Update on Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT) services

An update on RBFT services at 9 April 2020
Primary Care Hubs

In light of the pressure coronavirus is placing on our local health care system two Primary Care Hubs have been opened for local people with coronavirus symptoms who require clinical assessment in the community. One is at the Walk in Centre in Reading’s Broad Street Mall and the second in a specially adapted space at Newbury Racecourse east entrance. Read more here.

GP services over Easter

GPs across Berkshire West will be open this Good Friday and Easter Monday as the NHS steps up its work around the coronavirus outbreak. The majority of the 47 practices in the area will be operating as usual giving patients telephone access to medical care and advice. They will also be co-ordinating care with neighbouring surgeries to make sure people in their areas are looked after. Read more here.

Changes to Minor Injury Service

The Royal Berkshire Hospital is no longer running a Minor Injury Service through the Emergency Department (A&E), as the hospital is focusing on managing the coronavirus outbreak. Patients requiring a minor injury service will need to visit one of these sites:

  • West Berkshire Community Hospital, Newbury. Please note the change in opening times to 10am – 6.30pm with immediate effect.
  • Bracknell Healthspace, Bracknell. Opening Hours 08:00-20:00.
  • Townlands Community Hospital, Henley. Opening Hours 10:00-18:30.
Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RBFT)
  • Trust visiting is suspended until further notice. The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are: the patient you wish to visit is receiving end-of-life care; you are the birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour; you are a parent or appropriate adult visiting your child.
  • The hospital layout has been revised to establish separate zones to deal with the differing needs of patients and keep everyone safe.
  • Intensive Care Beds: to increase capacity to deal with Covid-19 patients, intensive care beds have been increased from 14 to 34 beds, with plans to go to 56.
  • Outpatient clinics: many more people are being offered virtual outpatient clinic appointments to receive healthcare over the phone or via a laptop.
  • Elective surgery has been suspended to free up time for key staff to be retrained in other more urgent areas of work. Other, urgent surgery, is being moved to local private sector hospitals
Berkshire Cancer Centre
  • Letters have been sent to all the people using the 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. As of this week (w/c 6 April) chemotherapy is now 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 video link.
  • The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at the RBH are 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.
RBFT volunteers

The latest information for volunteers is available on the RBFT website. Their current priority is to get clinically trained personnel cleared to work and onto the wards where they can start helping. If you think you are in this category then please contact us at Covid.Deployment&Volunteering@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

Mental Health Services

Most organisations are continuing to offer mental health services and support online and over the phone. Please check their websites for the local information. Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BHFT) has updated their website with the latest information about their mental health services, including Talking Therapies, Common Point of Entry and Mental Health Crisis Team and the Community Mental Health Team.

  • AnDY Clinic Offer assessments and treatment for children and young people experiencing anxiety disorders and depression.
  • Emotional Health Academy early intervention emotional health service for West Berkshire children and young people.
  • Time 2 Talk in West Berkshire, an independent charity providing FREE confidential counselling services to young people in need, aged 11 to 25.
  • ARC Youth Counselling in Wokingham – offers a confidential counselling service.
  • No5 Young People in Reading. Confidential counselling and support to children and young people aged 11-25.
  • Brighter Futures for Children, Reading, offer emotional health advice, assessment and interventions.
  • Autism Berkshire offer pre- and post-assessment support.
  • Parenting Special Children offer pre-and post-assessment support.
NHS dentists

During the Covid-19 pandemic all routine NHS and private dentistry has stopped. Patients who have scheduled appointments in the coming weeks are being contacted by their dental practice. The NHS is continuing to provide urgent and emergency dental care. This will be available to both NHS and private patients.

  • If patients have a dental emergency they should call the dental practice they normally attend during their opening hours for further advice.
  • If they do not have a regular NHS dentist they can search for a local dentist on the NHS website and call them. In the evening and at weekends patients can contact NHS 111 who will provide advice and direct patients to an out of hours service if necessary.
  • When patients call a practice, a member of the team will carry out a telephone assessment with to assess their dental needs. They will be able to offer advice or prescribe medication to relieve any pain or to treat an infection.
  • NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local dental networks to set up Urgent Dental Care hubs to provide urgent treatment when it is required.
  • The first Urgent Dental hub will open in Hampshire on 14 April with the others to be opened imminently. These services are not bound by geography.

Over Easter, the majority of pharmacies will be open from 2pm -5pm on both Good Friday (10 April) and Easter Monday (13 April), with some opening their normal hours. People are being urged not to stockpile medication during the coronavirus outbreak:

  • They should only buy and order the medicines and supplies that they need. Over-ordering prescriptions or stockpiling medicines is unnecessary and could disrupt the normal supply chain.
  • Social distancing should be observed in stores. Many pharmacies are only allowing a small number of people in at a time to ensure safe distances are observed.
  • Please follow government guidance on self-isolation and avoid visiting pharmacies if you have coronavirus symptoms. Ask someone else to collect essential medicines wherever possible.
  • There is no need to do anything different regarding your usual medicines. People should just order their prescriptions and take any medications as normal.
Video to raise awareness of hidden abuse or neglect

This short video, featuring Liz Stead, Head of Safeguarding Children at Berkshire West CCG has been made to help support people and families facing domestic abuse, neglect and violence during the coronavirus lockdown. Please share to raise awareness. Further information is available here.