Reminder for Outpatients visiting the Horton to do so alone where possible

26/10/2020

Patients should check their letters so they don’t travel to the hospital for virtual or phone appointments by mistake

People attending outpatient appointments or the Emergency Department at The Horton General Hospital are being reminded they should do so alone, unless there are exceptional circumstances.   Recently there have been cases of people attending outpatient clinics bringing others to the hospital with them.

Current rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 say that outpatients must attend appointments alone, unless there are exceptional circumstances such as the patient requiring a carer or parent, having learning difficulties, experiencing mental health difficulties, or being unable to communicate.   The same rules apply across all Oxford University Hospitals, including the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, said: “We know and understand that people will often want people with them at hospital appointments.

“However, we have to do everything we can to keep everyone safe during COVID-19, which includes ensuring patients are not accompanied to outpatient appointments unless there are special circumstances.”

In some services, people attending outpatient appointments may be asked to wait in their car if the clinic is busy, and will be called on their mobile when they can come in.

Hospitals have been offering virtual and telephone appointments for many of our outpatient clinics, meaning patients can receive support and care remotely from their own homes.    Anyone with an outpatients appointment is asked to check their letter to see if their appointment is virtual, by telephone, or in person.  Some services have reported that patients have still been heading to the hospital in error when their appointment is actually a virtual or telephone one. 

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxford University Hospitals have restricted the number of visitors.  Since June, any inpatients have been able to have a very limited number of visitors through a controlled booking system. 


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