To help keep everyone safe, East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is strongly recommending visitors and outpatients have a quick test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) before coming to its hospitals.
ESNEFT is the organisation which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, as well as services at Aldeburgh, Clacton, Halstead, Harwich and Felixstowe hospitals, Bluebird Lodge in Ipswich and the Primary Care Centre in Colchester.
The UK Government has announced that anyone in England can now take regular lateral flow tests* to check for Coronavirus (COVID-19).
And teams at ESNEFT are now strongly recommending visitors and outpatients help to keep everyone safe by taking the quick and simple tests at home. A pack of tests contains seven tests. You can order one pack per household each day.
Please test yourself for Coronavirus (COVID-19) the day before you’re due to come to our hospitals (either to visit a patient or for an appointment) and stay at home if the result is positive.
ESNEFT Chief Executive Nick Hulme said: “Everyone has a role to play in helping to stop the spread of this virus and we are very grateful for our community’s support in keeping our hospitals safe.
“Now lateral flow tests are more widely available, having a test before going to hospital is the responsible thing to do. However we recognise that it is a personal choice and it is not easy or possible for everyone.
“Remember, one in three people with Coronavirus (COVID-19) do not have symptoms, but can still infect others and getting tested is the only way to know if you have the virus or not.”
Visiting restrictions at ESNEFT sites have slightly eased as numbers of Coronavirus (COVID-19) fall. However, there are still significant restrictions in place to keep everyone safe. All the details can be found on the Coronavirus information pages of the ESNEFT website.
ESNEFT hospital teams are also asking all visitors to wear a surgical face mask, apron and gloves when with hospital patients.
The appeal for visitors to have a lateral flow test before coming into hospital also applies to people coming to Colchester and Ipswich hospital vaccine hubs for their Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.
ESNEFT staff and volunteers already have access to regular lateral flow testing. Patients admitted before planned surgery have a Coronavirus (COVID-19) test before coming in, and emergency patients are tested too.
Outpatients are asked to take their lateral flow test the day before coming into hospital for their booked appointment. If it is a positive result, they should self isolate and call the number on their appointment letter to rearrange their appointment.
*The UK Government has announced that anyone in England can now have regular lateral flow tests to check for Coronavirus (COVID-19). They are available to do at local testing sites as well as being available in kits to do at home. Here, the NHS explains how you can get a lateral flow test.
ESNEFT is asking everyone to help stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) by:
- Following the national rules
- Washing your hands regularly
- Wearing a surgical face mask
- Social distancing
- Getting a PCR test if you have Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. This is a different type of test to a lateral flow test.