OUR CURRENT VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

We have eased some of our current restrictions around visiting, to enable you to see loved ones and friends safely while they are being cared for in our hospitals. 

Restrictions around visiting patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are still in place and you should contact the ward manager for further information.

Please see below for information on visiting and the measures we need you to take to protect yourself, our patients and our staff. Thank you for your support and co-operation

Adult inpatient wards

  • Each patient will be allowed one named visitor per day.
  • All visits must be booked in advance via our wards. You can contact 0191 5656256 and ask to be put through to the ward, or direct lines to wards can be found here.
  • Each visiting slot will be for 30 mins (an extra 15 minutes will be allowed for arrival / departure and discussion with ward staff where necessary)
  • Children are not permitted on the wards at this time.

Children’s wards and neonatal

  • One parent is allowed to stay with a child on our children’s wards. There are no time restrictions.
  • Children are not permitted on the wards at this time.
  • One parent is allowed to visit babies on our neonatal unit (two parents with twins). Visiting times should be arranged with the unit in advance.

Emergency Department

  • Please attend our Emergency Departments alone. The only exception to this is if you require a carer to accompany you.
  • One parent / carer can accompany children under the age of 18 years old.
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask and to ensure social distancing in our waiting rooms. Please follow this at all times. The only exemptions will apply to those with genuine medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask and children under 11.

Emergency Assessment Units

  • Any carers present at time of admission to support transfer may stay on the Emergency Admissions Unit for 15 mins only. 
  • All other visiting will be virtual.  The Emergency Assessment Units have the technology to support this. Please call the unit to arrange your virtual visit.
  • Any exceptional visiting requirements can be discussed with the nurse in charge.

Maternity

  • Mums-to-be can now bring one person with them to their scan appointments. Due to social distancing, those attending will only be able to stay during the scan appointment and will need to wait outside the department at all other times.
  • You can continue to have one named person with you through labour and delivery
  • If you are on our antenatal or postnatal wards, you will be able to have one named visitor between 6pm and 7pm. This is by appointment only and must be arranged with the ward in advance.
  • We ask that you continue to attend your antenatal clinic and day unit appointments alone, unless a carer is required.

Outpatient appointments

Please continue to come alone to all outpatient appointments. The only exception to this is if you need a carer.

Exceptional circumstances

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances (for example patients who have dementia, delirium, learning disabilities and end of life). Please discuss visiting options with the ward manager or nurse in charge.

Important information for all visitors (PLEASE READ)

  • You must not visit if you feel unwell in any way or if any member of your household is unwell with a high temperature, persistent cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You must book a time slot with the ward prior to visiting. You can do this by contacting the ward (contact details are available here). Please do not just turn up as you will be turned away.
  • We will ask you for some personal details on your arrival (name, address, telephone number). This is for test and trace purposes and must be provided. To view our privacy notice and how we use your information click here.
  • You must wear a face covering or face mask when entering our Trust buildings. If you do not have one, you can get one from the hygiene stations at all entrances.
  • Please do not arrive before your allocated appointment time to allow for social distancing. Please maintain socially distanced from other visitors outside of our wards and use the buzzer when you arrive to let us know you are here.
  • You must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in our ward areas and as directed by our staff. This could be apron, face mask and gloves. If you fail to do this you will not be allowed on to the ward.
  • Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly when entering and exiting all buildings and again when entering and exiting our wards and clinic areas.
  • You will need to keep your face mask on until your leave the building where you should safely dispose of them in the dedicated bins provided.

Please note that our restaurants are currently closed to the public.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust is well prepared to effectively manage the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and we are working closely with all partners to respond to this challenging and rapidly changing situation.  

Our prime concern is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff, patients and visitors.

Advice for the public

The NHS in the North East and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to protect patients, our community and NHS staff while ensuring as many services as possible are available to the public. 

Get the latest information and advice about COVID-19 here

Read our advice about self-isolation and treating COVID-19 at home.

U​rgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

Only call NHS 111 if you are advised to do so by the online service or if you cannot get help online.

Everyone is being reminded to follow advice to:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • Adhere to social distancing guidance at all times
  • wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

More information can be found on the NHS website here

Face Coverings

All patients and visitors (who are not affected by current visiting restrictions) must plan ahead and wear face coverings when they attend our hospital or community clinics.

This is in line with national guidance that face coverings could help reduce the spread of COVID-19 from those suffering from the virus but not showing symptoms.

Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

More information can be found here.

For additional information you can read our frequently asked questions below:​

What is coronavirus and should I be concerned?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.
Generally, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, loss or change to sense of smell and taste and a new, continuous cough. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.

Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment. 

Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. 
 

Find out the latest information about symptoms here. 

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching COVID-19?

There are things you can do to help stop germs like COVID-19 spreading:

  • always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel
  • wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds each time with soap and water or hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.  This is especially important to do after:
    • getting home or getting into work
    • blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
    • eating or handling food
    • using public transport. 
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • stay at least 2 metres away from anyone you don't live with when outside your home

Is hand sanitiser effective?

The best way to protect yourself from infections like COVID-19 is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time. If soap or water isn’t available and your hands are visibly clean, then sanitiser gel can be used. But proper hand washing is the most effective method and this should be your first choice.

Should I wear a face covering when visiting hospital or community clinics?

From Monday 15 June, all patients and visitors (who are not affected by current visiting restrictions) must plan ahead and wear face coverings when they attend our hospital or community clinics.

This is in line with national guidance that face coverings could help reduce the spread of COVID-19 from those suffering from the virus but not showing symptoms.

Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

More information can be found here.

Are the Trust’s hospitals open as normal?

Yes. Our hospitals are open as normal and we would ask that you continue to attend your appointments unless instructed otherwise. 

Are there any restrictions to visiting?

We have eased some of our current restrictions around visiting, to enable you to see loved ones and friends safely while they are being cared for in our hospitals. 

Restrictions around visiting patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are still in place and you should contact the ward manager for further information.

Please see below for information on visiting and the measures we need you to take to protect yourself, our patients and our staff. Thank you for your support and co-operation

Adult inpatient wards

  • Each patient will be allowed one named visitor per day.
  • All visits must be booked in advance via our wards. You can contact 0191 5656256 and ask to be put through to the ward, or direct lines to wards can be found here.
  • Each visiting slot will be for 30 mins (an extra 15 minutes will be allowed for arrival / departure and discussion with ward staff where necessary)
  • Children are not permitted on the wards at this time.

Children’s wards and neonatal

  • One parent is allowed to stay with a child on our children’s wards. There are no time restrictions.
  • Children are not permitted on the wards at this time.
  • One parent is allowed to visit babies on our neonatal unit (two parents with twins). Visiting times should be arranged with the unit in advance.

Emergency Department

  • Please attend our Emergency Departments alone. The only exception to this is if you require a carer to accompany you.
  • One parent / carer can accompany children under the age of 18 years old.
  • You will be asked to wear a face mask and to ensure social distancing in our waiting rooms. Please follow this at all times. The only exemptions will apply to those with genuine medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask and children under 11.

Emergency Assessment Units

  • Any carers present at time of admission to support transfer may stay on the Emergency Admissions Unit for 15 mins only. 
  • All other visiting will be virtual.  The Emergency Assessment Units have the technology to support this. Please call the unit to arrange your virtual visit.
  • Any exceptional visiting requirements can be discussed with the nurse in charge.

Maternity

  • Mums-to-be can now bring one person with them to their scan appointments. Due to social distancing, those attending will only be able to stay during the scan appointment and will need to wait outside the department at all other times.
  • You can continue to have one named person with you through labour and delivery
  • If you are on our antenatal or postnatal wards, you will be able to have one named visitor between 6pm and 7pm. This is by appointment only and must be arranged with the ward in advance.
  • We ask that you continue to attend your antenatal clinic and day unit appointments alone, unless a carer is required.

Outpatient appointments

Please continue to come alone to all outpatient appointments. The only exception to this is if you need a carer.

Exceptional circumstances

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances (for example patients who have dementia, delirium, learning disabilities and end of life). Please discuss visiting options with the ward manager or nurse in charge.

Important information for all visitors (PLEASE READ)

  • You must not visit if you feel unwell in any way or if any member of your household is unwell with a high temperature, persistent cough or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • You must book a time slot with the ward prior to visiting. You can do this by contacting the ward (contact details are available here). Please do not just turn up as you will be turned away.
  • We will ask you for some personal details on your arrival (name, address, telephone number). This is for test and trace purposes and must be provided. To view our privacy notice and how we use your information click here.
  • You must wear a face covering or face mask when entering our Trust buildings. If you do not have one, you can get one from the hygiene stations at all entrances.
  • Please do not arrive before your allocated appointment time to allow for social distancing. Please maintain socially distanced from other visitors outside of our wards and use the buzzer when you arrive to let us know you are here.
  • You must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in our ward areas and as directed by our staff. This could be apron, face mask and gloves. If you fail to do this you will not be allowed on to the ward.
  • Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly when entering and exiting all buildings and again when entering and exiting our wards and clinic areas.
  • You will need to keep your face mask on until your leave the building where you should safely dispose of them in the dedicated bins provided.

What happens if I need to be admitted to hospital?

Patients can be reassured that their safety is our top priority and plans are in place across the Trust to safely care for any patients who are admitted to hospital and test positive for Coronavirus.

Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations and we have robust infection prevention and control procedures in place to protect our patients and staff.

If you're coming in for planned care or diagnostic tests, click here for more information. 
 

What are the changes to dental services?

Find out more about the changes to dental services in England from the 8th June below:

How to contact a dentist

Changes to dental services

What to expect