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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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Outpatients welcomed at our hospitals - but please attend alone


People attending outpatient appointments or Emergency Departments at Oxford University Hospitals (OUH)- including the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital, Horton General Hospital, and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre - are reminded of the measures in place to keep them safe which include attending alone.

Visitor restrictions for outpatient appointments

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, OUH has restricted the number of visitors. Since June 2020, inpatients have been able to have a very limited number of visitors through a controlled booking system.

Outpatients are required to attend appointments alone, unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as a patient requiring a carer or parent, having learning difficulties, experiencing mental health difficulties, or being unable to communicate.

Recently, people attending outpatient clinics have been bringing other people into the hospital, which is not in line with the current guidance.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, said: "We know and understand that people will often want people with them at hospital appointments.

"However, we have to do everything we can to keep everyone safe during COVID-19, which includes ensuring patients are not accompanied to outpatient appointments unless there are special circumstances."

In some services, people attending outpatient appointments may be asked to wait in their car if the clinic is busy, and will be called on their mobile when they can come in.

Virtual and telephone appointments

OUH has also been offering virtual and telephone appointments for many of our outpatient clinics, meaning patients can receive support and care remotely from their own homes.

People are reminded to check their appointment letter to see if their appointment is virtual, by telephone, or in person before attending to save an unnecessary journey. Some services have reported that patients have still been coming to hospital in error when their appointment is actually a virtual or telephone one.

The majority of our virtual appointments are carried out on the phone, with other methods including video calls on mobiles and tablet devices using a programme called Attend Anywhere, which is very straightforward to use.

If you have any questions about visiting during outpatient appointments, please contact the department you are attending for your appointment.