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Latest service updates

main entrance royal berks nhs

https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/ask

Help us keep patients, staff and volunteers safe 

In line with government guidance, all staff must wear a face mask when on site and all patients and visitors should wear either a face mask/covering for the duration of their visit. If you are able to, please bring a mask/covering with you or ask a member of staff who will be happy to assist. Thank you for helping us reduce the spread of the virus.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
  • not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate

If you are coming into hospital for an appointment, please, wherever possible, attend on your own. This helps everyone maintain social distancing and keep other patients and staff safe.

If you need the support of a relative or friend please limit this to one person and be understanding if they are asked to wait outside the clinic or even outside the hospital. As we start to resume more clinics and services it means more people are coming to the hospital and we need to safely manage numbers.

If you arrive too early for your appointment you may be asked to return nearer the time you are due to be seen. It would help us if you waited outside the hospital, but if you choose to go to the café or shop, please remember to observe social distancing and wear your mask.

Click below for guidance on specific areas 

Blood Tests

Blood Test Service information

Info about blood tests here

COVID Patient Information leaflets

 

Phlebotomy outpatients clinics

Royal Berkshire Hospital - The phlebotomy outpatients clinic at the RBH is temporarily closed.

If you require a blood test, the following services are available:

Bracknell Healthspace for walk in general blood tests: Monday - Friday 8.00am-3.30pm (except bank holidays)

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust operates an appointment only clinic for blood tests in the Phlebotomy department at the West Berkshire Community Hospital in Thatcham. For appointments please call: 01635 273343.

Alternatively, your local GP surgery may be able to carry out a blood test for you.

Please note: If your child is aged 14 and over and has special needs and requires an appointment for phlebotomy services rather than attending the walk-in service, please call Kempton Ward on 0118 322 7383 to discuss and make an appointment.

Surgery

The following is given to patients attending a surgical operation or procedure:

  • You must have no Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change to smell or taste) for 14 days leading up to the date of your planned procedure.
  • If you are in a higher risk group for Covid-19 disease, we would like you to self-isolate for 14-days.
  • For all other patients, we ask that during the 14 days prior to your procedure you strictly follow social distancing guidance and regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Even if you or your household show no symptoms, you will be tested for Covid-19
    72-48 hours before your admission for your procedure. This will be arranged at your pre-op appointment.
  • We ask that, following your Covid-19 test, you strictly self-isolate in your home up until your procedure.
  • On the day of your procedure, we ask that you attend alone unless you have a specific clinical / social need to be accompanied by a family member or carer. If so, we recommend they must also follow strict social distancing and wash their hands regularly.
  • Hand gel and hand-washing facilities are widely available throughout the hospital and we strongly encourage everyone to use this frequently during your visit.
  • You will also be expected to wear a face covering. We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you, whenever possible. If you do not have one available when you come to hospital, we will provide a (single-use) facemask.

Surgical Assessment Unit (SAU)

The SAU has moved today from the Adult Day Surgery Unit (ADSU) to Trueta Ward and will include the following specialities:

  • General Surgery.
  • Urology
  • ENT

The unit will be open 24 hours per day , 7 days per week and will be managed by Sister Sam Harman and Sister Claire Thatcher.

The phone numbers are 0118 322 7541/7542.

Cancer services

Letters have been sent to all the people using the Berkshire Cancer Centre offering advice on living with cancer during the Coronavirus outbreak. The advice covers carers and support workers visiting people’s homes, planned GP and hospital appointments, looking after mental health wellbeing and support with daily living.

A number of changes have been made at the centre. Chemotherapy is currently being provided for patients at the Bracknell Healthspace. Radiotherapy treatment is continuing at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Cancer outpatient appointments are being carried out virtually where possible, either over the phone or by video link. 

West Berkshire Breast Screening Programme

West Berkshire Breast Screening Programme has now resumed. We will be inviting women who are due appointments soon.

Unfortunately we are currently unable to accept self-referrals.

Urology

Due to the 2 metre rule, the clinic is unable to accommodate the usual numbers of patients.

All information can be found on this leaflet here - please do read before attending hospital for your appointment.

Arrival: Please don't arrive too early for appointments (unfortunately patients who arrive up to 1 hour before their appointment may have to be turned away due to space).

Unless patients require a carer to attend with them, please avoid bringing a family member of friend with you. If someone is bringing you to the appointment, please ask them to to drop you off at clinic and then leave.

Theatre/surgical procedures: as stated above, all patients booked in for an operation must isolate for 14 days along with the rest of their household. When patients are called in for a swab before surgery, they are advised to avoid public transport as this effectively takes them out of the 14 day isolation period.

Appointments: A large number of clinics now take place over the phone or via video conferencing. This information is stated in the letter sent to all patients prior to the appointment. Please do check before attending the hospital and if unsure, please call the clinical administration team (CAT), beforehand.

Fracture Clinic and Plaster Room Service

The Fracture Clinic and Plaster Room Service has moved back to the RBH site in order to resume the usual support service to our patients and partner services such as the Emergency Department and inpatient wards. We are working very hard with informatics and administration to update and amend clinic letters and communication with patients during the transition period.

In order to enforce strict social distancing to continue supporting the Covid-19 response we have restructured clinics and introduced a strict one-way system through the department. We thank staff and patients in advance for adhering to this in advance.

We would also like to thank the team at West Berkshire Hospital for welcoming the Orthopaedic outpatient department for the last two months and supporting us during a difficult time.

The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre

The Macmillan cancer information and support centre at the RBH is continuing to provide a telephone advice and helpline. The number is 0118 322 8700 and is open Mon – Thurs 9am - 4pm and Friday 9am - 2pm (closed Bank Holidays). If callers leave a message these will be picked up and dealt with by staff throughout the day.

The teams are also able to advise on how to access benefits. People can make contact via macmillan.information@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

The national Macmillan support line is also available on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week 9am to 5pm.

The Macmillan Berkshire Buddy Scheme is available on 07894 566606 or email berksreferrals@macmillan.org.uk. The team can provide advice or just someone to talk to and share worries.

Outpatient appointments

Many more of our patients are being offered virtual outpatient clinic appointments to receive healthcare over the phone or via a laptop.

It's safe and we're here for you

Some of our consultants put together some short videos to help support our patients worried about strokes, heart problems, Cancer treatment and kidney and dialysis services.

Find out more here

Emergency Department

As part of our gradual return to normal the hospital’s Emergency Department (A&E) has now switched back to a single site.

From Monday 15 June 2020. If you have an emergency you attend the Emergency Department and enter via ambulance entrance only if you come by ambulance)or main waiting room entrance if you self-present.

If you are thinking about attending A&E due to a minor injury (foot /ankle /wrist arm type injury as examples) but unsure, why not try our new ASK A&E symptom checker first (more information can be found below): https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/ask.htm

Register and answer a few questions about your concern and the symptom checker will signpost you to the most appropriate service for your health care need.

If Ask A&E suggests you attend the Emergency Department (ED) Minor Injury Unit, please report to the unit which is located just inside the main entrance on Craven Road. Please note the Minor Injury Unit is open from 8am to midnight. If you need to attend out of hours, please go to the main ED which is located behind the main hospital entrance.

Patients with serious health issues needing ED treatment can access the department through the main A&E entrance in Craven Road. Social distancing will be in place.

Ask A&E

 

https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/ask

Patients with non urgent health issues can seek help from ‘Ask A&E’ by going on to https://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/ask.htm

This offers a symptom check facility and can signpost you to best healthcare service. Remember too that local pharmacists are experienced healthcare professionals and can advise on a range of medical issues.

Audiology

Appointments:
The department has been working hard throughout COVID-19 to continue to provide services and support your hearing needs. During this ‘recovery phase’ the Audiology Department is currently running a modified service, so that we can support both new and existing patients in a timely manner. The service combines remote and face-to-face consultations as needed. Please be aware that you may have to travel to another location for face-to-face care; not all sites have yet re-opened due to ongoing restrictions.

Please do not visit the Audiology Department in person unless you have been asked to do so by a member of the Audiology Team.   

Hearing aid repairs:
Due to the current climate the drop-in hearing aid repairs clinic has been suspended at all sites. This has been necessary in order to provide a safe service; social distancing could not be guaranteed in a drop-in clinic, meaning it would not be possible to comply with the need for Test and Trace.

If you are experiencing problems with your hearing aid(s) the department is offering a ‘remote first’ repairs service. Many hearing aid issues can be dealt with remotely, without the need for face-to-face attendance. However, if your issue cannot be resolved remotely, safe arrangements can be made for you to be seen in the clinic.

In the first instance you should use the RBH Hearing Aid Repair line: 0118 322 8219/8637 (open Monday-Friday between 9am and 4.30pm) or email the team at audiology.repair@royalberkshire.nhs.uk so that they can assist you. Alternatively, you can post your hearing aid to the address below along with details of the fault, your name, date of birth, and contact details.

Audiology
Royal Berkshire Hospital
London Road
Reading RG1 5AN

Hearing aid batteries:
If your hearing aids have been provided by the department please contact us by emailing audiology.repair@royalberkshire.nhs.uk or calling 0118 322 7238 to request more batteries. Alternatively, you can follow the instructions on the back of your battery card which direct you to post your battery card to the below address along with a self-addressed envelope and two second class stamps:

Audiology
Royal Berkshire Hospital
London Road
Reading RG1 5AN

Maternity

There is now a full choice of birthing options available:

  • Delivery Suite for women in labour. Located on Level 3 of the Maternity block. 
  • Level 4 Maternity (Marsh & Iffley wards) for antenatal and postnatal women, high care obstetrics and transitional care babies. Located on Level 4 of the Maternity block. 
  • Rushey Midwife Led Unit  (Birth centre for low risk births) Located on Level 6 of the Maternity block – now open as of 14 September 2020.  

 

  • Plus:
    Antenatal clinic
     for expectant mothers. Located on Level 2 of the Maternity Block
  • Day Assessment Unit antenatal and some post-natal women requiring investigation and/or monitoring. Located on Level 3 of the Maternity block. 

Expectant mothers will have the opportunity to discussed options suitable and availbale to them with their community midwife

 

Visiting:

  • Reduced visiting as per visiting page (checked and still correct).
  • Partners can now attend hospital and scan appointments
  • Other locations (GP practices and community centres – patients would need to check directly with the venue.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat)

New health hub in Henley’s Townlands Hospital


A new Ear Nose and Throat (ENT), audiology and plastic surgery hub opened this month at Townlands Memorial Hospital, Henley.

Clinics in these specialities have been retained at Newbury, Bracknell and Reading and they will act as satellites to the Henley hub.

The modern facilities we have in place at Townlands brings a number of benefits including the air handling system. Therefore, we have to ensure a 20 minute ‘rest’ period between patients to comply with COVID rules, instead of an hour on the RBH site. So the move to Townlands enables us to see more patients each day.

We recognise that by moving ENT, plastics and audiology to a single hub site may mean longer journeys for some.

We are retaining services at all our sites and are working with local authorities and travel companies to support travel to Henley.

Where possible, we will continue to encourage patients to opt for virtual appointments and check-ups from the convenience of their own homes, without the hassle of journeys, parking, taking time off work and arranging child care.

  • CONTACT DETAILS:

    Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust,
    London Road,
    Reading,
    RG1 5AN
    Email us
    Tel: 0118 322 5111
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