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Page last updated: 30 March 2020

Support for families and carers

We know that this is a very difficult time for families and/or carers who may not be able to see their family member due to the restrictions that are currently in place. However all services are being creative in providing additional means for contact to be maintained through phone calls or video calling, as well as ensuring that family members and/or carers are updated on someone’s wellbeing where consent is given to do so. We want to continue to be flexible on how contact can be maintained and all of our services are linked in with the national practice networks to help them adopt the rapidly developing best practice.

What happens if a patient present with symptoms?

If a patient presents with symptoms, they are isolated immediately and checked over by the Doctor.  If symptoms are mild to moderate they will continue to be nursed in isolation on the ward.  If their condition worsens, 111 will be contacted for advice and where necessary the patient will be transferred via ambulance to the nearest district general hospital for further treatment. Family, carer and NHS Trust/CCG will be informed immediately on any suspected cases and be kept informed throughout.

Isolation facilities and/or shielding

At all sites we have created the ability to ensure a safe isolation of our service users, which will be in a designated room, with their own bathroom facilities. Staff have been issued with Standard Operating Procedures based on national guidance to help ensure that a safe environment is maintained, that infection control processes are in place and that schedules of standard and deep cleaning are adhered to. If someone is identified as needing to be shielded, even though they may not be not symptomatic, we are able to provide them with an isolated environment whilst we continue to deliver the care and treatment that they need. This will be in a designated room that will be for their sole use.

Screening protocols

Copies of our protocols for pre-admission screening and admission/discharge screening (including communication with partners) can be accessed by clicking the relevant links below:

Pre-admission screening

Screening on admission/discharge

Family and/or carer visits

In order to protect our patients, staff and the ward environments from the spread of COVID-19, we have temporarily suspended family and/or carer visits to patients in our Healthcare services, now including the young people in our CAMHS services. All affected patients will be supported to speak to their family and/or carers over the phone and via video calls wherever possible.

Outpatient face to face therapy

To protect both patients and staff, we are not currently offering face-to-face therapy on an outpatient or day care basis at our Hospitals or Wellbeing Centres. Assessments and therapy can still be accessed remotely via our Priory Connect video service and through Skype.

Inpatient services are still available across our network of private healthcare hospitals, with flexible options for pre-admission assessments being offered.

Free addiction assessments

Free assessments will be undertaken via telephone or Skype to support individuals wanting to access our hospital addiction treatment services.

A message from our Group Director of Nursing & Executive Lead for Infection, Prevention and Control

The Government is currently coordinating the national response to the outbreak of COVID-19, and Public Health England (PHE) has published a range of COVID-19 guidance for health professionals – including guidance on the assessment and management of suspected UK cases, and specific guidance for social, education or community care and residential settings. The NHS website also has updated coronavirus pages, bringing guidance for the system and healthcare professionals in one place.

Priory Group has established an Incident Control Team (ICT), led by the Group Director of Nursing, who is the Executive Director responsible for Infection Prevention and Control. This team monitors the official guidance from the NHS and PHE daily, and oversees the Group’s response and advice to individual queries and concerns, as well as the related business continuity planning across the Group in line with our Infection Control and Pandemic policies.

We have established a dedicated email alert system for our staff. This is monitored by the ICT and we have effective communication channels in place to keep our workforce up to date with the national guidance, as well as raising awareness to staff and those who use our services as to how Covid-19 is transmitted, and what measures individuals can take to lower their risk. We recognise the importance of continuing to operate good hygiene and infection control practices across all sites and services and we continue to reinforce this through our regular communications.

Due to the volume of enquiries being received I regret that we’re unable to respond to individual questions around preparedness (unless in extenuating circumstances) to ensure that resource is prioritised towards managing our response to the evolving national position.

Kind regards,

Jane Stone
Group Director of Nursing & Executive Lead for Infection, Prevention and Control

For more information about coronavirus please visit the NHS Coronavirus page.

A children’s guide to COVID-19

The Children's Commissioner has created a children’s guide to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to help explain the current situation to school-age children and answer their questions. To read the guide, please click here.

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