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Last updated: 20/09/2022

As a healthcare provider, we continue to follow COVID-19 IPC guidance from UKHSA for healthcare settings and the UK Government 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.

Covid-19 isolation guidance for our patients - updated 20/09/2022

St Andrew's continue to follow the Health Security Agency (previously Public Health England) COVID-19 isolation guidance for patients in health and social care settings.

Following new notifications from NHSE and the UKHSA, St Andrew's has undertaken a provider-led risk assessment and are pleased to advise the following changes to our Covid-19 management guidance. 

The risk assessment is based on current low rates of Covid-19 in the community and no current outbreaks on any of our three sites – Northampton, Birmingham, Essex.

 

Patient Admissions

All new patient admissions will be screened on admission. We use a triage tool and flowchart for treating a Covid-positive patient. If negative, the patient can end isolation, but if positive must be isolated.

  • Positive patients can end isolation before the 10 days if they have 2 consecutive negative LFT results 24 hours apart. This testing can be done from day 5.
  • Contacts of positive patients do not need to isolate unless their ward/department is in outbreak.
  • If a ward has a COVID outbreak, there can be no visits to the ward or leave for patients.
  • Our patients remain vulnerable to infection and we continue to work hard to ensure that we continue to protect our patients, carers and staff.

 

Face Masks

  • There is no longer a requirement or expectation for staff, patients or visitors to wear a mask.   People can, of course, wear a mask if they still wish and these will still be available in reception areas. 
  • There will be some exceptions to mask wearing in clinical areas (e.g. on wards with identified vulnerable patients (e.g. our HD wards), when caring for a patient with respiratory problems, when caring for a patient who tests positive for Covid-19, or when an outbreak is declared). These exceptions will be communicated locally when entering a ward environment.

 

Leave

  • There are no national restrictions on leave but consideration will be given to ensure that Covid risk is considered as part of any leave granted.

 

Therapy areas

  • Wards can mix, but should be considerate of IPC controls.
  • Workbridge – internal and external service users can mix.

 

Visits

  • There are no restrictions on visits, however it should always be considered preferable if the purpose of the visit can be achieved remotely. 

 

What we are doing

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 continue to thank our local partners for their support during these difficult times.

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 daily with appropriate support, training, additional staff and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resources allocated where required.

Regular Covid-19 updates are communicated to all staff following these meetings with supporting ‘best practice’ guidelines, briefings and Q&A sessions allowing staff to understand the 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.

Our teams are in regular contact with commissioners, case managers and partners to provide updates based on national guidance, including nationally required reporting. On this basis, and with our focus being on patient and staff care, we are unfortunately unable to respond to individual requests for information. Instead, we are directing all of our stakeholders to the information contained on this page, which we will update on a regular basis. Commissioners and Case Managers are encouraged to contact individual wards for general progress updates and enquiries relating to specific patients.

Commissioners and Case Managers will be informed by our Central Admissions Team should their patient receive a positive Covid – 19 test result we will also contact you should they be admitted to hospital and if they are deemed to have recovered from the virus.

At this current time the confirmation of test results is very rapid and we are typically receiving results the next day after the test has been taken

We thank you in advance for your co-operation.

 

Referrals

St Andrew’s is open to admissions where clinically appropriate, in line with our normal admission practices and in line with Public Health England guidelines. We continue to work closely with our commissioners and case managers to support patients with complex needs to access our specialist services or in providing additional capacity and services to help local NHS system pressures.

Admissions

We continue to take every precaution following a new patient admission. We use a triage tool and flowchart for treating a Covid-positive patient with communication back to the Commissioners if any enhanced support is required.

Discharges

Our aim remains to support patients to progress through their care pathway to appropriate accommodation closer to home, at the earliest opportunity. This will be done with stringent reviews, information sharing and regular communication with Commissioners, Case Managers, organisations and partners to facilitate this for your patient(s).

 

Staffing

Staffing levels are being monitored daily and plans have been developed to limit the impact and ensure we maintain significant numbers to support your patient(s). Non-critical training has been postponed and non-medical staff will support clinical teams where appropriate and required. Staff wellbeing is also being closely monitored with free psychological counselling offered through our on-site Occupational Health Team and Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) helpline.

Staff are required to wear scrubs on all isolated wards. This clothing is then laundered on site to avoid the spread of infection.

Staff are required to follow current Government guidance on isolating periods.

General hospital visits

If a general hospital visit is essential, the Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPCT) at the receiving hospital and the ambulance staff will be advised in advance of the specific circumstances of the transfer, so that appropriate measures can be taken.

 

Further Covid-19 information

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.

  • Pandemic Preparedness Plan
  • Outbreak Plan
  • COVID-19 Procedure
  • Additional information on our response actions
  • Coronavirus FAQs
  • Covid-19 guide social distance visits.