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Attending hospital appointments ⁠– frequently asked questions

Patients and visitors

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Please watch our video and read the frequently asked questions about attending hospital appointments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are here to keep you safe – watch video

  • Keeping you safe – video transcript

    At Guy's and St Thomas' we've made some important changes to help keep you safe when you visit our hospitals or community sites.

    We're asking everyone to clean their hands immediately when they enter the building.

    Hand sanitiser is available around the building for you to clean your hands more frequently.

    When you arrive we may give you a mask to wear.

    We have reminders around our buildings to 'keep apart' and we have signs to show you where to wait and queue safely.

    We have rearranged our seating so that you can maintain social distancing and we are limiting the numbers of people who can go in the lift at one time.

    Some of these changes may mean that you need to queue at busy times so please leave extra time to get to your appointment.

    When you arrive at your appointment you will be asked if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

    Everyone will wear a face mask when you attend for your appointment and some staff may be wearing additional protective equipment.

    We're keeping things clean, cleaning more often and cleaning frequently touched surfaces with extra care.

    If you are visiting our children's services please help us reduce the number of visitors by only attending with one parent or carer.

    Things may seem different but one thing will always be the same, we are here to give you the best and safest care.

    Visit our website to find out more about what we are doing to keep you safe.

 

Frequently asked questions

  • Is it safe for me to attend a hospital appointment?

    Every precaution will be taken to ensure you're safe. 

    Social distancing is being enforced in and around the hospital sites. Hand sanitiser will be available at entrances and exits to the hospital and departments.

    Staff during your appointment will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, visors, gloves and aprons.

    You will be able to wear a face covering/mask.

  • Do I need to wear a mask when travelling to hospital?

    You must wear a face covering on all public transport, including taxis.

    Please follow the Government safer travel guidance for passengers.

    If you are travelling alone in your own vehicle you will not need a mask.

    However, you will be required to put on a face covering or mask when you enter the hospital for your appointment.

  • I need to travel on public transport to get to the hospital – what can I do to prevent infection?

    You must wear a face covering on all public transport, including taxis.

    Please follow the Government safer travel guidance for passengers.

    The risk of infection increases the closer you are to another person with the virus and the amount of time you spend in close contact: you are very unlikely to be infected from just walking past another person.

    There may be situations where you can’t keep a suitable distance from people, for example when boarding or alighting, on busier services, at busier times of day and when walking through interchanges. In these cases you should avoid physical contact, try to face away from other people, and keep the time you spend near others as short as possible.

    Be aware of the surfaces you touch. Be careful not to touch your face. Wash your hands, after using public transport or use hand gel.

  • Why do I have to wear a mask on public transport?

    You must wear a face covering on all public transport, including taxis.

    Please follow the Government safer travel guidance for passengers.

    This is to protect yourself and other passengers from coronavirus (COVID-19), along with other measures such as social distancing and the use of hand washing and hand gels.

  • What type of mask should I use?

    Any face covering/mask will be suitable to provide protection whilst out in public.

  • Will patient transport be provided?

    Yes. Patient transport will remain available to those that are eligible and can be booked via the hospital transport team.

  • I will be travelling by car – where can I get information regarding car parks and parking costs?

    Car parks at both Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals are free to use. Visit our parking page for more information.

  • My journey may take longer than usual – will I still be seen for my appointment?

    Please allow extra time for your journey to make sure you arrive in time for your appointment.

    Appointments should run to scheduled times and you may not be seen if you arrive later.

  • Do I need to bring my appointment letter?

    You need to bring evidence of your appointment with you. We are only allowing staff and patients with appointments to attend our hospitals. If you do not have a letter you can show your text reminder as evidence.   

    Please remember to follow any instructions prior to your appointment and to bring any relevant medications.

  • My clinic has moved – will there be anyone to help me find my way?

    Yes. There are staff at each entrance/exit to support and advise patients.

  • What should I do if I feel unwell on the day of my appointment?

    If you or someone in your household, including your extended bubble, have experienced any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days you must contact the department before visiting the hospital:

    • a high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough
    • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

    In most cases we are asking you to follow government advice and not attend hospital if you have any of these symptoms and your appointment will be rescheduled.

    However, for some people attending the hospital may still be required. If this applies to you then arrangements for you to safely attend will be made and agreed with you.

  • I have an underlining health condition which would put me at high risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) – should I keep my appointment?

    Yes, if we have arranged an appointment at the hospital this means that the team looking after you would like to see you face-to-face. If you are concerned about this, please get in touch.

  • I am worried that my health condition makes me at high risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) – should I attend my hospital appointment?

    Whilst your health condition can make you more vulnerable, it is important to manage your condition to stop it becoming worse and making you more vulnerable.

    If we have arranged an appointment at the hospital this means that the team looking after you would like to see you face-to-face. If you are concerned about this, please get in touch.

  • I have been identified as needing to shield. Should I attend?

    Yes, if we have arranged an appointment at the hospital this means that the team looking after you would like to see you face-to-face.

    You must avoid public transport, if this is difficult, please speak to your clinical team, who may be able to arrange hospital transport.

    You should wear a face covering whilst travelling and on arrival to the department you should inform a member of staff you are shielding.

    If you are concerned about this then please contact us.

  • I'm worried about attending the hospital. Can my appointment be done by telephone or video?

    Many of our appointments are now being offered virtually (phone or video) however there are still occasions where the team will need to see you face-to-face, such as to examine you, carry out a minor procedure or obtain images, such as x-rays.

  • I want to speak to someone about my condition before my appointment – who can I contact?

    Your hospital appointment letter will have a number for enquiries; you can call this number.

    If you have a question about your health and you have a contact number for a helpline or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) please contact them.

  • Who can I speak to regarding my hospital appointment?

    Your hospital appointment letter will have a number for enquiries, you can call this number.

    If you have a question about your health and you have a contact number for a help line or a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) please contact them.

  • I should have been given a date for a hospital appointment from you but I have not received anything – what do I do?

    If you know or think you have a hospital appointment and have not heard from us, please contact us.

  • Can I bring someone with me to my hospital appointment?

    We are asking people to attend appointments alone, at the moment, to reduce the number of people in the hospital to enable us to stay safe and keep apart.

    If you need someone to accompany you please speak to a member of the team.

    There is more information on our visitors page.

  • Are language interpreting and British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters still available to support me at my appointment?

    Yes, this support will be available to you but the interpreter will take part via video conferencing due to social distancing rules.

    There is more information on our language support page.

  • Will I be able to buy refreshments on site?

    Facilities will be open and there are free water fountains throughout the hospital.

  • My skin is sensitive to alcohol based hand gel – is there an alternative?

    Hand washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds has been shown to be just as effective.

    Please inform our staff at the hospital entrances and make sure you wash hands as soon as you arrive at your appointment destination.

  • I have a physical disability which affects my mobility – what help is available to support me attending my appointment?

    Staff will be available to assist you. They will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, visors, aprons and gloves to protect you and others.

  • My GP has referred me to the hospital – will I still be seen?

    Yes, if you need to be seen arrangements will be made to allow this.

  • I have a future appointment – will I still be seen/do I still attend?

    We will contact you if it is necessary for you to attend the appointment or whether the appointment can be conducted by telephone or video. We will also notify you if the appointment is cancelled.