Last updated: 12/04/2023
As a healthcare provider, we continue to follow COVID-19 IPC guidance from UKHSA for healthcare settings and the UK Government (NHS England) to ensure the safety of patients, staff and their loved ones. This includes the wearing of masks, social distancing and good hand hygiene in all of hospitals and community settings when required.
St Andrew's follow the Health Security Agency (previously Public Health England) COVID-19 isolation guidance for patients in health and social care settings.
Following regular reviews of the number of Covid cases and outbreaks and in line with new notifications from NHSE and the UKHSA, St Andrew's currently advise the following Covid-19 management guidance.
The measures relate to our hospitals in Northampton, Birmingham and Essex.
If a patient is asymptomatic, no testing is required during an admission.
If a patient is symptomatic they will be required to take a Lateral Flow Test (LFT). We use a triage tool and flowchart for treating a Covid-positive patient. If negative, the patient can end isolation, but if positive the patient will be isolated.
Face masks are no longer mandatory. Staff will however remain vigilant, which includes being bare below the elbow and practicing good hand hygiene. Visitors will be required to adhere by these measures. Masks will still be available in reception areas.
Masks will still need to be worn in the following circumstances:
There may be some exceptions based on ward circumstances or patient needs. The ward will communicate this to you before visiting.
Note: ‘Clinical settings’ includes all areas of wards and off-ward areas where clinical care is delivered. This includes vocational areas of Workbridge and all areas where patients are present, e.g. cafes, chapel, PRC, receptions etc.
We continue to work hard to ensure the health, safety and well-being of patients, their families and our healthcare staff. We work closely with our national and local partners including; NHS England, Public Health England, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS FT, East Midlands Adult Secure Provider Collaborative (IMPACT), West Midlands Adult Secure Provider Collaborative (Reach Out) and the East Midlands CAMHS Provider Collaborative to ensure frequent open communication on Covid-19 protocols and quick access to Covid-19 testing when required.
We have well-established and robust infection control procedures in place. These have been supplemented by specific COVID-19 procedures to assist our ward and community teams with patient care, in line with government and Public Health England advice.
For patients who have been identified as ‘high risk’ (e.g. over 70, pre-existing health conditions etc.) additional individualised care plans are in place.
We hold regular Covid-19 operational meetings to ensure that clinical areas are effectively implementing the guidelines to keep patients and staff as safe as possible. Infection numbers are monitored regularly with appropriate support, training, additional staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources allocated where required.
Staff are kept informed on Covid-19 matters through ‘best practice’ guidelines, briefings and Q&A sessions allowing staff to understand any restrictions in place and allowing clinical leaders to continue to emphasise the importance of hand-hygiene measures and adherence to PPE and social distancing guidelines when required.
Our teams are in regular contact with commissioners, case managers and partners to provide updates based on national guidance, including nationally required reporting.
The information below gives further detail on the measures, plans and procedures St Andrew’s are adopting to protect patients and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. These have been developed in line with Public Health England and NHS England guidance.