RESTRICTED VISITNG TIMES DUE TO COVID-19

From Tuesday 24 March, the Trust has taken the decision to suspend all visiting until further notice in order to protect our patients and staff.

Visiting is only be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • 1 birthing partner only during labour  
  • Parents only in the neonatal unit (no time restrictions)
  • Only 1 parent / carer per child at all appointments, in urgent and emergency care or when visiting children (no time restrictions)

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances for patients who are receiving end-of-life care and families should talk to the ward manager.

  • Patients will be asked to attend hospital alone for any urgent treatment.
  • All visitors MUST wash their hands thoroughly as they enter and leave the wards or departments.
  • All visitors MUST wear PPE if asked to do so by our staff. 

Thank you for your support and co-operation

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 staying 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
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

More information can be found on the NHS website 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 people wear face masks to protect themselves from infection?

If you can, you should wear a face mask in enclosed public spaces where you're unable to maintain social distancing and can come into contact with people you don't normally meet.

Find out more here

Or find out how to make your own face covering here.

What should I do if I have returned from one of the affected countries?

You should refer to the latest advice - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ and follow guidance regarding self-isolation and contacting NHS111 as appropriate. If you need to be tested for COVID-19 this will be arranged via NHS111. Please do not come into hospital / urgent care / pharmacies or GP surgeries if you suspect you may have COVID-19.

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?

Visiting is only be permitted in the following circumstances:

  • 1 birthing partner only during labour  
  • Parents only in the neonatal unit (no time restrictions)
  • Only 1 parent / carer per child at all appointments, in urgent and emergency care or when visiting children (no time restrictions)

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances for patients who are receiving end-of-life care and families should talk to the ward manager.

  • Patients will be asked to attend hospital alone for any urgent treatment.
  • All visitors MUST wash their hands thoroughly as they enter and leave the wards or departments.
  • All visitors MUST wear PPE if asked to do so by our staff

Thank you for your support and co-operation.

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.