Patient and visitors’ information during COVID-19 outbreak

For the safety of our vulnerable patients and keep our staff well at work, we are asking visitors to respect the changes we have made to the public visiting patients in the Trust:

Visits to all wards at Torbay Hospital and community hospitals have been suspended

From 24 March 2020 there will be no visiting on our sites, other than for the four following key groups:

  • For children under 18 – one parent will be able to visit and be able to stay, at a time and a length of time to be discussed with Ward staff
  • Mothers who are expecting in the Birthing Unit, one birth partner will be permitted only when in labour (see our Maternity Services pages for more details.)
  • One relative or carer will be able to stay with their loved one if they are approaching end of life
  • Those who have specific needs, such as dementia or learning disability or other specific care need, will be able to have a carer or a loved one visit and again that will be in discussion with Ward / department staff.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but thank you for your understanding in these unusual times.

Attending the Emergency Department

Please only attend in an emergency:

  • As part of our coronavirus precautions, all patients will be assessed in the assessment pod outside of the Emergency Department. You will be asked some screening questions and your temperature will be checked.
  • No patients or relatives will be allowed access to the Emergency Department until they have been assessed.
  • This is to ensure that patients are treated in the most appropriate clinical setting safely and without delay.
  • Please also consider whether your journey is completely necessary – you can carry the virus without showing any symptoms.

Torbay and South Devon (inc Torbay Hospital) outpatient appointments

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister that the public are being asked to avoid non-essential contact with other people, we have taken the decision that all non-essential outpatient appointments are likely to be stood down over the next few days, to comply with this approach.

Please continue to attend appointments unless you are notified. If you would prefer not to attend, please inform us.

We will be contacting patients over the coming days to rearrange appointments, to offer telephone or video consultations, or delay appointments.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes but the safety of our patients must remain a top priority and it is important to ensure we fully comply with the actions taken by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Revised MIU arrangements

Due to prioritising our emergency services in response to the COVID-19 situation, we are experiencing difficulties in sustaining staffing levels at our Minor Injuries Units (MIU) in Dawlish and Totnes Community Hospitals. From 4pm, 19th March, we are closing Dawlish and Totnes MIUs and referring anyone with a minor injury to the MIU at Newton Abbot Community Hospital.

We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause our local communities. Thank you for your understanding at this time and for helping us to ensure we prioritise Torbay Hospital for our very sickest and emergency patients.


How can I get help if I think I have coronavirus (COVID-19)

The latest information on symptoms of coronovirus infection can be found on nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Like the common cold, coronavirus infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. You can also catch the virus by touching contaminated surfaces if they do not wash their hands.

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. See ending isolation section for more information
  • if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. See ending isolation section for more information

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you're staying at home.

Read the NHS's advice about staying at home.

Please follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after returning home. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
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