This page is being regularly updated with the latest NHS information on coronavirus (COVID-19) – to check when it was last updated scroll down to the bottom of the page, where there is also trust-specific information.
We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:
- stay at home as much as possible
- work from home if you can
- limit contact with other people
- keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- wash your hands regularly
Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.
Staying at home if you have symptoms (self-isolation)
If your symptoms are mild, you’ll usually be advised to not leave your home for at least 7 days.
Anyone you live with should not leave your home for 14 days.
This is called self-isolation.
Find out more about self-isolation if you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms.
What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms
Continue to stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.
Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Advice for people at high risk
If you’re at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus, there are extra things you should do to avoid catching it.
- not leaving your home – you should not go out to do shopping, visit friends or family, or attend any gatherings
- avoiding close contact with other people in your home as much as possible
Who is at high risk?
You may be at high risk from coronavirus if you:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having certain types of cancer treatment
- have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
- have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
- have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
- are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
- are pregnant and have a serious heart condition
If you’re at high risk, you will have been contacted by the NHS.
What to do if you need medical help for another reason
If you need medical help not related to coronavirus, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- For health information and advice, use the NHS website or check your GP surgery website.
- For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service. Only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online.
- For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance.
Read more advice about getting medical help at home.
Specific information for East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust patients and visitors
The information below covers the following sections:
- What you can expect
- Minor injuries and illnesses
- Visiting inpatients at our hospitals
- How to stay in touch with patients
- Offers of support
- Coronavirus deaths
What you can expect
In line with national guidance, everyone attending hospital must wear a face covering. Face masks will be provided at hospital entrances when necessary, along with bins to dispose of them safely when leaving.
The trust is asking people not to wear gloves, but to ensure good handwashing or sanitising – with sanitiser available at entrances too.
People should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on and after taking it off, and it is important that people don’t touch their face covering.
Staff working in the trust’s hospitals will also be wearing face masks.
One-way systems and ‘footsteps’ on the floor have been introduced to maintain social distancing, as well as stickers on chairs to maintain social distancing between patients when waiting to be seen.
Some services have continued throughout the pandemic, many by using telephone or video consultations where medically appropriate, while others have had their appointments cancelled. Services are restarting, so those who require a face-to-face appointment will receive a letter with an offer of an appointment.
Please attend your face-to-face appointment alone wherever possible. Children should be accompanied by one adult only.
Minor injuries and illnesses
Patients with minor injuries or illnesses are asked to use the NHS111 online service or call 111 to determine whether they need hospital treatment and, if so, will be directed to the Urgent Care Centre at Welwyn Garden City’s New QEII Hospital (AL7 4HQ).
Lister Hospital in Stevenage is currently not treating patients with minor injuries or illnesses.
For more information, including examples of minor injuries and illnesses click here.
Visiting inpatients at our hospitals
Visiting inpatients in our hospitals continues to be suspended, unless there are exceptional circumstances. For more information please click here.
Any changes to this policy will be updated on this page.
How to stay in touch with patients
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust is offering a service to help connect families with their loved ones who are being treated in hospital.
Stay in Touch is an online form where families can leave messages and photos for patients at Lister Hospital, Stevenage and Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood. These messages are printed and delivered to patients on a daily basis.
More information can be found here: Stay in Touch
Tablets are also being used so patients can see their loved ones by video call.
Offers of support
Many local people have kindly offered support to our healthcare professionals with donations of food or other items. While we appreciate these offers, we need to ensure we are complying with the appropriate guidelines to keep both donors and our staff safe. Please email any offers of goods and services to firstname.lastname@example.org – a member of the team will be in touch.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths (as of 11 July 2020)
The total number of deaths announced by the trust is 164. For more information visit the NHS England website.
Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients’ families and loved ones.