Message to Visitors – Updated arrangements 23 December 2020
Message to parents – Updated arrangements 23 December 2020
Starlight ward is currently closed to paediatric admissions.
As of 8pm on 23 December 2020, Starlight Children's Ward has been temporarily closed to children this emergency period. This means that if your child needs to be admitted for longer than 12 hours they will be transferred to the Royal London Hospital.
The Children's Emergency Area in the A&E remains 'open' at Homerton 24 hours a day to care for children.
If you are concerned about your infant or child we are here to help
When your child is ill or injured it is very difficult to decide if/when to call your child’s GP, NHS111, or go to the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E). While the Government is asking everyone to stay at home, it can be confusing to know what to do. Click here for guidance around what to do.
Message to visitors
Please be aware that we have taken action to close access to all acute hospital wards to non-essential personnel. Visitors will not be allowed access to wards.
We apologise for taking this action at this time but it has become necessary due to the risk of cross contamination of Covid-19 to our patients and staff on the wards. This is to protect patients, staff and the general public. The restriction on visitors includes our intensive care unit and the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit.
As earlier this year during the first wave, there are a number of exceptions:
- Neonatal intensive care unit. Parents only.
- Maternity delivery suite. Two birthing partners. No children at any time.
- Maternity Antenatal ward (Turpin): One person between 2pm and 6pm daily (same person each day). No children at any time.
- Maternity Scans: One person to accompany a women having a 12 or 20 week scan. No children at any time.
- Maternity Postnatal WARD: One person, who must be your primary birth partner, between 2pm and 6pm daily. No children at any time.
- Carers (for instance, from a care home needing to remain with the patient)
- Patients with complex care needs requiring their carer
- Patients coming to the end of life. Relatives will be as asked to supply staff with a list of family members. Only one family member at a time can access the hospital.
- Faith leaders have also been contacted with this message: Due to the current pandemic and national guidance the Trust has taken the decision to stop all visiting to general ward areas. This is to protect our staff, patients and the general public. We do however, fully acknowledge that it is important for relatives to have time with their loved one as they enter their final stages of life. To ensure we are able to provide this we would ask that a list is provided to the nursing team of people that will need to visit. We would ask that these are immediate family members only and not family members that are self-isolating or symptomatic. People requesting access who are not on the list will not be granted access to the hospital premises. We must also request that visitors attend the hospital one at a time and that they leave either before or on arrival of the next visitor.
For safety reasons related to the current pandemic, it is paramount that visitors are not congregating in corridors. For other areas such as children and maternity we continue to have restricted visiting in place and access to those areas will only be by named persons as provided to the nursing staff.
For people still coming to the hospital for blood tests. Please enter the hospital via the rear entrance to the site on Clifden Road, turn left and go to the Clifden Centre where our phlebotomists are holding blood testing sessions.
Patients are still urged to attend A&E and children’s A&E if necessary and to attend their appointments (either outpatient, elective surgery or diagnostics tests) in the Covid safe areas of the hospital.
Mary Seacole visitor arrangements remain unchanged.
Options for seeking a Covid-19 test (and avoiding coming to hospital)
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
Face covering and social distancing
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.
Please observe social distancing rules at all times in all parts of the hospital.
Important advice and help for those who are ‘shielding’ at home
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