Arrow ImagePICU & Rapid Response

Last updated: 24/05/2022

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 24/05/2022

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.

All new patient admissions will need to isolate and complete a lateral flow test. 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.

Patients will be encouraged to do twice-weekly LFT’s.

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.

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.
  • Community leave is granted, but the benefits must clearly outweigh the risks. Any such leave will continue to consider the distance travelled, number, duration and
    proximity of social contacts (e.g. how crowded an area is), ability to hand wash and other IPC controls when considering the benefits and risks of leave in terms of location and duration.
  • Patients should be encouraged to wear a mask in most indoor areas, particularly if the area is crowded, and/or poorly ventilated.
  • Staff escorting patients will be expected to wear masks in indoor areas and if unable to maintain 1 metre social distancing.
  • Patients will be encouraged to use lateral flow testing, especially if visiting areas of higher risk e.g. crowded, poorly ventilated areas. 
  • Public Transport- as these are typically crowded and involve close proximity, patients will be encouraged to wear face masks when using any form of public transport, including taxis, buses, trains, trams (unless exempt). Any escorting staff will be expected to wear facemasks.

 

Therapy areas

  • Wards can mix, subject to room size, using typical IPC controls (hand hygiene, social distancing)
  • Workbridge – internal and external service users can mix, but subject to social distancing (1m+ for Workbridge retail areas only, and 2m for all other Workbridge areas).

 

Visits

This applies to personal and professional visitors:

Although there is no restriction on visits, it should always be considered preferable if the purpose of the visit can be achieved remotely. If it cannot, then the following guidance needs to be followed

On Site

  • Outdoors - Outdoor visits in the grounds or local outdoor areas can occur, with no theoretical limit on numbers. Visitors should not attend if they have symptoms and should have a negative lateral flow test in the 24 hours before the visit. They will be asked to confirm this when visiting by completing a visitor screening questionnaire to be uploaded by reception or kept locally. Visitors should maintain social distancing of 2m (in line with what is required for a healthcare setting), wear a mask and be bare below the elbow.
  • Indoors - indoor visits using visitors’ rooms continue, subject to the numbers that can be accommodated based on room size.

Off Site

Home visits

  • Indoors - patients to be encouraged to wear masks, wash hands and maintain an appropriate space. There is no law to mandate mask wearing or any type of social distancing for patients. Any escorting staff will be expected to wear a mask and maintain an appropriate social distance. 
  • Outdoors – can occur, subject to no theoretical maximum.

Other venues

  • Domestic overnight stays are allowed, and this would also apply to overnight home leave or leave to placements. Family contact via Skype/ Teams should also be encouraged.

Appropriate mitigations for indoor visits:

• A risk assessment and mitigation plan must be documented in the patient’s clinical notes prior to any visit
• Visits should be pre-agreed and planned in advance
• Visits should take place in a pre-agreed room where social distancing can be maintained
• Visitors must have the mitigations below explained to them
• Anyone showing signs or symptoms of Covid-19 must not visit
• Contact details of the visitor must be recorded in the patients’ notes to permit track and trace information provision if this proves necessary
• Visitors, patients and staff must wash their hands prior to and following the visit
• Visitors and patients must maintain social distancing of 2m or more during visits*
• Staff, the patient and the visitor need to be wearing an IIR2 surgical mask at all times during the visit
• The visiting room is to be cleaned after all visits
• *Where a patient is on End of Life care and expected to die within days, these mitigations are not necessary. Please refer to existing visitor guidance for End of Life care
• See guidance on hugging during visits below- MDT teams need to make individualised decisions based on the clinical characteristics of their patients as to whether this is recommended or not.

Hugging

When hugging close family and friends we still need to remain cautious to prevent the transmission of the virus. People that are fully vaccinated are considered to be at lower risk when having close contact with others but not risk free. Here are some tips on hugging safely:
• Restrict hugs to very small numbers of close family and friends you really value a hug from
• Keep it short
• Try to avoid being face to face, turn your face away slightly so that you are not rebreathing each other’s air
• Wearing a mask can help prevent passing the virus in your breath
• Remember good hand hygiene.

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 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.

Daily 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 remains 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. If a patient is approved clinically suitable and fit to move, they are asked to self-isolate on admission and are tested immediately to ensure the safety of other patients and staff on the ward. To enable this period of quarantine to happen, enhanced support may be required for a short period. This will be advised prior to admission.

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.