NHS safety measures remain in place. As patients and healthcare staff are more at risk from Covid-19, we need to do more to keep everyone safe.

Please continue to follow all of the infection prevention and control measures in place across our hospitals. This includes, for everyone: 

  • do not come into hospital if you’re experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 (unless emergency attention is needed) 
  • use hand sanitiser or wash your hands as you enter the hospital and when entering or leaving wards, clinics and units 
  • wear a surgical (blue and white) face mask at all times within the hospital unless you are exempt 
  • keep two metres apart from others 
  • follow any one-way route signs 

About one in three people with Covid-19 do not have symptoms but can still spread the virus. By continuing to follow the measures above, you are helping us to reduce the spread of infection. 

Wearing face masks in hospital

You must wear a surgical (blue and white) face mask at all times within our hospitals. Masks are provided at the entrance.

Masks are still a very important part of our infection prevention and control measures in hospital. Many patients in our hospitals may be vulnerable due to underlying conditions, their age or immunosuppression, which could make them more susceptible to Covid-19. By continuing to wear a mask on our sites you are not only protecting yourself from Covid-19 but also protecting those around you including other patients, visitors and our staff.

What if I’m exempt from wearing a face mask?

There are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face mask.

Please be mindful and respectful of such circumstances. Some people are less able to wear a face mask and the reasons for this may not be visible to others. This includes (but is not limited to):


  • children under the age of 11 (The UK Health Security Agency does not recommend face masks for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face mask because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • people for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face mask will cause severe distress
  • people speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate

Some people feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face mask. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign. If you wish to use an exemption card or badge, you can download exemption card templates here.

If you are exempt from wearing a mask, our clinical staff may need to identify suitable, alternative ways for you to wait, be treated or visit in order to manage the additional risks to you and those around you.

Read the national guidance on face mask exemption

Covid-19 vaccination

Vaccination is clearly having a significant impact on limiting more serious illness and hospital admissions and so we continue to urge everyone who is eligible to take up both doses of an appropriate vaccine. However, you still need to follow all of our Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures, even if you have been vaccinated. 

Read more about Covid-19 vaccinations and how to book one

Outpatient appointments 

We are continuing to ensure all patients referred to us, or on our waiting lists, are prioritised by clinicians according to their clinical need, which is based on an assessment by your clinical team.

Anyone who is on an urgent pathway for a possible cancer diagnosis will continue to be seen as quickly as possible, almost all within two weeks.

If you have not received a text message or phone call from us cancelling your appointment, it will go ahead as per the instructions in your appointment letter. Your letter will explain if your appointment is via phone, video or face-to-face. We are taking every precaution to keep patients who are coming into hospital safe. 
If we have contacted you to postpone your appointment, we will be in touch with a new appointment date as soon as we are able to. 

If you are worried about your health, or if your condition deteriorates, please contact your GP or call NHS 111. If you need urgent or emergency care at our Trust, you should continue to access the support you need.   

Urgent and emergency care during Covid-19 

  • If you have a serious or life-threatening emergency, call 999 
  • If you need urgent medical care or advice and it is not a life-threatening emergency, or if you don’t know who to contact, call NHS 111 
  • If you are told by NHS 111 or your GP to go to hospital or to an urgent treatment centre it is important that you do so. The NHS 111 First service can book you a timed slot in a specific A&E department or urgent treatment centre, if required, to avoid a long wait on site  
  • If you need medical care or advice from your GP practice, contact them, either online, via an app or by phone first – they will assess your needs and let you know what to do 

Planned care and elective procedures 

If you or a family member are waiting for hospital treatment at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, you can now access the NHS My Planned Care digital platform which provides the latest average waiting times across all NHS trusts.

Our clinicians prioritise all patients waiting for care according to individual clinical need. Waiting times will be different for different people, even those with the same condition. If you require urgent care, you will be seen more quickly.

The platform also provides helpful advice and support while you are waiting, including details on how to manage any pain, your mental health, keeping healthy and accessing financial help and other local support. It can also help you to prepare for your care, including how to make a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.

Find out more about preparing to come into hospital for a planned procedure or surgery.


To keep everyone safe, we are only able to welcome a small number of visitors into our hospitals at the moment. Read more about visiting here.

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

Changes to the chaplaincy services 

The chaplaincy service continues to operate with some changes to its usual service. 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. 

Find out more and contact the chaplaincy.