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COVID-19 updates

We’re doing everything possible to keep our patients, staff and visitors safe. The situation is constantly changing and we update this information as needed.

For the latest COVID-19 advice including guidelines, visit the Gov.UK website
For up-to-date health advice, visit the NHS website.

It’s really important that you continue to attend all booked appointments, unless:

  • you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • you need to self isolate.

If you can not attend, please call us on the telephone number on your appointment letter as soon as possible.

You must attend appointments alone unless you need support.

Find out more about what we’re doing to reduce the risk of infection and what to do if you’re attending an outpatient appointment.

Due to our current visiting restrictions, we’re sorry that not everyone can visit their loved ones in hospital. But we know how important it is for you to keep in touch.

We can arrange virtual visits and we can deliver personalised letters on your behalf.

Find out more about keeping in touch with relatives and friends

We do not provide vaccinations at any of our hospitals.

Please use the National Booking Service to book or manage your COVID-19 vaccination appointment

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Buckinghamshire.

Read our guidance for parents regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme for 12-15 year olds.

Read our guidance about vaccines for those who are pregnant.

 

Please DO NOT come to hospital if you think you have symptoms or have recently tested positive for COVID-19. 

Check if you have the main symptoms of COVID-19

Find out how to get a COVID-19 test

If you’re worried about your symptoms, or you’re unsure what to do, call 111 or use the 111 coronavirus online service 

If you are pregnant or have recently given birth and have any concerns about your or your baby’s health, or if you have any questions about how self-isolation might affect any of your appointments, please do not hesitate to contact your midwife or maternity team. If you do not have a midwife or maternity team call a GP or call 111 if you cannot get help.

Visiting restrictions

We recognise the important role family and friends play in supporting our patients during a stay in hospital. However, we need to limit visiting to protect against infection. Our visitor restrictions remain under review at all times. Please see below for information on our current visiting restrictions:

All other areas

We allow 1 visitor, once a day, seven days a week.

Each ward will register and identify a maximum of two designated visitors before admitting a patient. Only one of the two designated visitors may visit on a single day.

If you’re one of the two designated visitors, we’ll call you with a designated visiting slot.

The time permitted for visiting is determined by ward managers and will be dependent on being able to maintain safe numbers and spacing.

Taking a COVID-19 test before you visit

We encourage all visitors to take a lateral flow test before visiting and provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.

Following current guidelines

You must wear a facemask, wash your hands regularly during visiting and follow current guidelines on social distancing.

Please pick up a surgical face mask and sanitise your hands at the entrance to the hospital.

Please read our information guide for inpatient visitors.

Visitors who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must NOT come into visit a loved one in hospital – even if national guidance does not require them to self-isolate.

Please note: special measures are in place for parents/carers of children and babies in hospital and for maternity service users.

Exceptions to visitor restrictions are in place for those who are supporting a person:

  • with a learning disability, autism, or cognitive impairment such as dementia;
  • with mental health problems;
  • with communication challenges including hearing or visual impairment;
  • for whom English is not their first language.

Exceptions are also in place for those:

  • supporting a person in our maternity unit;
  • visiting our children’s wards;
  • visiting our spinal unit;
  • visiting patients receiving end-of-life care.

See below for more information.

Other exceptions may be agreed by the ward manager or nurse in charge.

Family carers can contact Carers Bucks on 0300 777 2722 for additional information and advice, or you can visit their website.

One designated person can attend all maternity appointments if they can provide evidence of a COVID-19 negative lateral flow test

You must take the test within 72 hours of the appointment or visit. You can also provide evidence of a negative COVID-10 PCR swab test.

It’s your responsibility to order your test kit and record your results via the NHS COVID-19 app. We also accept an email print out of your result as evidence.

You are also required to wear a facemask, wash your hands regularly and follow current guidelines on social distancing while attending any appointments.

You must not attend any appointments if you develop COVID-19 symptoms since your negative test result. You must then self isolate following government guidelines.

If you do not want to take a lateral flow test or do not have time to take one

You can still attend a labour or planned caesarean but you can not visit our wards or attend antenatal and postnatal appointments.

If you tested positively for COVID-19 within the last 90 days

You will not be able to take a lateral flow test.

Please provide evidence of the date you received your positive test result. If you have completed your self isolation period and do not have a continued high temperature, you can:

  • support your partner through labour and birth, or an elective caesarean
  • accompany your partner to appointments
  • visit the antenatal and postnatal wards.

Antenatal classes and drop-in sessions

We have cancelled these until further notice.

Community-based antenatal appointments

Check any local restrictions for appointments at GP surgeries or children’s centres.

Labour and birth supporters

You can support your partner in labour if you test negative for a lateral flow or PCR test.

You must also have completed a period of self isolation if you have tested positively.

A second birth supporter can attend the labour if they can show evidence of a negative COVID-19 lateral flow test that has been taken within the previous 72 hours or a negative COVID-19 PCR swab result.

Second birth partners can not attend additional areas of the maternity service.

Alternative supporters

An alternative supporter can visit wards and attend appointments with proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

 

One parent can visit at anytime.

Both parents can visit together at specific times by arrangement with the Neonatal Unit.

Both parents can visit a baby after labour if that baby needs transferal to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We’ll swab both parents for COVID-19.

One parent can be with their baby 24 hours a day. Parents can alternate.

Other visiting restrictions

We do not allow children to visit or attend appointments.

One parent or carer per family can stay with their child in hospital for a short period of time.

If your child needs to stay in hospital for more than 7 days, one parent or carer per family may swap with a second parent or carer for the next 7 day period.

You can accompany children aged 16-18 wherever they are in the hospital, including in adult wards.

We do not allow children to visit their siblings.

We allow 1 visitor, once a day, seven days a week.

Each ward will register and identify a maximum of two designated visitors before admitting a patient. Only one of the two designated visitors may visit on a single day.

Tine slots and booking visits

We’ll contact the designated visitors to book visits.

We offer 3 visiting time slots, 7 days a week:

  • 9am to 12 noon
  • 2pm to 5pm
  • 5.30pm to 8.30pm

Visiting exceptions and restrictions

Please see our ‘visiting restrictions’ and ‘visiting times and designated visitors’ information above.

Visiting our children’s ward (St Francis Ward)

Please see our ‘visiting children and young people’ information above.

Visiting adults

Visits will take place on the ward for patients who can not leave their ward.

For patients who can leave their ward, visits will take place in Horatio’s Garden. Visitors must stay in the garden during their visit and can not exit and re-enter unless you need to use the toilet.

We allow one visitor for patients with learning disabilities. The visitor may be a family member or carer.

Find out more about how we help patients with learning disabilities, including useful resources about coming to hospital during COVID-19

We arrange visits for patients who are at the end of their life or receiving treatment in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  We allow one visitor (someone in the immediate family, or a carer) on agreement with the nurse in charge.

If your child is receiving end of life care, we allow both parents to visit.