Covid-19

Covid-19

For information about Covid-19, please visit:

NHS website

Current guidance

Stay at home and arrange a test if you have ANY of the symptoms associated with Covid-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

When to get a test: if you or your child have symptoms, get a test as soon as possible. Visit the Government website. Test sites are open 7 days a week. Order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site. 

You must must self-isolate until you get the results of your test. 

If your symptoms are serious, or get worse, NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need further medical help and advise you what to do.

For the most up to date advice about Covid-19 please visit the government website.  

Download the following information leaflets for advice on looking after yourself if you are self-isolating or have Covid-19:

Visiting and keeping in touch during the Covid-19 pandemic

Even from 19 July a face covering must be worn in our hospitals and community health centres at all times. Please note that if you are unable to wear a face covering you will not be permitted to visit any patients in any of our hospitals. The only exception to this will be if you are visiting a patient at the end of their life and have medical exemption from wearing a face covering.

Whilst Covid restrictions have lifted across the country, there will still be some restrictions in place around visiting. This is to help keep all our patients - some of who are very ill, staff and visitors safe from Covid-19. We have, however, made some changes to the process. It will no longer be necessary for you to ring the ward you wish to visit to arrange your appointment beforehand, and the evening session has been extended by an hour to give people more opportunity to visit.

As a reminder:

Visitors will not be permitted to any ward /department with a confirmed Covid-19 outbreak (apart from in exceptional circumstances such as the end of life). Staff on the ward will advise you if this is the case.
Anyone showing any symptoms of Covid-19, awaiting the outcome of a Covid-19 test, or self-isolating as a contact of a Covid-19 positive case should not visit, even if these symptoms are mild or intermittent, due to the risk they pose to others.
Visitors are strictly limited to one visitor per patient at each time slot
Visiting will only be facilitated between the hours of 2pm - 4pm and 6pm – 8pm unless there are exceptional circumstances (patients can receive visitors at both sessions but only one per session) 
Please note: This does not apply to visiting Maternity wards or visiting Children who are in hospital and in circumstances where patients are reaching the end of their life. There is also a limited visiting policy in place on Critical Care - please contact the ward and they will be able to advise further.

Please do not enter the hospital if you have symptoms of Covid-19, are living with someone who has tested positive or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and have been asked to isolate. 

Visiting in exceptional circumstances

There will be special exceptions for visitors in the following circumstances:

  • Immediate family members/partners of those at end of life
  • Carers for patients who require assistance e.g. supporting someone with a mental health condition, dementia, delirium, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed
  • Patients may be accompanied where appropriate and necessary to assist their communication and/or to meet their health, religious or spiritual care needs.


What to expect when attending a hospital site

A face covering must be worn at the hospital at all times. Please note that if you are unable to wear a face covering you will not be permitted to visit any patients in any of our hospitals. The only exception to this will be if you are visiting a patient at the end of their life and have medical exemption from wearing a face covering.
You may have to wait to gain access to the ward if high numbers of visitors are present.
Staff may have to restrict or shorten the visit in order to maintain social distancing.

The Social-distancing-patient-information-leaflet.pdf [pdf] 170KB provides further information about social distancing. 

  • It is important to maintain a 2 metre social distance during your visit and when entering and leaving the hospital building, including all communal areas and lifts.
  • Avoid touching any surfaces, entering and leaving the setting as quickly as possible using the most direct route.
  • Hand hygiene - use the hand sanitiser provided or soap and water where available:
  • on arrival to the hospital on entering the ward/department
  • when donning/doffing relevant PPE
  • on leaving the patient bed space and ward/department
  • on leaving the hospital building
  • as soon as you get home.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth or mask/face covering with unwashed hands.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Bring as few belongings as possible to minimise the risk of infection.
  • Ward staff will be wearing appropriate PPE.
  • As long as visiting guidance is followed, visitors do not need to self-isolate after a visit. If at any point you display symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate at home and organise a test; members of their household should also self-isolate for 14 days.

Virtual visiting MY Loved Ones and virtual communication


The Trust understands the value and importance of ensuring that our patients can keep in touch with their loved ones. We will continue to encourage and support people to utilise other ways of keeping in touch with their loved ones in hospital, such as Family Liaison, supporting phone and video calls, the Message from home service and the Connecting Care hearts. Virtual visiting will be supported and facilitated through our MY Loved Ones initiative.

This guidance is based on the NHS ‘Visiting healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic: principles’ (CO751, 13 October 2020)

Information for people at higher risk from Covid-19

Information for people at higher risk from Covid-19

Covid-19 can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.

There are 2 levels of higher risk below:

  • high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)
  • moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)

The list on the NHS website explains who might be classed as high and moderate risk.

Information for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic

You will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

People infected with Covid-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we have introduced new measures at all our hospital sites to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

Bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. 

If you are deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of visual aids such as writing things down, interpreters and sign language.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting. 

  • 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 using public transport. 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.

MY Loved Ones – keeping in touch with patients

We appreciate how difficult it must be when you are unable to visit and keep in touch with a loved one who is in hospital. Therefore, at Mid Yorks we have introduced a number of ways to support patient-to-relative communication at this difficult time during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Family Liaison Officers

We have established a number of additional staff to support some of our wards at Pinderfields to support communication between loved ones and patients. Through conversations with ward staff directly involved in a patient's care, the Family Liaison Officers will contact families/loved ones about the patient's wellbeing.

Any indepth discussions requiring more clinical input continue to be carried out by clinical ward staff. Unfortunately, we are unable to update multiple family members or loved ones for each patient, so ask that each patient has a primary contact, who can then share updates with other family members/friends.

We hope this additional role will reduce the need for you to try and call the ward for an update, as we acknowledge it can be difficult to get through.

Message from home service

A dedicated email inbox has been launched from Monday 20 April to enable relatives to post a short message (approx 50 words) to a family member who is receiving care at Mid Yorks.

Our staff will be monitoring this inbox and will pass on these messages to patients on a regular basis.

To ensure your message is received by the correct person, please make sure that the following information is included in your email:

  • Name of the patient
  • Ward location
  • Date of birth or address of the patient

Messages should be emailed to midyorks.messagefromhome@nhs.net.

If you do not have access to email, you can telephone 01924 542972 from 8.30am–4.30pm Monday to Friday to share your message. A member of staff will capture your message and relay this to the patient. Any messages received over a weekend will be delivered on the next working day.

Video calls

We recognise that communication with family and friends is important to patients for their support and wellbeing, and with the visiting restrictions that are currently in place at the Trust, it is essential for families to stay in touch.

iPads have been made available on our wards to support relatives using video calls to communicate with patients who do not have access to their own tablets or smartphones. Video calls will be undertaken using an app called ‘Jitsi Meet’.

Guidance is available for relatives in the use of Jitsi Meet on a tablet, smartphone or PC.

Jitsi Meet guidance for relatives Jitsi guide for relatives.pdf 573KB

You can email midyorks.messagefromhome@nhs.net or call 01924 542972 from 8am–4.30pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am–4.30pm on Saturday and Sunday so that our staff can arrange a suitable time for a patient video call.

Personal belongings for patients

We understand that due to the visiting restrictions that are currently in place at the Trust, relatives may need to bring in some essential items of property for a family member for delivery to a ward.

Between Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3pm patient property may be brought to the main entrance of Pinderfields and Dewsbury for receipt by volunteers and onward delivery to the wards; at Pontefract hospital, reception staff can take receipt.

Patient property must be fully enclosed in a wipeable/plastic bag and ensure you are able to provide the full name, date of birth and ward location of the patient.

Outside of these times, please arrange with the ward to drop off belongings at the ward entrance.

Spiritual care

Our Chaplaincy team has qualified representatives from major faith communities and is available 24 hours, seven days a week.

Spiritual and pastoral care is offered to any patient of any faith, as well as those of no faith.

Articles of faith and prayer cards are available on wards from our Chaplaincy Office, and can also be printed for patients by our ward staff.

Staff photographs

We recognise that when our staff have to wear masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing when carrying out their jobs, this has the potential to increase patients’ fears and feelings of isolation at an already difficult time.

In response to this, our staff are showing photographs of their faces to the patients that they are caring for in order to establish a more personal and caring relationship.

How we responded to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic

This video includes the changes we made at our hospitals to keep patients, families, staff and our community safe.

Covid-19 Supplementary Privacy Notice

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice.

Covid-19 Supplementary Privacy Notice.pdf