These measures include:

  • Perspex screens in main hospital reception areas
  • Face masks for all staff
  • Face coverings or masks for patients and visitors
  • Controlled visiting times for inpatients at OUH hospitals as well as Oxford Health’s six community hospitals
  • All of the hospitals have digital solutions in place for those who cannot visit their loved ones, like video calls
  • Social distancing measures including ‘Keep a safe distance’ signs and floor markings to improve movement through hospitals (2m is still the safe distance in hospital settings)
  • Hand sanitising stations
  • Advising people with symptoms of COVID-19 not to attend our sites

People with COVID-19 are also treated in separate, dedicated areas, so the right infection control measures are in place to protect them and other patients in hospitals.

Sara Randall, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford University Hospitals Trust, said: “We’d like to thank both our patients and people visiting our hospitals for their patience during the last few months.

“Things may still look a little different to what you experienced previously, but patient and staff safety is paramount at our Trust and we want to keep everyone safe as more services resume.  Please do follow the guidance that your hospital department gives you – and please don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions.”

Pete McGrane, Oxford Health’s Clinical Director, said: “We are delighted that we can start allowing pre-booked hour-long daily visits for our patients on our *wards at hospitals in Abingdon, Bicester, City, Didcot, Wallingford and Witney. (*see below)

“Allowing controlled visits is already making a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones who are closely following all the stringent infection control measures we have in place. Rest assured, if you have a loved one in our care, you will be able to make arrangements to see them.”

*Please note there is a no visitor policy at Oxford Health’s mental health inpatient settings.

GP surgeries and community care

People who would like a GP appointment need call their surgery first or book online. All appointments are now initially carried out over the phone or via video link, but if someone needs a face to face consultation, they will be invited to the surgery to be seen safely by the doctor or other medical professional.

While preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a public health priority, it is still vital that members of the public go to scheduled vaccination appointments to stop outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and to protect vulnerable groups including children, babies and pregnant women.

As long as those attending appointments, including parents of babies or children, do not have symptoms or are not self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, all scheduled vaccinations should go ahead as normal

Dr Kiren Collison, GP and clinical chair at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Please be reassured that if you need medical care for any health concern your GP is there for you. We do ask that you always telephone your surgery first, as you won’t be seen without an initial phone or online appointment.

“If it is decided that you do need to come in for an appointment, we ask that you wear a face covering. There will also be social distancing measures in place in the practice so it is safe for you to visit. Staff will also be wearing masks and gloves, and there will be hand sanitiser available.”