Coronavirus: Appointments, visiting patients and accessing support

Attending The Christie for outpatient/day case appointments

Changes from 9 May 2022

From Monday 9 May, patients attending outpatient appointments can bring one accompanying person with them. This change to COVID-19 precautions means patients and visitors will no longer require screening when visiting the hospital.

  • Facemasks must be worn within the hospital and will be provided at each entrance.
  • Do not enter the hospital if you think you may have an infection that could be a respiratory infection (e.g. COVID-19.)
  • Contact your consultant/team for advice if you have possible COVID-19 symptoms.
  •  Oak Road and Palatine Road entrances are now open to both patients and staff members. Wilmslow Road entrance is currently for staff only.

To protect our patients from the spread of infections, we must continue to reduce the number of people entering the hospital. 

Depending on the waiting room occupancy, it may not be possible for the accompanying person to wait with you. This will be managed by the local department.

There is additional seating in the Oak Road entrance, and also the Maggie’s centre that you can visit.

We will prioritise patients in the following categories to have their accompanying person with them:

  • Communication issues related to sensory dysfunction, such as visual or hearing impairment (BSL)
  • Neurological and cognitive impairment e.g. brain primary or metastases, dementia, autism
  • Psychiatric or mental health conditions
  • Non-English speaking
  • Patients under detention escorted by a prison officer
  • Patient under 18 years of age
  • Exceptional compassionate reasons (discussed with senior nurse)

For pre-arranged appointments or planned admission, if you have recently tested positive for COVID-19 or have any of the below symptoms, even if you have been fully vaccinated, please speak to your clinical team.

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • temperature or fever (over 37.8°C) in the last 48 hours
  • a new persistent cough in the last 48 hours 
  • loss or change to sense of smell or taste
  • other symptoms of which may be associated with the Delta variant or Omicron - sore throat, cold symptoms, headaches, diarrhoea or vomiting
  • if you live in the same house as someone who has developed the above symptoms or has had a positive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days

Please note: this does not apply to patients who have been asked to attend the hospital for urgent assessment.

We are mindful of the importance of friends and family to the wellbeing of our patients. Therefore we have reduced some of the visiting restrictions that were previously in place.

We do however need to keep some restrictions in place to ensure there are not too many people on our wards, which would increase the risk of infection. 

Visitors are allowed in the following circumstances:

  • For patients who are under the age of 18, they will be allowed 1 parent or guardian to stay with them.
  • If a patient will be in hospital for over 7 days, they are allowed 1 visitor for 1 hour per day (see times below).
  • Where a patient is in the final hours of their life, up to 2 relatives or next of kin will be allowed to visit with prior agreement from the senior ward nurse.
  • If there are any exceptional circumstances, this can be discussed with a senior ward nurse for consideration.

Visitors must not attend The Christie if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have had a positive COVID-19 test within the previous 14 days. While on site, all visitors will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Access to The Christie for visitors is via the Oak Road or Palatine Road entrance.  Wilmslow Road entrance is for staff only.

Visiting times for long-stay patients (over 7 days)

All wards (with the exception of Palatine Ward) - 1 person per patient is allowed to visit at the following times:

  • Monday to Friday, 6pm to 7pm
  • Weekends and bank holidays, 3pm to 4pm 

Palatine Ward - 1 hour visiting per patient per day at one of the following times:

  • 10am to 11am
  • 2pm to 3pm
  • 6pm to 7pm

Please note – there may be times when we need to restrict visiting further on individual clinical areas as circumstances change (e.g. infection control concerns).

From 1 May 2021, car parking for patients and visitors is free of charge on both of our car parks for patients and visitors

WHSmith is open and located in the Oak Road main entrance (department 3). Marks and Spencer Food to Go has reopened, with opening hours from 7am to 7pm. Hot drinks are  now available along with a full range of hot and packaged foods, and snacks.

Withington is the closest local centre, about a 10 minute walk from the hospital. There are a range of cafes along the main street. Didsbury is another local centre about 15 to 20 minutes' walk or a short bus journey. It has a number of cafes and restaurants.

There are toilets outside near to the entrance that can be used by people who are dropping off or waiting to collect a patient.

To reduce the number of people coming into the hospital and ensure patients still have their appointments, we have moved some appointments to a secure telephone or video conferencing service.

If your appointment has changed to a telephone or video conferencing consultation, your doctor or nurse will ring you at a pre-arranged time. Any of your household members are welcome to join the consultation with you, with your consent.  

Clinical teams: your clinical team is here to help support you during this challenging time. Please contact them if you have any questions or concerns.

The Christie Hotline: all patients on active treatment or who have recently completed treatment can call The Christie Hotline or 0161 446 3658. The Christie Hotline is available if you have any concerns or worries at any time of the day or night.

Managing anxiety booklet: we have also created a booklet Managing anxiety about COVID-19. This is designed to help you change and develop your coping strategies during these changing times.

The cancer information centre: the cancer information centre has now re-opened and is located at the entrance to department 22. You can contact the centre via email at informationcentre@christie.nhs.uk 

Wig fitting service: the wig fitting service is running online, including virtual consultations and wigs by post. Patients can also claim a discount and free shipping on hats bought through Masumi Headwear. Email the cancer information centre for further information.

Complementary therapy: the complementary therapy team have produced videos to help reduce stress levels during the coronavirus pandemic. You can view these on the complementary therapy pages.

Maggie's centre: the Maggie's centre has now re-opened to Christie patients and their loved ones. You can drop in while you're at The Christie for an appointment or book an individual face-to-face appointment. Telephone and web-based support is still available. You can find out more on the Maggie's centre website.

Look Good Feel Better: the Look Good Feel Better service is currently offering virtual workshops for patients struggling with the visual effects of cancer. These are available on the Look Good Feel Better website

Free flu jabs: people at high risk from COVID-19 are also those most at risk from flu. We are urging everyone who is eligible to take up the free flu vaccine this winter.

The NHS is using new treatments for coronavirus. If you are a patient at The Christie you might be suitable for these treatments if a PCR test confirms that you have coronavirus.

These treatments need to be given quickly after you start to feel unwell. They can help to stop you from getting seriously ill from coronavirus.

If you test positive after a PCR test you must contact your GP practice or call 111 who can make a referral.

More information about these treatments is available at www.nhs.uk/CoronavirusTreatments

Last updated: May 2022