COVID-19: Service update

Here at The Walton Centre, the safety of our staff and patients has and always will be our highest priority. To ensure this is maintained during this unprecedented time, we have introduced strict social distancing measures. This has meant treatment area capacity being reduced to allow more distance between patients.

We are also operating increased cleaning and infection control measures between patient treatments. As a result, these measures mean a reduction in the number of patients we can safely see and treat each day.

As I am sure you are aware, on March 23rd it was necessary to cancel all non-emergency outpatient appointments and admissions. This was in order to ensure we had the capacity and capability to respond and support the wider NHS during the anticipated COVID-19 surge. It was also important to support the national lockdown measures introduced by Government and ask only patients who were clinically urgent to attend the hospital.

Outpatient services

From the point we cancelled all non-emergency activity, we starting putting in place the technology to enable different ways to deliver consultations. This enables many more of our patients to have their consultation and receive their care and treatment.
We introduced:

  • Telephone consultations
  • Video Consultations

 As we move forward, we will continue to offer many of you a consultation via this method of delivery. However, it is important to note that for some patients this will not be appropriate, and a face to face consultation will be necessary.  

If you are offered a telephone or video consultation and you are concerned about this new way of consultation delivery, please inform a member of our booking team on 0151 556 3213 who will be able to provide support and assistance.

Face to face consultations are being offered to patients that are clinically unsuitable for a telephone or video consultation. We have only been able to offer this method of consultation to our most urgent patients so far. However, we are now able to start offering face to face consultations to patients who are not urgent but require their consultation without any further delay. This includes patients who are waiting for an outpatient procedure and diagnostic, for example Botox, Nerve block, MRI, CT, EMG and ECG.

Our consultants and health care professionals are reviewing their individual patient waiting lists to ensure patients are offered consultations in strict clinical priority order.

If you are concerned regarding a deterioration in your condition, please contact a service appropriate to your needs – either your GP, NHS 111, your clinical team at The Walton Centre for advice or if your symptoms are of an urgent nature, your local A&E department. We would like to reassure you that these services are open and ask that you seek medical help if you need it.

If you believe you or a member of your household has symptoms of coronavirus, please seek advice from the NHS Coronavirus website page.

Inpatient admission (including day-case procedure or diagnostic)

If you are currently on a waiting list for an admission, day-case procedure or diagnostic, please be assured that you have not been forgotten. We are doing everything we can to ensure that your admission is carried out in a timely and safe manner.

Consultants and health care professionals are reviewing their individual patient waiting lists to ensure patients are offered appointments in strict clinical priority order.

If you are concerned regarding a deterioration in your condition, please contact a service appropriate to your needs – either your GP, NHS 111, your clinical team at The Walton Centre for advice or if your symptoms are of an urgent nature, your local A&E department. We would like to reassure you that these services are open and ask that you seek medical help if you need it.

 

Visiting the Trust

Visiting an inpatient
Due to the current rate and presentation of Covid in our region, we will continue to restrict visiting to maintain patient safety and reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within our hospitals.

We have suspended visiting to The Walton Centre. This decision is not taken lightly, and we understand this will be upsetting and difficult for our patients and their loved ones. The safety of patients and staff is our top priority.  If you would like to contact an inpatient at our hospital, you can use our ‘Letters to loved ones’ service for inpatients at our hospital.

In exceptional cases visitors will be allowed. In this instance, visitors should observe strict 2 metre social distancing principles whilst moving around the hospital, wear face coverings and adhere to strict handwashing on entering and leaving the hospital and clinical areas.

 

Supporting a patient attending an OPD appointment

Most of our outpatient appointments are now being undertaken in a different way. When it is necessary to attend the hospital, the patient should attend alone, where this is not possible, either due to potential psychological distress or physical support, one person may accompany the patient attending outpatients, both should wear face masks.

 

Supporting a patient attending a day-case procedure or diagnostic

Please contact the ward or department in advance to discuss appropriate arrangements. Your health, safety and wellbeing, that of our patients, communities and staff across the organisation remains our absolute priority. We will support you to find other ways of keeping in touch with your loved ones in hospital, like phone and video calls. If you are worried please speak to the nurse in charge.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at this challenging time.

We are constantly reviewing these arrangements in the context of the environment we are providing care in. We will update you each time these arrangements change.