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Last updated: 16th April 2021

As we begin the lifting of restrictions across all parts of the UK, we continue to review all national guidance, statements and requirements related to COVID-19. We are consistently implementing changes as required across our full range of services, as we have done throughout the pandemic.

We have adjusted our visiting and leave arrangements alongside the new national guidance for the particular types of service. If you believe the service supporting your loved one may be affected by these revised national arrangements, please contact the site directly.

Equally, if you have any suggestions or comments on how we are providing our services during these times, please do not hesitate to contact: coronavirusqueries@priorygroup.com.

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

We continue to ensure that all services across our four divisions and central support teams are meeting the requirements to keep everyone as safe as possible. We are seeing a high response rate to the COVID-19 vaccination programme across our services, in accordance with the National Vaccine Programme, and are making sure that everyone able to access the vaccine is supported to do so. We remain committed to maintaining vigilance and high standards around hygiene, cleanliness and maintenance of PPE and related practices, as this is also key to managing our way out of the pandemic.

Given the national guidance across all four constituent parts of the UK, our operational divisions have plans in place taking into account the implications on visiting and leave arrangements. If you have any particular questions about the visiting arrangements for your loved ones please contact the relevant service directly.

Since the 29th March, we have stood-down some of our dedicated COVID-19 response systems due to the low rate of outbreaks and infections within our services. This is all due to the national position, high vaccine uptake and the skills and experience that has built up in our operational teams. We continue to work to the latest national infection prevention and control guidance, alongside restrictions that are in place to manage outbreaks as determined by the Government and local authorities. We continue to work to the standards and requirements relating to COVID-19 through our pandemic management arrangements, including our monitoring and provision of the appropriate PPE. All of our patients have access to testing as do our staff.

Our teams are in regular contact with key commissioners and are following national guidance related to the provision of information, including nationally-required reporting. On this basis, I regret that we continue to be unable to respond to requests for business continuity plans or general preparedness information. Instead, we are directing external stakeholders to the information contained on this webpage, which we continue to update on a regular basis. However, if your query relates to a specific individual placed at one of our services, please contact that site directly using the contact details available on this website and we will do whatever we can to assist

Kind regards,

Colin Quick
Interim Group Director of Nursing & Executive Lead for Infection, Prevention and Control

Message from our Chief Operating Officer

As we start to see the easing of the restrictions that have been in place across the UK, our absolute priority is the safety and wellbeing of our patients, residents and staff. 

I am so pleased that we are able to offer visits to family members in the grounds of our hospitals, and in designated visiting areas – if you would like details of these arrangements, please contact the ward or service where your loved one is staying. 

We continue to make sure that all eligible patients are able to access the COVID-19 vaccine, along with our colleagues. If you have any concerns about this, please contact the ward or service that is supporting your loved one.

We are monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 on a daily basis, and remain committed to working with other local services and agencies in addressing and managing the pandemic.

Jane Stone
Interim Chief Operating Officer
Priory Healthcare

Information on visiting   

We are following the current national guidance on visiting and home leave. In certain situations individual arrangements may be required - please discuss visiting and leave with the service which is supporting your family member. We hope you understand that we are taking this approach in line with national guidance and to keep your loved ones and others safe. Alternative methods to see or speak to your loved ones are available on request at the services.

Referrals

We continue to admit inpatients to our hospitals in accordance with our usual referral practices and the additional requirements made necessary by the current COVID-19 position. We remain fully committed to working closely with commissioners in ensuring that potential patients have access to the treatment that they require, as close to home as possible.

We understand that local Trusts may continue to require additional resource in order to free up capacity within their own locality. We will continue to be flexible to support the needs of all local commissioning systems wherever possible.

Admissions

In the event of a patient being referred who is self-isolating, or is confirmed as having COVID-19, we will continue to process this request as usual and seek to offer a placement, once it has been agreed they are well enough to move location. Where a decision has been made to admit a patient, please be assured that a thorough pre-admission checklist, which will include a robust risk assessment, will be completed.

This screening and assessment will take into consideration all relevant factors, such as the location the patient is coming from, their current health, potential exposure to COVID-19 and the current status of the Priory service into which they will be moving. All risk assessments will be signed off by a member of the senior leadership team, who are taking every possible step to ensure the continued safety of all people who use our services within Healthcare.

All of our patients are tested on admission and the results will inform whether a self-isolation period is required, in line with PHE advice.

Discharges

It is important to us that Priory Healthcare is able to continue to support you and your patients during this time, and we commit to do all we can to ensure risks are managed and monitored, whilst continuing to facilitate placements, where all parties deem it safe. Discharges are not always possible when a patient may be in isolation; we will work in partnership with the commissioner to ensure support during this time. We have accommodated overnight pre-discharge leave where the clinical team have risk assessed this as being an important part of their pre-discharge process. This is risk assessed and carefully managed to ensure the patient is supported and COVID-19 processes are followed to protect the patient and other service users.

Support for families and carers

This remains a worrying time for patients and their families. We have increased the availability of additional means of communication for sites whilst visiting is affected, and have also increased communication generally during this challenging time. Remote advocacy for patients is available where we are unable to offer face-to-face contact, and all our staff remain dedicated to supporting families in achieving clear lines of communication.

What happens if patients present with symptoms?

We have access to testing for patients and staff. This allows us to get rapid results for suspected cases and to monitor outbreaks on wards and across sites. This means we can reduce cases and, where possible, keep restrictive protocols such as isolation focused on COVID-19 cases, whilst protecting those not infected. If a patient develops symptoms, in addition to prompt testing, they are monitored with a medical check-up, regular National Early Warning Score (NEWS) monitoring and supportive interventions, including paracetamol and access to emergency services if there is any concern relating to a patient’s health.

If a patient develops symptoms, in addition to prompt testing, they are monitored with a medical check-up, regular National Early Warning Score (NEWS) monitoring and supportive interventions, including paracetamol and access to emergency services if there is any concern relating to a patient’s health.

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

Outpatient face to face therapy

We are currently able to offer a range of options for outpatient therapy that includes digital therapy via a secure video link and face-to-face appointments in specific circumstances, subject to risk assessment. We can offer both individual and group based treatments via video link and these have been well received by patients.

Free addiction assessments

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

A children’s guide to Covid-19

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

Advice and support for mental wellbeing

We have worked with some of our consultants and therapists to develop a series of videos, where they offer some practical advice on how to support your mental wellbeing across a range of conditions during this period. Click here to watch their videos.

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

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