Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Help prevent the spread of coronavirus

To make sure our patients, their families, loved ones, carers and staff remain safe during this time we have stopped all visitors from coming to our wards.

The support of friends and family to all of our patients is vital and we would encourage people to remain in contact with their loved ones by phone, where possible.  

If you would like to discuss alternative ways of keeping in contact, please contact the relevant ward manager.

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.

Need help in a mental health crisis or emergency – COVID 19 response

We realise that for many of you this is an unsettling time and want to reassure you that we are still here to support you and provide the best care possible.

Please click here to find out how to contact our services if required.

Visiting and protecting our patients

We have had to take the difficult decision to close our inpatient wards and units to visitors.

We ask that you use alternative methods to keep in touch with your loved one as we take this measure to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and protect our patients and staff.

Please contact the ward or unit manager to discuss how you can best do this. Thank you for your co-operation.

The use of face coverings when visiting Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT)

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are introducing new measures at KMPT to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday, 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to any of our buildings as a visitor or outpatient.

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital 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 and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and 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 also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. 

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 expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

COVID-19

The NHS in Kent and Medway and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. A person can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual if they are not required to self-isolate.

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Full guidance can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance on mental health and wellbeing for the public, parents and carers
Delivery of services during the coronavirus pandemic
Resources for patients
Release the pressure 24/7 mental health crisis text service

A new 24hour service for anyone in Kent or Medway in need of mental health crisis support is now available. This service (for all age groups) went live earlier this month (1st April 2020)

Support is now available simply by texting the word “Kent” or the word “Medway” to 85258.

You can also phone: 0800 1070160

It is free for the majority of phone networks – for full details see here  https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/release-the-pressure/release-the-pressure-text-service The service is provided by the national charity Shout.

Carers

Click here to view the Government guidance for those who provide unpaid care to friends for family

The above link is for anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support anyone who cares, unpaid, for a friend or family member who, due to a lifelong condition, illness, disability, serious injury, a mental health condition or an addiction, cannot cope without their support.

Carers agencies in Kent and Medway

Click here to download a PDF map of Carers agencies in Kent and Medway

Domestic abuse

Whoever you are, social isolation is not an excuse for domestic abuse.

This is a crime and it can affect anyone.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, limited contact with the outside world may make you or someone you know feel unsafe but our specialist teams are still here to help 24/7, in the same way we always do.

Kent Police will respond to your call and can arrest anyone committing offences against you.

In an emergency dial 999 or 101 for non-emergencies. You can also speak to someone online at www.kent.police.uk

There are other agencies working with Kent Police to support you:

  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
  • Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Helpline: www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk/
  • Victim support: 08 08 16 89 111 www.victimsupport.org.uk
  • Broken Rainbow: www.brokenrainbow.org.uk
  • Childline: 0800 1111

Download the poster

Support for Armed Forces
Physiotherapy exercise guides

Four physiotherapy guides are now available help patients and stay fit and healthy during COVID-19.

They cover a range of different exercises that are very easy to do, with step by step instructions provided. These exercises focus on stretches, strength work and cardio. 

These guides can be downloaded here:

Strength exercises 

Cardio exercises

Gym ball exercises

Stretches 

Further information for healthcare professionals can be found at -  https://www.rcot.co.uk/practice-resources/occupational-therapy-topics/rehabilitation