All of our services are now fully operational. In order to achieve this we have made a number of changes so that we can keep The Christie a ‘COVID-protected site’ which means keeping the risk of picking up the virus through hospital appointments or admissions as low as we possibly can.
We hope this gives our patients confidence to get on with the treatment that they need to have and that they go through this safely.
We have taken a number of steps to look after our hospital, our staff and our patients:
- Entrance checks of all patients before they can enter The Christie: a team, led by a trained nurse, will check everyone’s temperature at the door and asks about any symptoms, including if anyone at home is unwell.
- Our staff use separate entrances and exits and go through the same checks, every day.
- Outpatients: We are sending a text message with a link to a brief COVID-19 questionnaire to patients the day before a clinic appointment. All patients will be requested to complete this questionnaire whether you are coming to the hospital for your appointment or at home via telephone or video consultation. Your responses will be available on your electronic file for your clinical team to review.
- We are taking steps to reduce the number of times you need to come to the hospital. This means some appointments will be by telephone, some by video and will only be face-to-face if absolutely necessary.
- We have had to space-out appointment slots for tests and treatments.
- We have changed the way Pharmacy deals with outpatient prescriptions to avoid patients having to wait wherever possible.
- Increasing the space around treatment chairs, waiting room seats (and bringing people through to small departments only when the team is ready for you); fewer beds in some ward areas and the use of Perspex screens.
- When moving around the hospital, our staff will make sure they observe thorough handwashing and social distancing, and where this is not possible, will wear a mask for your protection and that of others.
- Regularly swab testing some patients and staff – we will be extending this.
- Rigorous and thorough cleaning procedures in place across wards and departments.
Visitors including patient escorts
We have put restrictions on visitors to the site and we shall be continuing these for the foreseeable future.
We have very low rates of symptom-free staff and patients testing positive for COVID-19. Any staff or outpatients testing positive must remain at home. We may have at any time a small number of patients who need care at The Christie and who have developed COVID-19 soon after admission: these patients are cared for with full Personal and Protective Equipment in carefully controlled ward areas.
We have no permitted access for visitors, including routine escorts by family members or carers. However, this may be arranged by the clinical team for a patient where there are special circumstances.
All of these measures keep the risk of infection at The Christie to a minimum.
What you can do to keep yourself safe: Important information for carers and family
Please contact your clinical team if you have developed COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19: do not come on to the hospital site unless given direct instructions by that team.
Please be prepared to attend hospital departments by yourself if at all possible. In clinics, we can arrange for your loved ones to be part of the conversation with you via virtual technology such as Facetime, Skype or by telephone.
Please co-operate with our screening teams at the hospital entrance on each visit and follow their instructions if they think you might have COVID-19 related symptoms. It is important to complete and submit the COVID-19 questionnaire if you receive one before your clinical appointments.
Please clean your hands with alcohol gel on entering or leaving The Christie site. All patients and visitors will be requested to wear the face mask provided. Please comply with all additional requests to wash your hands or use face masks while on site.
We may ask to swab your nose and throat as part of the preparation for some treatments or following admission to the hospital. This is an important part of infection control and we hope that you will co-operate with us for the benefit of all patients and staff.
If your swab test is positive or you develop COVID-19 symptoms we will advise you on what needs to happen. It is likely this will mean a postponement of your appointment or treatment until you have recovered: this is for your safety and that of others.
Even if the test is negative it will still be important for you to follow the guidance on avoiding any non-essential contact, maintaining distance and washing your hands. Of course, you do need to tell your clinical team if you develop symptoms such as high temperature, continuous cough, or loss of taste or smell at any time.
Your clinical team is happy to explain more about the risk of COVID-19 infection if you require further information – this is important when you are making decisions about having treatment. They will also provide some guidance on what precautions you should be taking even though at the present time the Government has advised that formal shielding arrangements can be relaxed.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme has now started, you can read more about this on our Appointments, visiting patients and accessing support page. Please be aware that while the vaccination programme is underway, it's still vital to follow social distancing guidelines. There is a chance you might still get or spread coronavirus even if you have the vaccine.
Remember: you can play your part to keep risks as low as possible.