Coronavirus FAQ

Update 16 July: These measures will remain in place after 19 July to continue to protect our patients who are at higher risk of serious illness.

Coming to hospital during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can leave you feeling a little apprehensive, but you can rest assured that we have put in place a range of policies to maximise your safety, like new infection control measures and the introduction of video appointments with Attend Anywhere

Here is a guide to answer some of the questions you may have about coming to hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have any other questions, please contact the telephone number or email on your appointment letter. 

All our advice follows the current Government guidance and NHS information.

Specific information for clinical immunology/immunodeficiency patients can be found on this page.

What do I need to do in hospital?

  • To keep yourself and those around you safe, please act responsibly and always
    Hands Face Space logo
    remember Hands. Face. Space.
    • Wash or sanitise your hands when you come to hospital and frequently throughout your stay.
    • Wear a face mask or covering at all times unless you are exempt. You can find face masks in the hospital entrances. This video shows you how to wear a surgical mask correctly.
    • Please maintain social distancing of 2 metres in hospital.
  • Social distancing means there may not be enough space in waiting areas so you may be asked to wait outside or in your car.
  • If you are coming for an appointment, please come no earlier than 15 minutes beforehand and leave promptly afterwards.

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital?

  • One nominated visitor per patient for the duration of stay for one-hour per day during the hours of 11am-7pm
  • The nominated visitor will need to book their visit at least one day in advance with the ward management team. Contact details for the wards can be found here.
  • Exceptions should be agreed in advance of your journey with the ward senior nursing team. Please contact the team to agree and arrange your visit.
  • If you are coming to the hospital for an appointment, you must come alone unless you need a carer or have been advised otherwise. One child should be accompanied by one adult only.
  • Women attending our maternity services can be accompanied by the birth partner or nominated supporter at different stages of the maternity journey - please see the maternity visiting pages for full information.
  • Alternatively, patients can arrange a video call with their friends and family.

I’m coming in for surgery – what should I know beforehand?

  • We recommend that you still go ahead with urgent operations. While the hospital follows strict standards of infection control, there is always some risk, so it is your decision as to whether you wish to proceed or not.
  • Please self-isolate for 3 days beforehand along with members of your household.
  • If you have coronavirus symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has, please let the hospital know. Your operation may still go ahead if it is urgent.

How can I get my belongings while in hospital?

You should bring your belongings in with you when you come to hospital but, if you need something else or have forgotten something, a friend or family member can bring your belongings to the Patient Belongings Drop Off Point in the main entrance, just past the face mask stand as you come into the Brunel Building. The staff there will then send the belongings to the patient.  

What if I’m on the shielding register?

It is safe for patients who have received a shielding letter to come to hospital. We will take extra care to minimise all face-to-face contact while you are in hospital.

A friend or family member can bring you into hospital or you can arrange a taxi. You can also book hospital transport if you are eligible. Please contact 0300 777 5577 or 0300 777 6688 to book your hospital transport and check your eligibility.

  • Your medical condition means you cannot use other transport without damaging your health.
  • You need the skills or support of trained staff and/or medical equipment during your journey.
  • Your mobility means you are unable to access healthcare by any other means.

However, if you are on the shielding register, you may prefer not to come to hospital. We may be able to arrange a video appointment instead. If you are asked to attend the hospital in person you should do so. If you are a visitor, do not come if you are shielding.

What if I have additional needs?

Sunflower logo

The Learning Disabilities team are taking extra care of patients with additional needs during this time, so please call them on 0117 414 1239 or email them to arrange for additional support at learningdisabilities@nbt.nhs.uk. Carers can also complete a COVID Passport for the patient.

We also now recognise the Hidden Disability Sunflower Lanyard and our staff are aware to ask you “can I help you?” if they see this. If this would help, you can get these lanyards at the main reception.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing and want to make a call, please go to the Sign Solutions website and a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter will make the onward call and interpret your conversation in real time.  

I live in a care home – will I go there straight after hospital?

You will be tested 48 hours before you leave hospital and go to a care home. If you have already tested positive for the coronavirus, we will let your care home know.

Can I get extra support in my community?

If you are self-isolating, you may need some extra help with your shopping, getting medication, or just someone to call:

Can I find this information in a different language?

Yes, the NHS coronavirus videos have been translated into 11 different languages and there’s a British Sign Language version too.