The long linoleum corridors, the slightly disappointing selection of snacks at the kiosk and the brisk purposeful stride of men and women in scrubs. Hospitals can be intimidating places at the best of times and now, in the middle of a global pandemic, it’s natural that many of us feel anxious about visiting one. But what if you need to go in for a test or treatment? What do you need to know? At Lime we always want to go above and beyond to help our customers feel happy and comfortable, so here’s what you need to know:
1. Hospitals are managing the risk. The first thing to know is that hospitals are well aware of the risks of COVID-19 and they have strict rules and procedures in place to help keep everyone safe, including temperature checks, increased rigorous cleaning and regular staff and patient testing. This goes for both public and private clinics and hospitals. Most hospital trusts and clinics have their COVID-19 prevention measures available to read on their website and if not, you can call to find out more.
2. COVID wards are off-limits. If you are attending hospital for a test or consultation you will be separated from COVID-19 positive patients. Hospitals are being extremely cautious here. Outpatient clinics are often separate in a dedicated area, but even where you are in the main part of the hospital, controls are in place to stop you accidentally wandering onto a COVID positive ward.
3. We all have a part to play. You can help to keep yourself (and everyone else) safe. You will need to wear a face covering (or bring an exemption badge for ease of explaining why you aren’t wearing one), wash and sanitise your hands thoroughly and regularly and keep your distance from other people as much as is possible. You will probably be asked to attend the appointment alone to reduce the number of people visiting the site. You may also be given specific instructions to follow and you may need to take a COVID-19 test. Read all these instructions carefully well in advance and make sure you are clear on what you need to do.
4. If you have been asked to attend hospital or a clinic, it’s important that you do. Where possible, many appointments are taking place virtually or have been postponed to reduce the number of people passing through the hospital’s doors. However, that means if you have been invited to attend a hospital appointment in person it is even more important that you do attend.
5. If you are worried, call your clinic. If you have a question or concerns about attending your appointment, do get in touch with the relevant clinic. The phone number should be on your appointment letter. They will have more details about what the hospital trust is doing to reduce the risks of COVID-19 and should be able to put your mind at ease.
Few of us look forward to attending a hospital appointment but unfortunately other health concerns have not been put on hold during the pandemic. It’s just as important as ever to get medical advice when needed and to attend medical appointments. The NHSand private healthcare providers alike are working incredibly hard to keep everyone as safe as possible when attending hospital. If for any reason you can’t attend your appointment as planned, then do call and explain as soon as possible so that the appointment is not wasted.