NHS bosses at Guy's and St Thomas' have moved to reassure locals that it's safe to visit SE1's hospitals for outpatient appointments and that measures are in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Dr Nick Price, director of infection prevention and control at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, said: "We understand that some patients may feel nervous about coming into hospital if they need face-to-face appointments.
"The measures that have been put in place throughout our hospitals and community sites will ensure that patients and staff are kept as safe as possible.
"While things will seem different, as always, we strive to provide the best and safest care for patients.
"If you have any concerns we encourage you to contact your clinical team in advance. It is vital that people attend their appointments and not doing so could be harmful for your health."
A number of changes have been introduced in recent months to protect staff and patients attending St Thomas' Hospital, Guy's Hospital and Evelina London Children's Hospital and the trust's community sites.
Once on site, patients are expected to wear a face covering other than children under 11 and those with medical reasons which exempt them from doing so.
Staff are also wearing face coverings and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed. Everyone is also expected to clean their hands on entering the buildings.
Hand sanitiser is available around the trust's sites, seating in waiting areas has been rearranged to maintain social distancing and there are limitations on the numbers of people allowed to use a lift at the same time. More frequent cleaning is also in place.
The trust launched a 'Stay Safe, Keep Apart' campaign with signs to guide patients and staff around the sites, making sure that they keep their distance to other people as much as possible, and can wait and queue safely.
Paul Murton, from Bermondsey, came to Guy's Hospital for a routine blood test for diabetes in June. He said: "There was very clear and helpful guidance showing people where to go and to keep left. There were also hand sanitisers in place.
"It made me feel very safe to be there and not anxious at all. I wasn't actually worried before coming in because I knew Guy's and St Thomas' would have it under control.
"The measures in place leave you with a complete sense of confidence and trust that the hospitals are doing everything they can to maintain social distancing and ensure hygiene practises are in place, which minimises the risk of infection.
"Around a month later I had an ultrasound at St Thomas' and the same measures were in place there. Again, I felt reassured and safe.
"The trust has done a great job at applying these measures to make hospitals a safe place to visit."
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