Shielding advice

Information for patients, or their parents, guardians or carers, who are under the care of Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) NHS Foundation Trust and are being asked to shield.

Some of our patients will have recently received a letter informing them that due to their medical condition they have been identified as a person for whom shielding is recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The term shielding covers the following advice for extremely vulnerable patients for at least a 12-week period:

  1.  Do not leave the house
  2.  Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services
  3.  Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has put together guidance specifically for shielded patients who need to visit our hospitals during this time either for investigations or clinics as an outpatient, or for treatment as an inpatient. This guidance is aimed at reducing their exposure to coronavirus.

Transportation and arrival at hospital
If possible shielded patients should use their own transport. However, if this is not possible, then they should use hospital transport (to book please call 01223 216438). Shielded patients should avoid using public transport.

Hand Hygiene
It is important that patients observe careful hand hygiene on arrival in the Trust, on entering and leaving any clinical area and on leaving the Trust. This should involve washing their hands with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds or using alcohol gel if washing facilities are not easily available or practical.

Mask use
We recommend that shielded patients wear a surgical mask at all times while they are in the hospital unless instructed otherwise by their responsible clinician. It is for their own protection so if they do not wish to wear a mask they do not have to.
If a shielded patient arrives by hospital transport they need to inform the transport drivers that they are a shielded patient. The driver will provide a mask and instructions on how to wear it.

If a shielded patient arrives via their own transport they need to inform the staff on arrival to the clinical area that they are a shielded patient. The staff will provide a mask and instructions on how to wear it. 

For both outpatient and inpatient visits shielded patients are advised to wear a mask for the duration of their visit until they return to their own car or home (if using patient transport).  They can then dispose of the mask into a bin taking care not to touch the outside surface when removing it and washing their hands for 20 seconds afterwards.

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