Trust services affected

***Please note staff may call from a withheld number, if you think it could be us please pick up***

As health and social care divert resources to care for Coronavirus patients, health service activity across Northern Ireland will be significantly curtailed.

Cancellation of elective procedures and clinics

This will be kept under review but has involved the cancellation of some non-urgent elective procedures.  Anyone impacted has been contacted directly.  If you have not been contacted please attend your appointment as normal.

Cancellation of Antenatal Education Classes

Please remember the hospital visiting policy when attending Outpatient Appointments and, if it is possible, please only attend by yourself (in the case of adults).

Domiciliary care provision

All domiciliary provision will be reviewed with families to identify what care they are able to provide for their relatives in these exceptional and very challenging times.  This will hopefully free up domiciliary capacity to focus on those who require critical care which cannot be met by any other means during this COVID-19 period.

The Trust will work with families to arrange for contingency placements in care homes on a temporary basis for individuals where there is a concern that the level of frailty and risk would indicate that this is the most appropriate way to provide care during this period, where no alternative help is available or where the current care arrangements are unable to be sustained.  More details are contained in the letters below.

Letter to service user – Independent Sector Provision
Letter to service user – Trust Homecare

Temporary pause of non-urgent screening programmes

Non-urgent screening programmes across Northern Ireland have been paused to allow the diversion of resources to tackling coronavirus.  Affected programmes are:

  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Routine breast cancer screening – (This also applies to anyone under surgical review and Family History Programmes who routinely have an annual mammogram)
  • Bowel cancer screening
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening – new invites and self-referrals
  • Routine diabetic eye screening

Screening will continue for patients who require higher risk breast screening, surveillance for patients with known (large) AAA, diabetic eye screening for newly diagnosed and surveillance patients, newborn bloodspot screening, newborn hearing screening and antenatal infections screening.

Those with a timed appointment will be contacted directly.

Learning Disability Day and Short Break Services

All Day and Short Break Services for people with a learning disability are now closed.  The latest guidance from Public Health England indicated that people at increased risk of coronavirus (which includes those with a learning disability), needed to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.  Those affected have been communicated with directly.

The Trust will keep the decision under review as the situation develops and ensure that closure is for no longer than absolutely required.

Trust staff will be in touch over the next week to ascertain what support may be provided to maintain wellbeing and support carers.  This will fluctuate depending on how the pandemic affects the ability to provide such services and meet overall priorities.  Some Easy Read resources to assist in explaining coronavirus to people have been provided below.

Easy Read – How To Stay Safe

Easy Read – How To Keep Safe

Easy Read – What If You Get Ill

Day Centres

All Day Centres are now closed.  The latest guidance from Public Health England indicated that people at increased risk of coronavirus (which includes those over the age of 70), needed to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.  Those affected have been communicated with directly.

The Trust will keep the decision under review as the situation develops and ensure that closure is for no longer than absolutely required.

Northern Adult Autism Advisory Service

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the Northern Adult Autism Advisory Service (NAAAS) is postponed until further notice.  However, you can still email naaasonline@nas.org.uk or telephone 028 2766 1335 between 1.30 – 4.30pm on the 1st Tuesday of each month as this would be the time that the service would operate.

The Rowan

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, The Rowan (Regional Sexual Assault Referral Centre) is working in new ways in order to ensure that they can continue to provide a 24/7 service to victims of rape and sexual assault and to ensure they take appropriate steps to protect our service users and staff.  Virtual assessments have been introduced and a Rowan nurse and Rowan doctor will speak to you by telephone, rather than face to face.

For more information please contact The Rowan on 0800 389 4424.

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