The changes at Swansea Bay UHB hospitals are coming in immediately.
Visiting at Swansea hospitals is being limited to one hour to try and stop the spread of Covid 19.
It's one of the new measures being put in place by Swansea Bay University Health Board.
They're also limiting the numbers to one visitor per patient but are encouraging people to take advantage of WIFI in hospitals so people can videochat or be a 'virtual visitor'.
Swansea Bay UHB released the following update:
COVID-19: temporary changes to some of our services
In response to the coronavirus situation, Swansea Bay University Health Board is making temporary changes to the way we deliver some of our services.
We hope you will understand that we must reprioritise how we use our staff and resources during this extremely challenging time. Our focus is on keeping patients safe, and ensuring everything possible is done to provide care to those who need it the most.
This means some patients will have to wait longer than we would like for their planned surgery or treatment, if it is not clinically urgent. Many outpatient appointments will also be postponed.
All these appointments, which have been reviewed by clinicians, will now be deferred to a date after the COVID-19 situation has resolved.
We apologise for the inconvenience or distress this may cause, but ask you to please bear with us. We will be contacting patients directly who are affected by this, and will reschedule their care as soon as possible.
Please be assured that emergency surgery and operations for cancer and other clinically urgent conditions will continue. Likewise, all urgent outpatient appointments will continue. If you do not hear from us, please attend your appointment as planned.
We are also making changes to how we manage our outpatients service. We will, as much as possible, be making use of technology to review patients virtually, or carry out telephone consultations instead of face-to-face ones.
This will avoid the need for people with outpatient appointments to journey to hospital, which will support the wider efforts to control the spread of the virus, particularly among vulnerable members of our communities. It will also free up our clinical staff to help care for inpatients.
Due to the current situation we are introducing temporary visiting restrictions from Saturday, 14th March 2020. This applies to all our sites, including community and mental health wards, as well as Morriston, Singleton and Neath Port Talbot hospitals.
Visiting only between 3pm and 4pm
Only one visitor at a time
Only one parent or carer per child patient
No visitors for any patients who are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases
These rules may be relaxed for palliative care patients.
If you do visit, please wash your hands thoroughly before and after, and use the hand sanitisers at the entrance to every ward.
It is really important that you must not visit if you are unwell with flu-like symptoms including a high temperature, or have been in contact with others who have displayed symptoms, or who have returned from high-risk countries.
We also understand the importance of patients retaining contact with their loved ones. To enable that if you can’t be there in person, we do offer free WiFi throughout our hospitals. So for those with access to smartphones or tablets, we would encourage "virtual visiting" as a great way to keep in touch.
Sexual health clinics:
Sexual health clinics health departments across the health board will be on an appointment-only basis for the foreseeable future. Please see the sexual health webpage for details.
Physio walk-in clinics are now suspended. However the Physio Direct telephone triage opening hours will be extended to 9am to 1pm Monday to Friday: 01792 487453 or 01639 683167/683168. Patients with follow up appointments booked will be contacted by phone.
Only essential and urgent clinical cases will be seen in person. This applies the muscular-skeletal, neurology, paediatrics and women’s health across all health board sites.
If you have an appointment with a community team, please contact that team directly for further guidance. New patients with appointments already scheduled for the coming weeks will be telephoned to discuss treatment plans.
Antenatal clinic appointments either in the community with your midwife, or in the hospital with midwifery or medical staff will continue, in order for us to monitor your pregnancy.
However, from Monday we will be ringing all women prior to their appointment or home visit to check how you are as we do not want you to attend if you have any symptoms of the virus. For anyone with concerns, individual plans will be made.
Click here for more information about COVID-19 and pregnancy.
Morriston Hospital Emergency Department – children
If a child needs to go to the Emergency Department at Morriston Hospital, please do not attend as a family. Instead, choose one parent or carer only to accompany the child. This is manage the number of people in the department.
Testing for COVID-19
The focus has now switched from community testing for COVID-19 to testing patients in hospitals. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, including a new persistent cough and fever, please self-isolate for seven days. Only ring 111 if your symptoms worsen.