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What to expect if you need medical help

Because the current Government advice is to maintain distance between people wherever possible, we need to make sure there are not too many people in the hospital at any one time.

What to expect if you need medical help

Our emergency departments are safe to use and open as usual, so if you experience a life-threatening emergency, you should dial 999 for help.

If you have concerns about your health, please seek help. The best way to do this if it’s not an emergency is by calling NHS 111 or visiting www.111.nhs.uk  to find out which service is best for you.

NHS 111 can signpost you to the nearest service and, where appropriate, can book you an appointment at one of the urgent treatment centres in east Kent. Urgent treatment centres provide treatment for minor injuries and illnesses that are urgent but not life threatening. 

If you need to come to hospital

  • Please follow Government advice and avoid public transport as much as you can.
  • Please enter the hospital via the A&E entrance. This will help us make sure too many people are not walking through the hospital at any one time.
  • Please do not bring a friend or relative with you. This is because we need to limit the number of people in the department. One parent or guardian may accompany a child, and one person may accompany a vulnerable adult.

It is important that you wear a face covering in the hospital. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

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.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, we will provide you with one.

When you arrive

If the department is busy, we might ask you to come back at a specific time. This will help us keep you and other patients safe by maintaining social distancing in the waiting area as much as possible.

You will be assessed by a member of staff before we ask you to come back at an allotted time.

If you have already phoned NHS 111, you may have been given an allotted time to go to A&E. In this case, we will not ask you to come back later and you will be booked into the department.

Supporting you and our staff

Thank you for helping us maintain your safety as we re-open hospital services. Please respect the space of fellow patients and do not attend an A&E or Urgent Care Centre if you have any symptoms of the virus.

Please also be patient with our staff, who are working in new ways to maintain your safety. 

We are doing everything we can to maintain the cleanliness of our hospitals with regular cleaning.

Hand sanitiser dispensers are available throughout the hospitals and cleaning wipes will be available for any touch screens or vending machines that you may use.  

Thank you again for all your help as we work together to keep everyone safe.