A new 24-hour service for anyone of any age in Kent and Medway in need of mental health crisis support was launched on 1st April 2020.

Support is now available simply by texting the word “Kent” or the word “Medway” to 85258.

This is a 24/7 confidential service and is free for most mobile phone networks. It is designed to be as easy to access as possible with no app or data required, no registration process and no fee.

Every conversation is with a human being and there are three levels of risk management and quality assurance operating across the service.

For further information please visit the Kent County Council website.

The service is provided by the national charity Shout. You can read more about how the service is provided by visiting their website.

All appointments until further notice are cancelled.

You must not attend any hospitals hoping to be seen. If you have an appointment booked we will be sending out further information in the post to you.

Battery Information

Do not attend your GP Surgery or any other Health Centre for Batteries. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Audiology Department at Medway Maritime Hospital. Batteries can also be purchased online or at any Supermarket.

In the meantime we are available by phone and email to discuss any queries you have. 

Telephone: 01634 825041 or e-mail met-tr.audiologymedway@nhs.net

We recognise that this is a difficult and uncertain time for everyone but particularly for patients with a cancer diagnosis and those around them. 

The Cancer Team want to ensure our patients are as well informed as possible to help alleviate some of the anxiety you may be feeling at this time.  Whilst we will endeavour to deal with all individual enquiries as quickly as possible, we hope answers to the most frequently asked questions will prove helpful. To view the FAQ, please click HERE.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is keen to support and enable our patients with their families and carers to stay in touch at this challenging time. In response, the Trust has created two new services which will support and enable patients and families to stay connected with each other as a result of limited hospital visitors.  Read more HERE.

COVID-19 testing

Tests are still available in your area through the national testing programme and we advise you to access the booking portal to book a test if you have developed symptoms. Slots are released when they are available so please keep trying and remember to only to go testing stations if you have a confirmed appointment. A number of postal testing kits are also available. You can access the national testing portal here.

Please note that the local NHS does not have responsibility for the national Covid-19 testing programme. Local NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and similar healthcare settings are not currently providing appointments for routine Covid-19 testing to the general public.

A small number of appointments are being made available for emergency services personnel and some other key worker households. Booking for these appointments is available through their respective organisations. In all other instances, you will not be able to get a test at hospital unless you are already receiving hospital treatment and it is necessary for your care.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 but are not able to get a test within five days of your symptoms developing, remember to protect yourself and your loved ones by staying at home and self-isolating for 10 days, in line with current public health advice. For more information, please see www.kent.gov.uk/protectkent

If you would like to make contact with or raise a complaint about the national testing programme, please contact the Department of Health and Social Care enquiries line on 020 7210 4850 or fill in their online form at https://contactus.dhsc.gov.uk/

If you would like donate anything to the hospital we will greatly accepting donations. Please email dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net.  Thank you for thinking of us.

Please place donate in a plastic bag that is labelled with the date and your name and address so we can thank you for it! (don't worry if items don't fit into a bag though!)

They can be dropped off in the hospital reception (handed to the security guard) or posted to:

Wellbeing Team
Trust HQ, Level 4
Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road
Dartford, DA2 8DA

Please contact dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net to arrange for your handover

Collection: 

If you are unable to drop off your made up garments, please email dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net to arrange collection.

Donations / Amazon Wishlist

We are extremely grateful to all of those who have contacted us. Our Wellbeing Team have compiled a list of items which would be very useful for staff and gratefully received. Here’s our Wellbeing Wishlist: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/wishlist/3O8V9GTARLLT9/ref=bnav_topnav_lists_2 although items do not have to be donated via Amazon, we welcome them via any route! We also welcome co-ordinated food donations as it is important that our staff stay hydrated, feed and take their breaks. (Unfortunately we cannot accept frozen or uncooked food as we are unable to store it and donations should be individually wrapped as opposed to food that needs to be shared).

Please note that in some instances if using Amazon you may need to manually input the delivery address: Wellbeing Team, Darent Valley Hospital, Jade 1, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 8DA.

If you would like any additional information or to talk to the team please email dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net although please be patient for a response as we are very busy. Thank you.

The use of face coverings when coming to Dartford and Gravesham NSH Trust

From Monday 15 June, all visitors and patients coming to the hospital will need to wear face coverings at all times when in the hospital setting to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus to other patients and staff. 

Face coverings are different to face masks in that they can be homemade, made of cloth, and be reusable. People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

What does this mean for me?

Visiting restrictions are still in place and we continue to limit all non-essential visits to the hospital wherever possible. Patients should only attend the hospital if they have a confirmed appointment, and will need to show current ID in order to access the building.

If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff. Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one. 

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival. 

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

Patient and staff safety continues to be our number one priority. We believe these measures for staff and patients will help to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Further guidance will follow as it becomes available.

FAQs

Outpatients and visitors

Why are we asking visitors/patients visiting the site to wear face coverings?

Outpatients or visitors coming to the hospital will need to wear face coverings to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it

You are advised of the need to bring a face covering ahead of coming to hospital for planned and outpatient care.

What does this mean for shielding patients?

For those patients who are currently shielding, and who have been provided with a surgical face mask for their appointments, these should be worn. Where not already provided, patients should wear a face covering.

What about cloth/homemade/donated face masks?

Outpatient and visitor face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade (www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering). All visitors will be expected to comply with two-metre social/physical distancing and the recommended hand hygiene measures.

Does my face covering worn for religious beliefs/cultural practice qualify?

Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

What if an outpatient/visitor is unable to wear a face covering?

For some, wearing of a face covering may be difficult, and therefore all other measures will also be considered. Individual risk assessments will be undertaken where required; for example, patients with mental health and learning disabilities.

The rising numbers of COVID-19 patients in our hospital has resulted in the need to temporarily reintroduce our plus one low acuity beds in some ward bays in the hospital.

What is a plus one low acuity bed?
A plus one low acuity bed is an additional bed added to an existing ward bay. Our bays usually hold six patients and to manage the COVID-19 surge, we have introduced an additional bed in a 1.5 metre space identified within some bays. Therefore, there would be seven patients in a bay.

Doing this allows staff to care for patients within a comfortable ward environment rather than in a corridor or near our busy Emergency Department longer than is necessary.

Plus One Low Acuity Bed Requirements

All identified plus one low acuity bed space should include the following:

  • Call bell and emergency buzzer
  • Night light lamp
  • Privacy and dignity curtains
  • Access to oxygen and suction in case of emergency (portable as required)
  • Individual risk assessment using the assessment criteria set out in section 4.
  • Patient table, chair and locker

Plus One Low Acuity Bed Patient Experience Survey

Please can you take a few minutes to complete the short survey above about your experience of being accommodated in a Plus One Low Acuity bed.

Your answers are confidential and the data collected will be used to improve the service we provide to our patients.

We are currently seeking anyone who can make staff scrubs

Scrubs specification

Fabric:

Making scrubs in the correct type and weight of fabric is important. The requirements are:

  • 100% cotton or up to 50/50 polyester/cotton only
  • Material weight 115gsm
  • Plain, dark colours preferred (patterned material is harder to inspect for staining/damage)
  • If you can’t get plain dark fabric, lighter colours or even patterns will be accepted
  • Must be washable at a minimum of 60 degrees centigrade

Unfortunately we are unable to supply you with the fabric and drawstring tape.

Scrubs kits and support via Facebook: 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/darentscrubbers

This independent community group are co-ordinating patterns, suppliers of fabric and loads of good advice and support.

Fabric quantities:

The table below provides a rough guide on the amount of fabric you will need for each set of scrubs depending on its size. Please check quantities yourself before ordering.

Size

Fabric
(based on standard 115cm width)

Fusible vilene*

Flat cord for the waist band
(or make a cord from left over fabric)

Thread

Small

4.5M

40cm

1.5M finished

1 reel

Medium

4.5M

40cm

1.75M finished

1 reel

Large

5M

40cm

2M finished

1 reel

XL

5M

40cm

2.25M finished

1 reel

2XL

5.5M

40cm

2.5M finished

1 reel

3XL

5.5M

40cm

2.75M finished

1 reel

* Due to the layout requirements 40cm is the minimum amount of interfacing you will need, but please note that 40cm will be sufficient for two sets.

Patterns:

Please make scrubs with a V-neck opening neck with ample space to fit over headwear, ponytails, buns etc. and preferably with cotton tape waist drawstring (elastic goes baggy very quickly in frequent high temperature washing).  Here are a few links to patterns.

Scrubs paper pattern (with instructions) – free to download –

www.sewdifferent.co.uk/scrubs-paper-pattern-not-for-profit

Sizes:

We need scrubs in all sizes:

  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large
  • XLarge
  • XXLarge
  • XXXLarge

Please machine stitch sizes (or write in indelible ink) on the neck and waist bands as clearly as possible. It doesn’t need to be machine embroidered, a couple of rows of a simple running stitch will be sufficient. Please measure garments once made before deciding what size they are.

Washing:

Some fabric needs to be prewashed to prevent shrinkage before making up, please check with your supplier.  Don’t worry about washing made up garments as they will all be washed before use.

How to deliver completed garments:

If anyone would like to donate these to the patients at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH), please place them in a plastic bag that is labelled with the date and your name and address so we can thank you for it!

They can be dropped off in the hospital reception (handed to the security guard) or posted to:

Wellbeing Team
Trust HQ, Level 4
Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road
Dartford, DA2 8DA

Please contact dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net to arrange for your handover

Collection: 

If you are unable to drop off your made up garments, please email dgn-tr.wellbeing@nhs.net to arrange collection.

In light of the current health advice, the Maternity Department have put in several measures including cancelling all forthcoming Parent Education classes. Read more HERE.

Our hospital has had to adapt so that staff can continue to care for patients safely whilst the coronavirus remains a threat to everyone’s health. To gain access to the hospital for scheduled hospital appointments patients MUST bring proof with them, this can be an appointment letter, appointment email, or patient access code. Failure to provide such evidence to security staff on the door will result in access to the hospital being denied.

Unfortunately patients cannot also be accompanied to appointments unless with a carer. If someone is bringing a patient to the hospital, please drop them off outside or wait in the hospital car park until the appointment is finished. The shops, toilets and restaurant within the hospital remain inaccessible for those not attending the hospital for an appointment.

Please remember that face covering must be worn at all times whilst in the hospital unless exempt.

We thank you for your help and cooperation during these unprecedented times.  Read more HERE.

Patients Property

Relatives/friends are able to drop off essential items for their loved ones who are staying in our hospital, between 9.30am and 4.30pm at Darent Valley Hospital’s main entrance. Our main entrances are staffed by security so please inform them you are dropping off patient property as soon as you arrive. They will direct you to our hub where you can drop off the belongings to one of our DGT Doers.

Please make sure you clean/disinfect the items and place them in an easily cleanable bag, labelled with the patient’s name and the ward they are on.

You will be asked to complete a form on arrival which will include the patients details and your details. Both you and the person receiving the items must sign the form. The property and the form will then be delivered to the ward and the receiving staff will be asked to sign the form to confirm receipt.

You may include some of the following items:

  • A change of clothes and underwear
  • Reading glasses, dentures and hearing aids
  • Toothbrush, hairbrush and a small number of other bathroom essentials
  • A small comforting personal item, eg. a photo, book or magazine.

We are unable to accept any perishable items and you will be asked to take them home with you.

Please do not deliver any items of value, please keep these safe at home. The Trust cannot takes responsibility for items that are lost or stolen.

(please click here to print the form before you visit: https://www.dgt.nhs.uk/.../Patient_Property_form_for...)

The hospital restaurant on Level 1 has been closed to members of the public.

If you are self isolating and have a hospital appointment booked during your isolation please do not visit the hospital. Simply contact us to cancel your appointment and will rearrange one for you.

Updated information on self isolation advice from Public Health England can be found HERE.

A range of social distancing restrictions are now in operation at Darent Valley Hospital (DVH). To stop the spread of Coronavirus, for your protection and the safety of others, please follow the social distancing signs in the hospital. They are there to keep everybody as safe as possible at all times.

It is recommended in the A&E (ED) Department that patients come alone if possible. Seating and space safety restrictions mean that the majority of seats are out of use to maintain the 2 metre distance at all times.

The Social Distancing precautions currently include:

  • A one way system in hospital corridors and stairwells - keep LEFT
  • Passenger limits in the lifts
  • Customer distance restrictions in shops
  • Seating restrictions in all areas
  • Perspex safety screens

Your co-operation in keeping each other safer is greatly appreciated.

We would like to thank everyone who have supported us during the COVID-19. To help the hospital cope during the pandemic some surgical services were stopped but we have been working hard to plan and prepare for them to restart. This means that we will start contacting patients on the waiting lists, especially urgent cases about their delayed operations to arrange a date for surgery.

Please do bear with us so we can safely restart surgery by returning to a new normal. Patients, currently awaiting surgery who have a mobile telephone number registered with us, will soon be receiving this message regarding their forthcoming surgery.

Thank you for your patience during this challenging COVID-19 period. You remain on the waiting list for your surgery. We are working hard to return to normal and are commencing a staggered restart for surgical operations. We will contact you when we have a date for your planned surgery so please bear with us.”

However for patients who have already been given a date for their surgery, we are continuing as planned, you do not need to contact us.

COVID-19 Testing

If you are coming to the Trust for an elective procedure, you will be contacted by our team to arrange a COVID-19 test at the hospital around 72 hours before your admission date.  If you are contacted, the test must be completed before you can be admitted to hospital.

If one of your relatives is currently an inpatient, we would like to kindly remind you that we are taking one point of contact and we ask for them to contact the ward directly - limited to once a day. We will still maintain patients' confidentiality and information will be limited. If they're able, we encourage you to contact the patients directly. The ward will contact you if your relative's condition changes, as usual.

We are taking all the necessary steps to protect our patients and staff in preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are therefore suspending ALL non-essential visiting to our wards and departments until further notice. More details HERE.