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COVID-19: protecting patients in our hospitals

A patient lies in a hospital bed with a blood pressure monitor on their finger.

It is always stressful when you or one of your loved ones is admitted to hospital, and while COVID-19 continues to affect our communities, you will have more concerns and questions about how we are keeping patients while we help them get better.

On this page, we’ve put together lots of information on what our patients and their families can expect if they have to stay with us in the coming months.

These measures and rules have been put in place on top of our usual strict infection prevention rules to protect our patients from Coronavirus and help stop it spreading.

Follow this link for important information on the rules you need to follow when you come to one our health board sites or hospitals as an outpatient or visitor.

If you are admitted as a patient to one of our hospitals, there are some new rules in place to help protect you, other patients and our staff from COVID-19.

We ask that while you are in hospital you follow the rules around wearing face coverings and staying two metres apart.

You will need to wear a face covering if you are able to whenever you are not in your bed area. This includes when going to the toilet and shower or if you are able to visit one of the shops on site.

If you don’t have a face covering or would like a fresh one, please ask a member of staff to provide one for you.

You must also continue to follow the rules around two metre distancing and use any one way systems that are in place inside our buildings.

It can seem a bit odd continuing to stay two metres away from others when healthcare staff come close to you for treatment. But the difference is that our staff will be wearing appropriate PPE to protect you and them from the virus.

If you’re not receiving treatment or being helped by a healthcare worker wearing PPE, it’s really important that you follow the two metre rule and keep your distance from other patients as well as our staff.

It’s just as important that you keep your hands clean too. It can be a bit trickier when you’re in bed or can’t make it to a sink very often but please continue to wash your hands as often as you can.

Wards and units will have new rules in place around their day rooms which you will need to follow too.

If you are unsure about anything, or have any concerns, please speak to a member of staff. They will be happy to explain exactly what you need to do on your ward and why different measures are in place.

If you are admitted to a ward at Morriston, Singleton, Neath Port Talbot or Gorseinon hospital, you may find that there is a see-through plastic curtain around your bed, as well as the usual privacy curtain that is hung from the ceiling.

These curtains have been put around some beds to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We conducted a lot of risk assessments and found that these see-through physical barriers could help to protect patients alongside the other measures we have in place. All health boards in Wales are doing the same or similar things.

If one of these curtains is around your bed we ask that you do not try to open it fully, unless you are told you can by a member of staff.

If you have any concerns about the curtains, please speak to a member of the nursing team on the ward. They can make sure the curtain is hung and cleaned properly in line with health board guidance.

In response to rising cases of COVID-19 in Swansea Bay, we’ve made some changes to visiting at our hospital sites, and inpatients at our mental health and learning disabilities services.

We’re following Welsh Government guidance and implementing rules that will keep our patients and staff as safe as possible on our sites.

Follow this link for more information on what is and isn’t currently allowed in terms of visiting inpatients on our hospital sites.

We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause, but hope that you understand we are doing this to keep your loved ones safe.

These visiting arrangements will be kept under review, and we hope to be in a position to allow more visiting when the threat of the virus recedes.

While you are unable to come on site to see your family member or friend, we are supporting telephone calls and virtual visiting as much as possible, using iPads and tablets.

We have free WiFi on all our sites so, if you can, please make the most of it to ring your loved one on their personal device. If the person in hospital doesn’t have access to a phone or tablet, speak to the ward staff about setting up video or voice call with them.

If your loved one has been admitted to one of our hospitals, please call the relevant number listed below to arrange drop off of essential clean clothes and to pick up dirty ones.

Please make sure the clean clothing bag is clearly labelled with the patient’s name and the ward they are on. Do not include food, flowers or items of value or cash.

When you come to the hospital, please remember to wear your face covering, keep your hands clean and maintain two metre distancing. Follow this link for important information on the rules you need to follow when you come to one our health board sites or hospitals as an outpatient or visitor. 

To protect our patients and staff, do not attend the hospital if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, are currently waiting for a COVID-19 test result, or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Dirty clothes will be given back to you with washing instructions. Please make sure you follow the advice below to reduce any risk of infection to yourself or any other members of your household

Clothing will be given back to you in a special sealed bag which you can put in a washing machine. Please don’t open this bag. The tie tape and seam will dissolve in the wash and release the clothing.

You should wash the clothing as soon as possible, separately from any other laundry you have at home.

It should be washed using your normal washing products at a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, or hotter if the clothing is suitable for a higher temperature wash.

When the wash is done, remove the plastic bag from the machine and put it in the bin straight away.

You can then dry the clothes as normal but make sure you wash your hands after touching the bag and the clothing.

When you come to the hospital to collect the laundry, please remember to wear your face covering, keep your hands clean and maintain two metre distancing.

Follow this link for important information on the rules you need to follow when you come to one our health board sites or hospitals as an outpatient or visitor.

To protect our patients and staff, do not come to the hospital if you have any Covid-19 symptoms, are currently waiting for a COVID-19 test result, or have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days.

Hospital contact details:

  • To arrange laundry for a patient in Morriston Hospital, ring the Patient Advice Liaison service on 01792 531275.
  • For patients in Singleton Hospital, telephone 01792 205666 and ask for the ward you need.
  • For Neath Port Talbot Hospital, contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service on 01639 684666.
  • For Tonna Hospital, ring 01639 862000 and ask for the ward you need.
  • For Gorseinon Hospital patients, call 01792 704180 or 01792 704184 and ask for the ward you need.
  • Local arrangements are in place for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities hospitals - please call the relevant ward for advice.
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