Information on changes we are making to help respond to coronavirus and protect our patients, visitors and staff.

Coronavirus latest information and advice

This page provides the latest information on changes we are making to help respond to coronavirus and protect our patients, visitors and staff.

If you have symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  • If you have any of these symptoms – stay at home for seven days
  • If you live with someone who has a fever or a cough but you don’t have symptoms – stay at home for 14 days; this is because you may develop the virus yourself during the incubation period. If you don't get sick you complete 14 days at home.
  • If you’re self-isolating at home for 14 days because someone in your house is sick and in that period you get either a fever or a cough, the 14 day rule no longer applies to you, as it’s likely you’ve now got coronavirus. Your self-isolation clock starts and you need to stay at home for seven days from the first day of your symptoms no matter how far through the household 14 days you are. This may mean you come out before 14 days if you get symptoms early, or later than 14 days if you get symptoms late into the 14 day period. 

You do not need to call NHS 111 to say you are staying at home. If your symptoms worsen while staying at home, or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 111 online.

For more information on coronavirus, visit NHS website.

Outpatient appointment text message reminders

We are moving to a new service for mobile phone text reminders for outpatient appointments. The aim is to improve the service for patients by informing you sooner about your appointments, and to give you the option to request a change without having to call us.


You will notice three differences. You will receive a text message as soon as an appointment is created, changed or cancelled for you. So you may get the text message before you receive the letter telling you about the appointment. For some appointments, you can reply CHANGE or CANCEL to ask for the appointment to be changed or cancelled. This will save you having to telephone the hospital. You will see a link to in the text, where you can find a list of your upcoming appointments. Sign in by entering your name, date of birth, and postcode - and we may send a one-time code to your mobile phone for added security.

Your hospital appointment

Unless we have asked you to come into hospital - or postponed your appointment, all face-to-face outpatient appointments are being replaced by telephone or video consultations.

You will receive:

  • a call from your doctor offering you a telephone consultation if clinically possible. Your doctor will aim to call you within an hour of your scheduled appointment time
  • If you miss the telephone call, or are not able to answer the call, your doctor will review your notes, write a letter to you and your GP and make follow up arrangements as necessary
  • some of our services are now offering video consultations. If this applies to your appointment further details of how to access our video consultation portal will be issued to you via text message

Planned procedures and surgery

Unless we have asked you to come into hospital, all non-urgent planned surgery and procedures, like endoscopy and scans, are postponed. We will be in touch to rebook your appointment.

We are also working with NHS partners and the independent sector to move some urgent surgery and procedures to other providers.

We will contact you directly if you need to come into hospital or if we need to move your surgery or procedure to a different provider.

Visiting restrictions in hospital

To help prevent the spread of infection and protect our patients, we’re really sorry that we are not currently allowing visitors in our hospitals. This has been a difficult decision to make but we no longer feel we can prevent the risk of spreading the infection if we continue to allow visitors to our hospitals.

Visitors will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, including:

  • for a patient at end of life
  • one regular carer for a patient with additional needs, such as a patient with dementia
  • one parent/guardian for a child
  • one birth partner

Please speak to the nurse or midwife in charge of the ward or unit to consider any exceptional arrangements.

Any visitors who are allowed must:

  • not come to the hospital if you are feeling unwell, including cold or flu symptoms
  • wash or gel your hands as soon as you enter a ward or unit
  • follow the additional measures that will be requested by our staff if you are visiting a patient with an infection.

Keeping in touch

We have introduced several initiatives to help our inpatients keep in touch with family and friends during their stay in hospital. Learn more about keeping in touch.

Changes to chaplaincy services

The chaplaincy service continues to operate with some changes to our 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. Please maintain a distance of two metres from others to stop the spread of infection.

Acts of public worship are not currently taking place following the advice and direction of the Church of England, the Muslim Council of Britain, and the Roman Catholic Church.

Members of the public must not come onto site to visit the chapels or prayer rooms.

Patients can request a chaplain visit through ward staff or call the spiritual and pastoral care service directly.


To contact the chaplaincy, please email: 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 also provide a 24/7 emergency patient service for end of life situations or for people who are experiencing extreme distress.

Service changes

Some of our services are running very differently or not at all, or are offering specific advice for their patients and referrers. Please see the pages below for more information:

Imperial Private Healthcare

Imperial Private Healthcare is part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and is proud to be supporting the NHS in the fight against coronavirus. Our private patient units are making changes to help respond to coronavirus and protect our patients, staff and visitors. Visit Imperial Private Healthcare's website to learn more.