Options for seeking a Covid-19 test (and avoiding coming to hospital)

Press Release

Please don’t come to hospital for a Covid-19 test says Homerton

Homerton Hospital is appealing to local people not to come to the Accident and Emergency Department in order to request a Covid-19 test. The hospital is also urging schools and businesses to cease referring parents and employees to the A&E.

Dr Emma Rowland, the lead clinician for the Emergency Department at Homerton said: “Whilst we appreciate that local people are having difficulties in obtaining a test, we would urge them not to come to the hospital A&E department seeking a test.

“Our A&E and children’s A&E have remained open at all times during the pandemic, but our team is currently extremely busy in the department dealing with patients requiring urgent medical treatment and for patients that do not require admission to hospital, COVID-19 tests will not be performed. Our message to you is if you feel unwell and require medical advice, please call 111, your GP or in an emergency 999 so that we can ensure you are treated by the best service available.

“If you require a COVID test, please call 119. COVID tests will not be performed on behalf of 119 at the Emergency Department. If you arrive in the Emergency Department and it is felt by staff that your needs may be better met elsewhere (such as pharmacy, dressing clinics or your GP), you may be redirected away from the Emergency Department to this alternative service.

“Our aim is to ensure that the right patient is seen in the right service in a timely fashion, whilst also maintaining infection control safety for patients, relatives and staff within the Emergency Department. If you do need to attend the Emergency Department, it is likely that your relatives will be asked to wait outside of the department (excluding exceptional circumstances) in order to reduce the potential infection risk caused by crowding.”

Another factor for the hospital is that local people are only just regaining confidence to attend clinics and appointments as services slowly return to some level of normality and there have been no new Covid cases in recent weeks. If people who may have Covid-19 symptoms start coming to the hospital for testing there is a risk of cross infection leading to parts of the hospital having to close down again.

Chief Nurse Catherine Pelley said: “We are working very closely with our public health colleagues in the community to ensure the public are aware of the situation relating to testing and treatment. We appeal to local schools in particular not to encourage parents to bring their children to the hospital for testing. People attending our A&E creates a potential risk of cross infection which may have a detrimental impact on our current efforts to treat many of the people who have been waiting for operations and procedures which were cancelled due to the Covid emergency.”

September 17 2020

Coronavirus updates

Homerton Hospital is gradually re-introducing services whilst following strict infection control guidelines to ensure patient and staff safety. We have taken every precaution so that staff and visitors are safe at all times.

Our A&E, children’s A&E and maternity services have been fully operational throughout the pandemic emergency.

We have now started to perform elective (waiting list) operations. Patients coming to the hospital for an operation will access the hospital via the Day Surgery Centre. Please see Elective Surgery below

Most outpatient consultations will remain by phone or conference apps at the moment.

We still retain some visitor restrictions and all staff and visitors are provided with masks as they enter the hospital site if they don’t have face coverings.


Over 300 patients were successfully treated and discharged. There was a threefold increase in critical care bed capacity. Over 140 beds in six wards for Covid-19 patients

Elective surgery

If you will be attending for elective surgery please read this leaflet:
Elective surgery on the Day Stay Unit.pdf    large print version.pdf [pdf] 1MB

face covering 15 June

From Monday 15 June, the Government requires all patients and visitors in NHS hospitals to wear a face covering. If you are coming to Homerton Hospital, please bring a face mask or face covering to wear while you are here.

Important advice and help for those who are ‘shielding’ at home

Shielding Patient Leaflet Final June 2020

If you have existing underlying health conditions that put you at risk and you have been asked to shield at home please read this leaflet

Keeping in touch with a loved one - send a message

Keeping in touch with a loved one - visit the PALS page to send a message