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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.


Covid-19 isolation guidance for our patients - updated 12/04/2023

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.


Patient Admissions

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.

  • 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.


Patient Discharges

  • If a patient is being discharged to another care setting a LFT will be conducted 48 hours before discharge.


Face Masks

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:

  • If one patient on a ward is Covid positive, staff providing care to that patient need to wear masks.
  • If an outbreak is declared on a ward, all staff are required to wear a mask when on that ward.

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.



  • 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.
  • Leave and visits for wards in outbreakWe will limit movement both in and out of wards in Outbreak to minimise infection transmission. Exceptional requests for leave / visits will be considered by the Clinical Director and divisional leadership team, with support from the IPC team.


Therapy areas

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



  • There are no restrictions on visits, however it should always be considered preferable if the purpose of the visit can be achieved remotely. 
  • Visitors will be asked not to visit if they have Covid symptoms and will be required to wear a mask if visiting a clinical setting.


What we continue to do

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. 


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.