OUR CURRENT VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

From Friday 11 September we are suspending visiting to all adult inpatient wards at South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and our Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre, due to rising cases of COVID-19.

Restrictions around visiting other departments remain in place as detailed below.  Please note that strict infection control measures remain in place and any visitors must wear a face mask and adhere to the guidance below.  This is to protect yourself, our patients and our staff. Thank you for your support and co-operation

Adult inpatient wards

All visiting is suspended 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.

Maternity

  • Mums-to-be can 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.
  • 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.

One parent / carer can accompany children under the age of 18 years old at their appointment

Exceptional circumstances

We recognise there will be exceptional circumstances (for example patients who have dementia, delirium, learning disabilities and those patients receiving end of life care). 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 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.
  • You must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by our staff. This could be apron, face mask and gloves. If you fail to do this you will not be allowed to visit.
  • Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly when entering and exiting all buildings and again when entering and exiting any clinical 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:

  • wash hands - keep washing your hands regularly
  • cover face - wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • make space - stay at least a metre away from people not in your household
  • 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.

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 
  • wear a face covering over your nose and mouth in enclosed spaces
  • stay at least a metre away from people not in your household
  • do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms

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?

From Friday 11 September we are suspending visiting to all adult inpatient wards at South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and our Intermediate Care and Rehabilitation (ICAR) Unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre, due to rising cases of COVID-19.

Restrictions around visiting other departments remain in place as detailed below.  Please note that strict infection control measures remain in place and any visitors must wear a face mask and adhere to the guidance below.  This is to protect yourself, our patients and our staff. Thank you for your support and co-operation

Adult inpatient wards

All visiting is suspended 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.

Maternity

  • Mums-to-be can 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.
  • 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 those patients receiving end of life care). 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 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.
  • You must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as directed by our staff. This could be apron, face mask and gloves. If you fail to do this you will not be allowed to visit.
  • Please wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly when entering and exiting all buildings and again when entering and exiting any clinical 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.

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

Process for registering a death during COVID-19 restrictions (Sunderland)

When someone dies, the death must be registered this must be in the district where it occurred. Patients who die in Sunderland Royal Hospital must be registered at Sunderland Civic Centre. Due to COVID 19 restrictions a number of changes to this process are now in place.

Following the death you will not be given any paper work (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death)in order to register the death. This process is now managed electronically by the bereavement office team.

Once the information has been received by the bereavement office, a member of the team will contact you and make arrangements with you to collect any personal belongings and valuable of the deceased. They will also advise you of the contact details of the civic centre to make an appointment to register the death.  

Registration of the death will take place over the telephone with a registrar from the civic centre. If you have any further questions about this process please don’t hesitate to contact us on:

Useful contacts

Sunderland Royal Hospital Bereavement office Telephone:0191 5699124

Email: bereavementservices@chsft.nhs.uk

Sunderland Civic Centre Telephone 0191 5205553

Email: registrars@sunderland.gov.uk

Process for registering a death during COVID 19 restrictions (South Tyneside)

When someone dies, the death must be registered this must be in the district where it occurred.

Patients who die in South Tyneside District Hospital the death must be registered at South Shields Registry Office. Due to COVID 19 restrictions a number of changes to this process are now in place.

Following the death you will not be given any paper work (Medical Certificate of Cause of Death) in order to register the death. This process is now managed by Patient Welfare team.

Staff on all Wards should inform the next of kin to contact the Patient Welfare Office after 10.00am where there contact details will be taken.   Once the paperwork has been received by Patient Welfare, a member of the team will contact you and make arrangements with you to collect any personal belongings and valuable of the deceased. They will also advise you of the contact details of the Registry Office to make an appointment to register the death.  

Registration of the death will take place over the telephone with a registrar from the Registry Office.

Useful contact numbers:

Patient Welfare: 0191 2024005

South Shields Registry Office: 0191 4246357

E-Mail: registrars@southtyneside.gov.uk