We are taking every precaution to ensure our patients, visitors and staff are safe in our hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adaptations to our care pathways, buildings and ways of working, such as using booked appointments instead of walk-in services where possible to limit waiting and offering video or telephone consultations where appropriate to avoid unnecessary visits.

Covid-19 vaccinations 

In north west London, vaccines for the general public are being offered in the community, in care homes or in GP practices or dedicated community ‘hubs’. We will be helping to run a number of dedicated community hubs as the vaccination programme expands further. We are currently vaccinating only a very few patients in our hospitals. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY VACCINATION ROLLOUT.

Pausing planned procedures

Like the rest of the capital, hospitals across north west London are now very busy. We’ve launched plans to care safely for this increase in patients and actions include standing up additional critical care capacity with some staff redeployed and on standby for redeployment to support patients. 

With admission rates still rising due to Covid-19, we have made a decision to reduce our levels of non-urgent, planned care. This will allow us to continue to provide all urgent and emergency care, including cancer care. 

Patients who are affected by this decision will be contacted directly as soon as possible. If you do not hear from us, patients should visit hospital or attend your phone/video appointment as planned. 

We are already taking every precaution to ensure our patients, visitors and staff are safe in our hospitals and encourage patients that require urgent or emergency care to access the support they need. 

We know this will be disappointing news for those waiting for planned treatment, and we are sorry for this. We will monitor this position on an on-going basis so that we can stand back up non-urgent care as soon as possible.

Rescheduling non-urgent outpatient appointments 

With Covid-19 admissions rates rising in our hospitals, we have made a decision to reduce our levels of non-urgent, outpatient appointments from the week beginning 4 January 2021  – including those over the phone or on video.This will allow us to continue to provide all urgent and emergency care, including cancer care.

  • If your appointment is affected by this decision, we will send you a cancellation text message to your mobile phone and be in touch in the next few weeks to reschedule your appointment. 
  • If you are worried about your appointment being rescheduled and feel your condition is declining, please contact your GP to discuss. 
  • If you need urgent or emergency care at our Trust, you should continue to access it the support you need. 

The two-week wait/suspected cancer appointments will all go ahead as planned. 

We are taking every precaution to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe in our hospitals. We know this will be disappointing news for those waiting to have their appointment. We are reviewing this decision on a weekly basis so please continue to check here for updates.  

Urgent and emergency care for all conditions

We are here for you and if you have been called for an appointment, please make sure you attend if you are asked to do so. It is much safer to attend hospital when required, than not to come in.

It’s really important you know how to use our services and feel safe to do so. To help explain these measures, we have produced a short video below in English. It is also available inArabic.

Face coverings for outpatients and visitors

All members of the public now have to wear face coverings when in hospital – whether they are visiting a patient or going to an outpatient appointment. This is to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others.

Face coverings can be cloth or home-made, or be a scarf or bandana, and should cover the mouth and nose. Please bring your own face-covering. For more information on how to make your own face covering, visit Gov.UK website.

Supplies of surgical masks are available at most major entrances at our welcome desks. If you have not brought your own face-mask or face-covering, please ask for a mask at the entrance. In some instances, patients and birth partners may be asked to wear a surgical mask (such as during scans) and these will be supplied by the service if a patient is not wearing one.

Exemption badges for those unable to wear face mask or covering

You must wear a mask while in hospital. This is for your protection and that of other patients and our staff. If you are unable to wear a face mask or face covering, or need assistance due to your age, health or disability, you can print off a badge to let other people know. You can also print off a badge if you need people to take off their mask or face-covering so you can better understand what they say. 

If wearing a face-covering is difficult for you, or if you are deaf or hearing impaired, please contact the number on your clinic letter before you come into hospital.

READ THE LATEST NHS ADVICE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS

Changes to the chaplaincy services

Our chapels and prayer rooms at Charing Cross, Hammersmith and St Mary’s hospitals remain open for private use only by patients, their visitors and staff on site. Please maintain a distance of two metres from one another.

Acts of public worship are permitted in public places of worship, subject to certain conditions relating to social-distancing and other factors. However, it has been decided that the additional conditions that apply on hospital sites mean that public worship, such as Eucharists, Jumma Prayers, Mass, and staff memorial services, cannot yet practicably or safely be held in the chapels and prayer rooms of the Trust. We appreciate that this may disappoint staff and patients, but ask for your understanding and cooperation while we keep this decision under review.

To contact the chaplaincy, please email: imperial.chaplains@nhs.net or call:

  • Charing Cross Hospital: 020 3311 1056
  • Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea hospitals: 020 3313 4574|
  • St. Mary’s Hospital: 020 3312 1508

The chaplaincy team provide a 24/7 emergency patient service for end of life situations or for people who are experiencing extreme distress.

Covid-19 and hospital care for black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

This video provides facts on issues such as faith burials, access to interpreters, clinical decision making and what we have done to keep patients as safe as possible. 

WE CREATED IT IN RESPONSE TO FEEDBACK FROM THE Hammersmith and Fulham BME Health Forum and members of local our black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, where we learnt there is a strong sense of fear about coming to hospital and myths about hospital care for Covid-19 patients. 

To dispel the rumours, we created a video which could be shared among community group mobile messaging apps. It was produced in collaboration with the BME Health Forum and will be translated into a number of other languages for communities where English is not widely understood. 

Useful links: