Last updated: 19th August 2021
We continue to review and respond to all national guidance, statements and requirements related to Covid-19.
We have adjusted our patient visiting and leave arrangements in accordance with the new national guidance for the particular types of service. If you believe the service supporting your relative or friend may be affected by these revised national arrangements, please contact the hospital / service directly.
Similarly, if you have any suggestions or comments on how we are providing our services during the pandemic, please contact: groupIPCqueries@priorygroup.com.
It is important to note that as many social distancing measures are relaxed across the UK this is not always the case in our care and treatment settings. There is still a requirement for an enhanced level of response due to the risk to our patients and our colleagues. We still require our colleagues and visitors to wear facemasks and to adhere to handwashing and other infection control procedures in the majority of our locations.
Message from our Group Director of Nursing & Executive Lead for Infection, Prevention and Control
We continue to ensure that all of our services are meeting the requirements to keep everyone as safe as possible.
We continue to experience a high response rate to the Covid-19 vaccination programme across our services (our colleagues, residents and patients) in accordance with the National Vaccine Programme. We are committed to making sure that everyone able to access the vaccine is facilitated to do so. Similarly, we remain committed to maintaining vigilance and high standards in respect of hygiene, cleanliness and the use of personal protective equipment, as we know these actions are essential in keeping people safe and well.
We have adjusted our dedicated Covid-19 response systems due to the relatively low rate of outbreaks and infections within our services. The low rate of outbreaks and infections are down to the professionalism and dedication of our staff and their adherence to guidance and legislation and the high vaccine uptake. We continue to work to the relevant current national infection prevention and control guidance, alongside restrictions that are in place to manage outbreaks as determined by the Government and local authorities. Our residents, patients and staff all have access to testing. Our operational divisions have arrangements in place on visiting and leave arrangements. If you have particular questions about the visiting arrangements for your relative / friend please contact the relevant home or hospital – our staff will be pleased to help.
Our teams are in frequent contact with key commissioners and are following national guidance related to the provision of information, including nationally required reporting. On this basis, we regret that we are 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 the home or hospital directly using the contact details available on this website and we will do whatever we can to assist.
Group Director of Nursing & Executive Lead for Infection, Prevention and Control
Message from our Chief Operating Officer
Despite the reduction in the restrictions that have been in place across the UK, our absolute priority remains the safety and wellbeing of our patients, residents and staff.
I am so pleased that we are able to offer visits to our patients 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 relative or friend is staying.
We continue to make sure that all eligible patients are able to access the Covid-19 vaccine, together with our colleagues. If you have any concerns about this, please contact the ward or service that is supporting your loved one.
We continue to monitor the situation regarding Covid-19 on a daily basis.
We see the positive steps that we have taken to minimise the impact of the pandemic as being testament to the hard work and great care taken by our colleagues, patients and visitors in adhering to the requirements and standards that are in place.
With my very best wishes,
Chief Operating Officer
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 supporting your relative or friend. We hope you understand that we are taking this approach in accordance with national guidance and to keep everyone safe. Alternative methods to see or speak to your relative or friend are available on request at the services.
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.
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 that the person is 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 status of the Priory service into which they will be admitted. All risk assessments will be signed off by a member of the senior leadership team, who take 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. We do this in accordance with the advice or Public Health England and other such organisations.
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.
Hospital discharges are not always possible when a patient is be in isolation. In these instances 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 continues to be a time of worry for our patients and their families. We have increased the availability of additional means of communication for sites while visiting is affected, and have 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 obtain a rapid result for suspected cases and to monitor and control and minimise the impact of the virus on our wards and across our hospitals. 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 analgesia and access to emergency services if there is any concern relating to the person’s health.
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
Outpatient face to face therapy
We are currently able to offer a range of options for outpatient therapy that includes face-to-face appointments and digital therapy via a secure video link. 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.
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.