News News Updates to information for visitors and families at UHS hospitals Visitors and families Changes to patient and visitor parking With increased visitor restrictions and a reduction in face to face patient appointments, UHS has reorganised onsite parking arrangements at Southampton General Hospital. The extra capacity has allowed them to open up more on-site parking to staff who are helping with the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means that from immediate effect, all public parking will be redirected to the orange car park at the front of the hospital. University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust continues to take all necessary precautions to protect patients and staff during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As part of this process UHS is now reducing visitors to their hospitals – Southampton General Hospital, Southampton Children’s Hospital and the Princess Anne Hospital – two weeks ago. Changes to accessing the hospital Access to the hospital site is completely restricted with the following exceptions: If you are a patient with an appointment at UHS hospitals If you are a patient requiring emergency care or maternity services For compassionate visitation (prior approved with ward via ward lead) To provide mobility/carer support for a patient To support someone with a mental health issue such as dementia, or a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed One parent to accompany a child patient. Checkpoints All patients and visitors will be asked about health and coronavirus symptoms before being permitted access into the hospitals and temperature checks may be taken. Patients attending an appointment will also be asked to provide the appointment letter before being allowed to access the site. Patients should not arrive early for appointments. If arriving by car, any accompanying persons that aren’t required for mobility purposes should wait in the car. Checkpoints will be manned by staff and in operation at relevant entrances. Visitors should maintain social distancing while waiting in a queue for screening before entry into the trust. Patient entry points The primary entrances for all patients/visitors will be the main entrance to Southampton General and main pedestrian entrance and ambulance entrance to the Princess Anne. Other entry points remaining open will only admit patients for that particular service and will be: Eye unit/eye casualty Radiotherapy. These entrances will also have checkpoints screening visitors. Virtual clinics UHS has also introduced a number of virtual clinics to enable patients to have their consultations without the need to come into hospital. See more details here: https://www.uhs.nhs.uk/PatientsAndVisitors/Video-clinics.aspx The emergency department entrance will remain open as usual for patients requiring emergency care. Compassionate visitation Please call and discuss with the ward any requests for compassionate visitation. Visitation will only be granted in exceptional circumstances by the ward lead. If patients or visitors are unsure whether they should access the trust, please contact the patient advice and liaison service (PALS) on 023 8120 6325 or [email protected] (email preferable). Staying connected during the COVID-19 outbreak As part of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak, they have had to restrict visitors to the Trust. University Hospital Southampton are working hard to keep patients connected with their loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak. Dropping off belongings, gifts and letters They have set up a drop off service for essential patient belongings, small gifts and letters. The drop off service, open seven days a week (9.30am to 11.30am), is housed in the Trust management offices, located opposite AMU and the emergency department. Their patient experience team will then organise for those items to be delivered directly to your loved one. Sending messages to loved ones If you'd like to send a message to a patient, please email the patient advice and liaison service on [email protected], including: your short message (including photos if you wish) patient's full name patient's ward (if known) The team will then arrange for your message to be delivered. Collecting patient property The service will also look after items belonging to patients who have died and will return these to family members by appointment. If you need to speak to a member of the team, please call 023 8120 1459. Bringing gifts A visit from a friend or a relative can make a world of difference to patients and many like to receive gifts while they stay in the hospital. Here are some examples of gifts you may wish to bring: toiletries pyjamas or supportive slippers clothes (that are easy to put on) puzzle books and pens books and magazines biscuits (in tins or sealed bags) a small amount of fruit a few sweets and chocolate Due to hygiene and limitations on space, each child is allowed a limited number of toys on the paediatric wards. Check with the ward staff if you’d like more information. Please do not bring gifts such as alcohol, flowers or plants. Bereavement care and support UHS recognise that care for patients and their families continues even after death. The experienced bereavement care team at Southampton General Hospital provide a caring and compassionate service. They can offer you support and reassurance, information and guidance. They also facilitate the donation of tissues for transplantation, which are used to enhance many hundreds of lives every year. They help to co-ordinate the completion of the medical certificate of cause of death and gather the patient’s non-valuable possessions, which can all be collected from the bereavement care office. They try to have the medical certificate of cause of death ready on the next working day following a death, but please be aware that this isn't always possible. Please contact them to make an appointment before coming to the bereavement care office. Where a death is reported to the Coroner and they decide that a post mortem examination is needed, you will not receive a medical certificate of cause of death from the hospital. UHS will keep you informed and continue to support you in any way we can. Useful information Registering a death - you can find out how to register a death and book an appointment on the Southampton City Council website. Bereavement payments - find out on the GOV.UK website if you may be entitled to a funeral expenses payment, bereavement payment or bereavement allowance. Probate - read about wills, probate and inheritance on the GOV.UK website, including contact details for HMRC advice. Contact UHS bereavement care services Call UHS on 023 8120 4587. Our office is open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) 9am to 1pm, and 1 to 4.30pm. Contact UHS chaplaincy service UHS chaplains provide a 24 hour on-call service across the Trust. There is a named chaplain for each clinical area of the Trust, known as link chaplains. While all members of the chaplaincy team can visit anywhere, link chaplains work closely with their specific areas to provide relevant support. If you'd like a chaplain to visit you by your bedside, you can contact them on 023 8120 8517. You can also be referred to them by members of staff, relatives or by your local faith community.