue to treat and care for our patients safely while the coronavirus remains a threat to everyone’s health. We are currently restricting visitors to our hospitals.
Visitors will only be allowed into clinical areas if the patient is:
- at the end of their life
- a child
- lacks capacity
- is giving birth
Only one visitor at a time will be allowed in these cases. Some wards may have further restrictions to protect the safety of patients and staff. Case-by-case exceptions need to be discussed with the nurse in charge.
Do not enter our hospitals if:
- you have a cough, cold, any ‘flu-like symptoms or infectious illnesses like diarrhoea or vomiting
- you have a continuous cough or high temperature - go home, self-isolate for 7 days, and seek advice from NHS 111 online
- a loss of sense of smell or taste.
If you need to visit us, our hospitals will look and feel different. The videos below explain some of the changes we have made.
All staff and visitors must wear face coverings or masks, use the hand gel and wash their hands more often, and maintain social distancing rules. When you arrive, you will be asked some questions about your appointment and whether you have any symptoms.
We are caring for Covid-19 patients in separate, dedicated areas in our hospitals (known as zones), so the right infection control measures are in place for them.
All visitors to our hospitals must wear face coverings to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19.
This should be worn upon arrival and in waiting areas, including corridors, cafes and restaurants. For visitors without a face covering, disposal surgical face masks will be provided.
Attending your outpatient appointment
You should not come into our hospitals for an appointment unless you told to do so.
We are providing telephone and video consultations to most patients and our teams will contact you to confirm these arrangements.
Your planned surgery
Planned surgery has now restarted across all specialities. Our clinicians are prioritising the most urgent operations. If they suggest you should have your surgery now it’s because they think that going ahead is the best option for you.
We've introduced a number of measures to keep you safe. You, and the people you live with, may be asked to self-isolate before your procedure, so that you don't catch or pass on the virus.
You will most likely be tested before you arrive at hospital and again before your procedure. If you have symptoms before your surgery, you should request a test and let us know. Similarly, if you’ve had contact with someone who has Covid-19, tell us straight away.
If you test positive before your surgery, your clinical team will decide with you if the benefit of having your surgery now outweighs the risks of not going ahead.
Some patients are having operations in private hospitals, paid for by the NHS and using our doctors and anaesthetists. This is to help us ensure we see more patients sooner.
Find out more and get answers to the most frequently asked questions below.
Attending your maternity appointment
All of our maternity services are open as usual. However, there are some restrictions on visiting. This means that visitors will only be allowed into clinical areas if the patient is giving birth.
What to expect when you visit Whipps Cross Hospital
Our hospitals are adapting so we can continue to care for patients safely during the coronavirus pandemic. This video explains what you can expect when you visit Whipps Cross.
Whipps Cross University Hospital provides a full range of general inpatient, outpatient and day case services, as well as maternity services and a 24-hour Emergency Department and Urgent Care Centre.
The hospital has a strong reputation as a centre of excellence for various specialist services, including urology, ENT, audiology, cardiology, colorectal surgery, cancer care and acute stroke care.
Visit us at Whipps Cross Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross Road
Switchboard 020 8539 5522
Whipps Cross University Hospital is located in Leytonstone in the East End of London, within the London Borough of Waltham Forest. You can travel to hospital in a number of ways including on foot, by car, by bike or by public transport. Plan your journey using the Transport for London journey planner or through the travel information below.
TfL can offer advice on planning a journey using an accessible route and can provide a mentor to come with you for your first few journeys to help you gain confidence and become an independent traveller, to find out more complete TfL’s form online.
Buses W12, W15, W19 and 357 stop within the hospital grounds, you can alight at the main entrance stop. Buses 20, 56, 230 and 257 also all stop near the hospital grounds at the Whipps Cross roundabout. Low-floor wheelchair accessible buses run on all routes serving Whipps Cross University Hospital.
The closest underground stations are Leytonstone on the central line and Walthamstow Central on the Victoria line. Wood Street and Walthamstow Central are on London Overground line running from Chingford to Liverpool Street or Leyton Midland Road is on the London Overground line running from Barking to Gospel Oak.
Leytonstone can be reached within a 29 minute walk from the main entrance of Whipps Cross Hospital, the main entrance is the furthest away it will take less time to reach other departments as the hospital is spread across a large area and the main entrance is the furthest away from the direction of Leytonstone.
Alternatively it is possible to cycle to these stations or use one of the bus services operating within the vicinity of the site.
Walthamstow Central can be reached within a 33 minute walk and Wood Street can be reached in an 11 minute walk from the main entrance of Whipps Cross Hospital. Alternatively it is possible to cycle to these stations or use one of the bus services operating within the vicinity of the site.
A number of these bus services provide connections to local underground and overground railway stations, the W15 and W19 stop at Leytonstone tube station (Central line), the 230 goes to Wood Street (Overground) and the 20, 230, 257, 357, W12, W15 and W19 all stop at Walthamstow Central (Victoria and Overground).
Older persons Freedom Pass- The Freedom Pass for older people allows free travel across London and free local bus journeys nationally.
Disabled persons Freedom Pass- The travel pass for disabled people allows free travel across London and free bus journeys nationally. You can use your pass on most journeys across London but there are a few exceptions to when and where you can use your card.
A 60+ London Oyster photocard- allows you to travel free on public transport in London from the age of 60 until you qualify for a Freedom Pass. To be eligible for a 60+ London Oyster photocard, you must: Live in a London borough and be aged 60 or over.
To find out more about the above listed Freedom passes visit the London Councils website.
By car or taxi
Parking on the hospital site is limited; we encourage patients and visitors not to travel by car wherever this is possible. The main entrance to the hospital is on Whipps Cross Road (the A114) between the Whipps Cross roundabout and the Green Man roundabout. There are approximately 400 parking spaces for patients and visitors on the site - located in four visitor car parks. Car parks one and two are located just off Hospital Road. The best route to these car parks is via the main entrance on Whipps Cross Road.
- Car park one should be used for the main entrance, chest clinic and MRI.
- Car park two should be used for main entrance, eye treatment centre and plane tree centre.
- Car park three is located just off Hospital Road, but is located behind the maternity unit. The best route to this car park is via the James Lane entrance. This car park should be used for maternity, antenatal, and outpatients.
- Car park four located near the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. This car park is in high demand, and space availability is limited.
Pay and display machines are available in all car park areas. Please ensure your ticket is clearly displayed in the windscreen:
Up to two hours: £2.50
Up to four hours: £4.00
Up to six hours: £6.00
Up to eight hours: £8.00
Up to 24 hours: £15.00
There are also a number of places which may be used for dropping off or picking up patients. They can be found in the following locations:
- Opposite the maternity main entrance - three drop-off bays for women in labour or partners collecting mothers and babies. These are clearly marked.
- Emergency and urgent care centre drop off - there are four bays located opposite the entrance. These have a time limit of 10 minutes maximum to drop off patients. Drivers must then return to their vehicles and park in a visitors car park (the nearest is car park one).
Infopoint help-points allow you to make free calls to taxi companies and public transport information lines to arrange your journey home. There are infopoints located at the Main entrance, Antenatal, Eye Clinic, Urgent Care Centre and Outpatients at Whipps Cross Hospital.
Blue badge holders
There are blue badge parking bays in all car parking areas for disabled drivers. These are clearly marked. There are also some close to the main entrance of the outpatients department. A total of 19 bays are available for patients and visitors.
Refunds of hospital transport costs
You may be able to claim a refund for the cost of your transport to hospital through the Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) if you:
- are not eligible for patient transport services (PTS)
- cannot afford the cost of travelling to hospital
- cannot get a friend or relative to take you
Refer to Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme (HTCS) for more information on who is eligible, what the conditions are and how you can access the scheme.
We encourage visitors, staff and patients living nearby to cycle to the hospital if possible. Cycle parking facilities are available around the hospital.
The hospital appears on TfL’s Local Cycling Guide 4. You can order this guide for free by calling 0343 222 1234.
OFO dockless bike sharing operates in the London borough of Waltham Forest, you can find our OFO bike location at the main entrance of the hospital. For access to these bikes download the OFO app.
There is a shop at Junction 5 which sells food, drinks and newspapers to visitors. The opening hours are:
Monday – Friday – 7am-10pm
Saturday and Sunday – 9am-1.30pm
There is also a shop in the main Outpatients area open between Monday to Friday from 7.30am-5.30pm.
A trolley selling newspapers and sweets visits every ward each morning and a library trolley run by the volunteers service visits at least once a week. Please leave any borrowed books with ward clerks. Donated books are always welcomed.
A cash machine is located in the hospital restaurant at Junction 5.
Our post box can be found along the main hospital corridor near Trust Management Offices at Junction 3.
Chaplains of many faiths are available to speak to all patients, relatives and carers. The chaplaincy team welcomes everyone, whatever your faith or beliefs and whether or not you follow a religion. The chaplains have links with many faith communities and will always try to get an appropriate representative when asked to do so. The service is confidential and respectful.
Restaurant and coffee shop
Some wards have drink-dispensing machines or vending machines that visitors can pay to use.
The hospital restaurant provides a range of food, snacks and hot and cold drinks to visitors. It is open daily from 7am-7pm and is located between junctions 4 and 5 off the main corridor, in the red zone.
There is also a Costa located next to the restaurant. It is open Monday to Friday from 7am-7pm.
Free wifi is available throughout the hospital for patients. There’s no time limit on use, and capacity has been expanded in order to ensure continuous access for as many users as possible.
Please note that the wifi cannot support streaming movies or high-intensity computer games.
The wifi can be accessed by completing the following steps:
- Connect to the NHS Wi-Fi wireless network
- Open your web browser
- From the welcome page, accept the terms and conditions
- Browse the internet and send and receive emails
If you encounter any problems please call the 24/7 helpdesk on 0344 848 9555.
Volunteer Buggy Service
This service exists to transport patients and visitors with poor mobility to and between different hospital departments. The buggy service operates from the hospital's main entrance and is available from Monday to Friday from 8.30am-3.30pm. Please speak to the volunteers situated at the main entrance.
Our knowledge and library services are located in the Medical Education Centre.
Medical Education Centre
Willow Lodge, Junction 11
London, E11 1NR
Tel: 020 8535 6973
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm
Whipps Cross Women's and Neonatal Services Transformation
Thanks to generous £6.7m funding from our friends at Barts Charity, we are making a series of improvements to our Maternity and Neonatal services to improve the environment and prepare us for an increase in birth rates in our local population. We expect that 50,000 local mothers – plus their partners and families – will directly benefit from the new facilities over the next 10 years, with many more benefiting from the new research opportunities.
Our women’s and neonatal services are already rated as ‘good’ by the Care Quality Commission and we aim to get to ‘outstanding’ despite the challenge of east London having the highest proportion of ‘at risk’ pregnancies and our aging estate All of the enhancements are aimed at improving the experience of women and their families. We will redesign/refurbish seven areas: a special care baby unit (SCBU); midwifery-led birthing unit; day assessment unit; antenatal clinic; labour ward; a women’s centre and postnatal ward.
Specifically, we will:
• Create an emergency corridor from maternity and the women’s centre to the main hospital for urgent needs (at the moment it’s an ambulance journey).
• Provide additional capacity to respond to an expected increase in the number of births in the local area (expected to grow by 33,000 in next four years).
• Reconfigure and increase clinical space – better facilities plus improved overnight facilities for parents of babies in special care.
• Build new research facilities to house five research staff based within the delivery suite, with a new dedicated private space to discuss clinical trials with women, and create a new mini laboratory.
• Create a Whipps Cross clinical research hub for women's services
• Provide our services with improved and enhanced surroundings
Debbie Twyman, head of midwifery and gynaecology at Whipps Cross, said: “Our vision is that Whipps Cross will work in partnership with our sister hospitals, the Royal London [in Whitechapel] and Newham, and have a research hub that encourages doctors to come here and will facilitate and support their research. Their research will give us the evidence to improve outcomes for women and their babies.”
Fiona Miller Smith, chief executive of Barts Charity, said: “We’re delighted to have funded this hugely exciting project at Whipps Cross. We’re confident that it will give them a greater reach to ensure significantly improved care and outcomes for mothers across the UK.”
Local news coverage:
To contact us about this project, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Whipps Cross Women's and Neonatal Services Transformation FAQs
What’s happening with the women’s and neonatal services at Whipps Cross?
Thanks to a generous £6.7m contribution from Barts Charity, we will be transforming our services for women and babies and the staff who work in these areas. We will be redesigning and enhancing our women’s and neonatal services and co-locating a new research unit within the area.
The layout and look of areas will change and we will be improving the facilities to enhance the experience for women and babies. This is excellent news for our Women and Children’s Division, which the CQC has rated as “good” despite the challenging infrastructure.
Specifically, this transformation project will:
Provide our services with improved and enhanced surroundings
Reconfigure and increase clinical space to create better facilities plus improved overnight facilities for parents of babies in special care
Create a new emergency corridor from maternity and the women’s centre to the main hospital for urgent needs (at the moment it’s an ambulance journey).
Provide additional capacity to respond to an expected increase in the number of births in the local area (this is forecast to grow by 33,000 over the next four years).
Create a Whipps Cross Hospital clinical research hub for women's services.
What will be different?
The plans for the works will address feedback from our patients, service users and staff of the things that need improving in the building. This includes providing:
New birthing pools and modern natural birthing equipment for the Lilac Birthing Unit
Ensuites in all delivery rooms on the Labour Ward and Lilac Birthing Unit
Partner/family areas on the Labour Ward, Lilac Birthing Unit and Special Care Baby Unit
Overnight rooming facilities with ensuites for parents of babies in the Special Care Baby Unit – plus an kitchen / dining area for these families
An increased number of treatment / examination rooms available to deliver specialist gynaecological services in one area – the Women’s Centre
A new research unit dedicated to women’s services
A new internal link from the maternity building into the main hospital building for emergency transfers of patients
More waiting areas with more seats
More welcoming and modern entrances to the building
Toilets for men in the Antenatal Clinic, Labour Ward and Lilac Birthing Unit and Special Care Baby Unit areas
New/updated staff changing, shower/toilet and rest rooms
Remodelled staff office spaces.
Additionally we will be installing new windows throughout the maternity building and constructing a new entrance and waiting areas for the Antenatal Clinic.
Why are these changes being made?
At the moment we have great feedback from our patients and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – which has rated our service as ‘good’ - but our outdated buildings and facilities are letting us down.
The current poor condition of the maternity building environment means that a large number of women who start off their antenatal care at Whipps Cross Hospital do not end up giving birth here. We want to create a centre of excellence for women and neonatal services at Whipps Cross University Hospital that will improve patient experiences and support patients through the duration of their pregnancy to a birth of their choice. Our aim is for Whipps Cross Hospital to become the first choice for birthing women in north east London.
The works will address problems with our building and the facilities available to patients and their families.
How will this benefit patients, staff and the local community?
The project will redesign and improve our use of clinical spaces to help improve patient pathways through our services and enhance the experience for birthing mothers and their families. Our patients and their families will benefit from increased and better facilities and have an enhanced experience and choice. The improved facilities will support our ambition to provide outstanding care and will greatly enhance the services we can offer to our patients.
The local community will benefit from having a woman’s and neonatal department that will meet the future demand that anticipated population growth will have on our services. The whole of north east London has a rapidly increasing birth rate, with the current population estimated to be 268,000 and expected to grow by 32,500 by 2021.
Our staff are already delivering good care and with better facilities we will be able to provide an environment that our staff are proud to work in, enhance junior doctor training, increase recruitment to research studies – all of which will enable us to improve the care we deliver to women in East London and beyond in the future.
How much will it cost?
The project is funded by a charitable donation from the Barts Charity of £6.7m. Additional funding of approximately £645k will be sought from Barts Trust for new and replacement equipment. This is the largest single charity donation received across Barts Health and the largest capital investment project currently underway at Whipps Cross Hospital.
How long will it take?
Elements of the works are planned to commence from the start of 2019. The work will be done in phases that will focus the works in different areas of the building in sequence and are anticipated to complete in mid 2020.
We will provide more details around the dates and phasing of works as the contractors are appointed and the works dates are confirmed.
What will happen to patients during the building work?
The Women’s and Neonatal Services Transformation Project will remodel our existing buildings and does not involve the construction of any new buildings. Therefore, to enable the works to be completed there will be times when we will need to restrict the use of parts of the building. This will involve delivering services from different locations for a period of time.
At this stage of planning we are still in the process of identifying the phases in which the works will be done. This involves planning how services will need to be moved into temporary location during works in those areas. Once these details are confirmed we will provide an update.
We will ensure our patients, users of our services and their families are advised of changes in clinic locations and that the signage at the hospital supports service users finding their way around. A key priority for us is to ensure we minimise the disruption of works on our patients and the services they receive.
Where will your staff go during the building work?
Clinical staff may need to move to different areas to enable them to continue to deliver services. Service users will be updated around any changes to where they access their required services. For staff with offices based in the maternity building we may need to review the office accommodation and assign them a new office or a temporary office location. At this stage of planning the office accommodation has still to be reviewed. Once this has been done we will provide an update to our staff.
What are you doing to minimise the disruption to local residents?
The works being planned are a remodelling of an existing building with a small area adjacent to the old entrance / maternity car park being developed to provide a new entrance / reception areas. As most of the works are inside the building, the noise of partition walls and facilities being removed and rebuilt should not be disruptive to local residents. There will be some increase in vehicles accessing the hospital site when the contractors are on site but as the works are being phased over a long period of time this is not expected to cause noticeable disruption in the local area.
While works proceed in one area of the building we will be continuing to deliver services from adjacent areas. All that can be done to minimise noise or other disruption will be done. We aim to keep our patients and local residents updated during works of our plans and progress.
How are you involving patients, staff and the local community in plans for the services?
The feedback we have received from service users and their families has already been used to develop the project. We will continue to analyse and use the feedback we receive to identify further improvements around all aspects of the services we deliver.
Working with a number of our stakeholders we are looking to set up a patient group with the objectives of working with this group to identify improvements around patient journeys, help in developing communications and using their personal experiences to develop areas of the project. This patient group will help us to sense check the plans for the project and assist in the development of patient’s stories that will highlight the improved outcomes from the project.
Staff feedback has been a key element of the planning and development of the designs for the project. So far, clinical leads and staff user groups have been involved in the development stages of plans and we are continuing to consult with them as we progress with the detailed plans for the building. We will be sharing the plans more widely with all staff in the division and also across the site to get wider staff views and feedback on what is planned.
What is it called?
The project is the Whipps Cross Hospital Women’s and Neonatal Services Transformation – Delivering quality healthcare for women and families of North East London.
How many women and their families will it help in the future?
We estimate that approximately 50,000 women over the next 10 years will benefit directly from the building and service transformation of women’s and neonatal services. The planned works will create a bespoke and cohesive maternity, neonatal and gynaecology service, bringing current antenatal and postnatal services together in one well-designed space.
The proposed development will also support the expansion of the academic base at Whipps Cross by strengthening the links with the academic team at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) creating a dedicated clinical research space will allow the expansion of existing research programmes and enable the creation of a Whipps Cross research base.
Our long-term vision is to create the largest Maternity Centre in Europe across Barts Health, influencing maternity policy across the sector nationally and internationally, offering local women the highest possible standard of quality care, over and above the NHS current standard.
What do families like about your services?
The most common feedback from our patients and their families is that our staff:
Are professional, caring, supportive and welcoming
Provide great care, advice and information
Treat patients with empathy and respect.
We’re very proud of our staff and we are confident that with the enhanced building and facilities our feedback will get even better.
What do they most often complain about?
Of course there are always things we can improve – the main things that patients highlight as needing improvement are round the:
Condition of our building
Facilities within the building
Lack of seats in waiting areas.
What else is it bringing to the service that you don’t currently have?
The remodelled areas and new spaces will support us improving the quality of the services we provide to our patients and improve their experiences. The reconfiguring and redesign of spaces will enable us to transform patients journey’s through our services.
Does this have anything to do with the redevelopment of the whole hospital?
Barts Health has started looking at options around the future for the Whipps Cross site. But outside of that programme we have identified a key priority to update and remodel Women’s and Neonatal Services to address the issues with our old building that prevents our staff being able to deliver outstanding services. The remodelling of Women’s and Neonatal Services does align with the emerging Whipps Cross Development Strategy.
The improved Maternity building would, with additional infrastructure investment, be capable of integrating into the emerging site redevelopment strategy as the long term location for our women’s and maternity services. As part of the wider development of the site we would aim to secure investment in replacement external cladding, replacement lifts and secondary electrical and mechanical engineering infrastructure to further improve the building in the future for our patients and staff.
Why is research so important to the project?
The proposed development will support the expansion of the academic base at Whipps Cross by strengthening the links with the academic team at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry (SMD) creating a dedicated clinical research space will allow the expansion of existing research programmes and enable the creation of a Whipps Cross research base.
Creating clinical research and training facilities will benefit the care we provide to our patients as well as making the teaching and training facilities attractive regionally. Our long-term vision is to expand our academic programme, not only by participating more strongly in recruiting into current trials, but also by strengthening the academic base at the Whipps Cross University Hospital site.
What does the CQC say about women’s and neonatal services at Whipps?
The last CQC inspection in 2016 graded the service as good and advised that ‘Patients and their relatives spoke highly of the care they received in both the maternity and gynaecology units’
“The fabric of the building housing the maternity services was old and whilst efforts were made with clinical areas it was evident that non patient areas such as visitor toilets have not been subject to the same level of investment.”
“The physical care environment of the neonatal unit was below expected standards. The general appearance of the neonatal unit was shabby with broken handles and broken equipment with a poor state of décor throughout.”
How can I find out more about the project or get involved?
Look about for information on this website around opportunities to get involved in patient groups or other activities around the development of the project that will involve service users.
For any questions / suggestions please email us at email@example.com