Infection prevention and control (IPC) measures are actions taken to prevent the spread of infections. In healthcare, these steps keep services safe for when you need them.
People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). This means that they can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
Safety remains our highest priority at health settings across the Fylde Coast. We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus. When visiting a hospital or GP practice, we may ask you to do things differently to what you may be used to; this is for your safety and the safety of other patients/individuals and staff.
Planned care (England only)
We will ask you to attend face-to-face services only when it is really necessary. Where possible, you may be offered an appointment using remote services such as a video or phone consultation.
If you do need to attend for planned care, you will be asked to take some steps to keep yourself, other patients, and our staff safe:
- Outpatient appointments: You will be asked to follow social distancing rules and regularly wash your hands for 14 days before admission. You should only attend your outpatient appointment if you have no symptoms of coronavirus. If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, contact your care team and they will advise you on next steps. While at the hospital, it is important that you comply with all social distancing and face covering requirements, as well as any other measures you are asked to take.
- Admissions (including day surgery): If you are being admitted to hospital, you will also be asked to have a test for coronavirus 72 hours beforehand and to isolate at home from the time you take the test. If you are unable to be tested or isolate before coming to hospital, your admission will be determined by your care team using clinical judgment and in consultation with you.
Our booking and admissions teams will give you all the information you need on what actions to take when booking you into an appointment or admission.
If you show symptoms of coronavirus or test positive while admitted, you will be immediately isolated to ensure the safety of other patients/individuals and staff.
We are continuously monitoring what is happening with the coronavirus pandemic. Appointments may be subject to change, but we will always keep you informed of what is happening with your care.
Physical distancing and other IPC measures
It is important that you comply with social distancing and other measures when you visit any Fylde Coast health setting. In health and care settings, social distancing of two metres is still the distance we ask you to keep.
If you have an appointment or are being admitted, we will tell you what you need to do before you come and while you are here. This may include information on where to park, which entrances to use, how to report any symptoms, and what precautions we want you to take (for example, wearing a face mask or covering).
There may also be signs and members of staff directing you while here. Please do not visit other parts of the facility. If you are asked to stay in a waiting room then please remain there. It is important that you follow these directions, they are in place for your own safety.
If you need help on what to do or cannot comply for any reason, please talk to a member of staff and they will be able to help you.
The rules around visiting patients depend on the type of care being received and the coronavirus status of the patient.
For people with confirmed cases of coronavirus, only essential visitors such as birthing partners, carers, parents, and guardians will be allowed.
It is important to discuss any visitors with the care team before they arrive. The care team will be able to tell you what rules and measures are in place .
Face coverings (for England and Scotland only)
If you are coming to our service as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients/individuals and staff.
Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade. Advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
We ask that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.
For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other safety measures will be considered, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately.
If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps, and sign language.
All visitors will be asked to comply with social distancing and hand washing in addition to the use of face coverings while in the health/care setting.