COVID-19: temporary changes to some of our services

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COVID-19: temporary changes to some of our services

In response to the coronavirus situation, Swansea Bay University Health Board is making temporary changes to the way we deliver some of our services.

We hope you will understand that we must reprioritise how we use our staff and resources during this extremely challenging time. Our focus is on keeping patients safe, and ensuring everything possible is done to provide care to those who need it the most.

We apologise for the inconvenience or distress this may cause, but ask you to please bear with us. 

Please be assured that emergency surgery and operations for cancer and other clinically urgent conditions will continue.

Outpatient clinics suspended

We have had to suspend the majority of our outpatient clinics. We apologise for this inconvenience.

Please be aware that we are only able to see URGENT cases. All others will be postponed until further notice.

Please do not attend a booked appointment unless you have had a specific text, phone call or letter asking you to come in. Please note - only correspondence since Saturday, 14th March should be taken into account as confirmation of attendance.

We will be re-booking your appointments as soon as possible and will let you know in due course. 

Outpatient clinics still going ahead

Some outpatient clinics will still be running. If you have an appointment with these clinics, please attend as arranged, in line with the instruction in your original appointment letter (unless you hear otherwise from us.)

Paediatrics

Neonates

Ophthalmology

Thyroid

Oncology

Renal - Go to this page for more detailed information for renal patients.

Antenatal - Go to this page for more detailed information on changes to antenatal care.

URGENT: COVID-19 VISITING Update

All general hospital visiting has now stopped, effective immediately.

The ONLY exceptions are:
PAEDIATRICS: One parent or carer at a time
MATERNITY: One birthing partner
PALLIATIVE (end of life) care. One family member at a time, if it is safe to do so. Please discuss arrangements with the ward manager.

This is in response to the latest Government announcement about restriction of movements.

Please note: you must NOT visit if you are feeling unwell, especially if you have a high temperature or new persistent cough.

We do have free WiFi on all our sites, so if you can, please 'virtual visit' your relative or friend on their smartphone or tablet on What'sApp, FaceTime, Messenger etc

To help us manage the surge of potential telephone calls our wards may now receive from relatives checking on patients, we are asking patients to nominate a single member of their family (or carer) to be the designated person to contact us.

If your loved one is not well enough or able to designate someone, we will discuss this with a family member.

Having a designated person will avoid several members of the same family ringing the ward.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Checking on patients

Families often get updates on patients’ progress when they visit, or they call the ward to find out.

With face-to-face information now suspended and COVID-19 pressures growing, there is a real risk that families and carers will find it increasingly difficult to find out how their loved ones are doing.

So we now have dedicated email addresses in place to assist with this. We ask that only one member of a family or one carer is the delegated person to be the contact point, and that they then make arrangements to tell the rest of the family.

Please ensure when you email us that you provide the patient’s name, address, date of birth and Ward details (if known) to help us identify them.

SBU.MorristonPatientContact@wales.nhs.uk

SBU.SingletonPatientContact@wales.nhs.uk

SBU.NeathPatientContact@wales.nhs.uk

If you do not have access to email, you can ring 01792 583700 to leave a message and this will be relayed to the ward once a day.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Children's Services

We are rearranging some of our children’s services in Morriston Hospital in response to COVID-19.

From Monday, 30th March, the hospital’s Paediatric Emergency Department will be co-located with the Paediatric Assessment Unit to form a dedicated Children’s Emergency Unit (CEU). This is to protect children and their families during the outbreak.

The entrance to CEU is located by driving past the main emergency department entrance and taking the next right turn. Signage will be visible.

The unit will accept patients aged 0-16.

We are currently only allowing one parent or carer, and the entrance is drop off only. Parking is usual hospital parking areas.

The pathway for GP referrals remains the same.

Update for maternity services - Thursday, March 26, 2020
  • From Friday 27th March 2020, antenatal and postnatal visiting times will be reduced to 12-6pm.
  • We are very sorry to inform you that from the 23rd of March 2020 women will be asked to attend all appointments for antenatal care and ultrasound scans unaccompanied.  This is applicable for both community and hospital appointments. We ask that no partners attend as there will be very limited waiting areas to avoid social mixing. We do ask women to practice social distancing within the clinic areas.  Information around social distancing can be found below. There will be no charge for scan photos during this time. Our maternity services will be contacting you prior to any appointment to check you are well and have none of the symptoms of COVID-19. If you are unwell (have any of the symptoms described below) prior to attending please contact the clinics and we can make arrangements based on your individual need
  • It is now necessary to reduce antenatal care provision to essential face-to-face contact only. As a result all routine 16 week and 25 week face-to-face visits will cease and will be replaced by telephone/virtual consultations with your midwife, your midwife will also arrange for a birth discussion via this method at around 36/40.
  • If you are self isolating due to symptoms or household infection and are due to see your midwife/doctor, or attend for a scan, please contact your midwife or antenatal clinic to inform them. Arrangements will be made to reschedule routine appointments at the end of isolation periods, but urgent appointments will go ahead and arrangements will be made for you to attend.
  • From 16th March 2020 parent education (antenatal classes) will temporarily stop. If you have questions relating to birthing plans and or care of your baby please speak to your community midwife – this includes hypnobirthing classes. Consultant midwives in Wales are building an on line resource with virtual antenatal education information. Members of the group will also have access to Facebook live question and answer sessions with one of the consultant midwives.

This measure is being introduced as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise. We understand that this is an anxious time for you and your families, but please be reassured that we are taking all preventable measures possible to ensure our services remain safe for all women and babies using our service. If you have any pregnancy related concerns at all then please contact your midwife or maternity unit as usual. 

Many thanks in advance for all your support during this challenging time for our community and health service. It is our aim to keep you updated as the situation changes.

Go to this page for information for pregnant women and their families from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Sexual health clinics:

Sexual health clinics health departments across the health board will be on an appointment-only basis for the foreseeable future. Please see the sexual health webpage for details.

Physiotherapy:

Physio walk-in clinics are now suspended. However the Physio Direct telephone triage opening hours will be extended to 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday: 01792 487453 or 01639 683167/683168. Patients with follow up appointments booked will be contacted by phone.

Only essential and urgent clinical cases will be seen in person. This applies the muscular-skeletal, neurology, paediatrics and women’s health across all health board sites.

If you have an appointment with a community team, please contact that team directly for further guidance. New patients with appointments already scheduled for the coming weeks will be telephoned to discuss treatment plans.

Morriston Hospital Emergency Department – children

If a child needs to go to the Emergency Department at Morriston Hospital, please do not attend as a family. Instead, choose one parent or carer only to accompany the child. This is manage the number of people in the department.

Blood tests

All phlebotomy services visiting GP surgeries will stop until further notice. We apologise for the inconvenience.

During this period we will be working with primary care colleagues to plan a new way of providing a phlebotomy service across the health board.

Until this has been set up, in the short term, limited services for ESSENTIAL blood tests only will continue in the hospital locations listed below.

If you are already in possession of a blood test request form, please consider checking with your GP whether it is essential that you have the tests done before attending the phlebotomy department, as we must reduce the risk to both to you and other staff and patients attending these locations.

Locations temporarily providing phlebotomy for ESSENTIAL blood tests only:

• Morriston Outpatients Department
• Singleton Pathology Building (not Outpatients)
• Neath Port Talbot Outpatients Department

Pharmacies

Please be aware that because of the current pressures, local pharmacies may operate different opening hours to accommodate additional work. They may open later, close earlier, or close during the day (e.g. noon to 2pm).

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

You can help our pharmacies by:

* Not visiting a pharmacy if you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or continuous cough
* Plan ahead where possible, try to order your next prescription seven days before it is due
* Put your contact details on your prescription so pharmacies can let you know when your medicines are ready to collect
*If you are self-isolating please ask family, friends or neighbours to pick up your medications for you. If you don;t have anyone who can, speak to your community pharmacy to see how they can help
*If you are well and able to visit the pharmacy yourself, think about how you can help family, friends and neighbours who are self-isolating

Rapid Diagnostic Centre, Neath Port Talbot Hospital

The RDC is temporarily suspended. Cancer referrals are still be accepted by specific cancer services teams, but the RDC is unable to accept referrals until further notice.

 

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