If you are worried that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) please stay at home and follow the PHE guidance for staying at home. Do not attend A&E or your GP surgery.
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:
- you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
- your condition gets worse
- your symptoms do not get better after 7 days.
Our hospitals are open and our staff are both practised and skilled in treating patients with infectious diseases and we are confident in our procedures for dealing with this virus. The Trust has robust infection control measures in place and is following the most up to date national guidance and procedures at all times.
At our hospitals you may notice that staff are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which looks different to their usual uniforms. This could include gloves, aprons, masks, visors, goggles and gowns, depending on which area of the hospital you are in.
This is a precautionary measure in place to keep patients and staff safe during the coronavirus outbreak and prevent the spread of infection. The protective equipment worn by our staff is in line with national NHS guidance.
Patients who test positive for the coronavirus are cared for away from the rest of the patient population.
We have started vaccinating priority groups against COVID-19 at BSUH.
We have been supplied with a limited number of vaccine doses. We will start with those most at risk from the virus and will be prioritising outpatients aged over 80 and healthcare workers who are at highest risk of serious illness from COVID.
Everyone who receives a vaccine will require a second dose in 21 days. We will book patients in for their second appointment when they attend their first.
Please remain patient and wait to be contacted directly by the local NHS to be offered an appointment.
A priority in our planning is to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated when it is their turn.
Help us to help you
1. The NHS will contact you when it’s your turn, so please be patient until then.
2. Please act on your invite when it comes, and make sure you attend your appointments.
3. Remember Hands, Face, Space. It will save lives and help the NHS.
About the vaccine
We are administering the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine, which is the first in the world to be licenced for use. It has undergone rigorous clinical trials. More than 43,500 trial participants have already received doses of the vaccine.
Results from the clinical trials suggested the vaccine can prevent 95% of vaccinated adults from getting COVID-19 and that the vaccine works equally well in people of all ages, races and ethnicities. The observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%.
We are caring for a rapidly increasing number of patients with COVID-19, which is placing unprecedented pressure on our services. To ensure we can care for the high numbers of patients we are seeing, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone some routine planned procedures. This allows us to move staff between departments and support critical care and COVID-19 wards. We will contact all patients whose appointments need to be rescheduled.
We are also postponing or changing the way we provide many outpatient appointments. Some appointments will now be offered as virtual consultations. We will contact all patients whose outpatient appointments are affected. We are sorry we have had to take these steps and do understand the impact these decisions have on patients, families and carers. This decision is never taken lightly but will ensure we are able to treat patients who need urgent care quickly while maintaining the highest standards of safety for all our patients.
If you have been asked to come to hospital for your appointment, please attend as normal. If you can’t attend, or have any concerns, please contact your clinical team as soon as possible.
For further information about how were adapting outpatient appointments, go to the outpatients information page: www.bsuh.nhs.uk/your-visit/your-outpatient-appointment/about-your-outpatient-appointment/
For information on how we're providing COVID safe care, go to:
Help stop the spread
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with the virus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.
Please follow Public Health England advice to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. When washing your hands do it for 20 seconds i.e. the duration of the time it takes to sing ‘happy birthday twice’ and make sure it is thorough.
- Wash your hands when you get to work or arrive home, after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze, after using public transport, and before you eat or handle food.
- Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
- Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products.
NHS 111 First
For medical advice when it is not a life-threatening emergency, please contact NHS 111 first. Call 111 or visit 111.nhs.uk.
They can direct you to the right place and can book a time slot / appointment for services at our Emergency Departments or Urgent Treatment Centre.
By calling 111 first you are making sure you are going to the most appropriate service for your needs – getting the right care in the right place in a more timely way.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, you can still attend the Emergency Department or call 999.
Support for your mental health
- Advice from MIND
- Self-help for anxiety
- The NHS Every Mind Matters pages on Covid-19 - 10 tips
- The Mental Health Foundation advice on looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
- Community Roots Mental Health & Wellbeing Support, help for navigating and accessing services in Brighton and Hove
- Helpful advice from Kimberley Wilson (on instagram)
- Invaluable advice from Russ Harris with helpful exercises
- Advice about how to support children with anxieties about Covid-19 from the Flourishing Families Clinic at Sussex Partnership (NHS) Trust.
As always, if you need medical help, and it’s not an emergency, please contact your GP, or 111 for advice.
If you feel you are not able to keep yourself safe, and are thinking about acting on suicidal thoughts or feelings, or you are thinking of harming others:
- You can go to any hospital A&E department and ask for help
- You can call 999 and ask for an emergency service if you need to
The following sources of support are also available:
- Samaritans 116 123 (free number) or 01273 772277
- Saneline 0300 304 7000, 4.30pm-10.30pm daily
- Grassroots Suicide Prevention
- The Sussex Mental Health Line 0300 5000 101, 5pm-9am on week nights, and on a 24 hours basis during weekends and Bank Holidays
- The Brighton and Hove the Mental Health Rapid Response Service is able to offer support: 0300 304 0078 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week including bank holidays, if you live in the Brighton and Hove area).
Other useful links
Latest information and advice from Public Health England at www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Public Health England Q&A blog: GOV.UK website.
The Government’s response and action plan: www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan
The Government’s public health campaign: www.gov.uk/government/news/public-information-campaign-focuses-on-handwashing