Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust has this week put a series of emergency measures in place to limit the footfall on hospital sites in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
One of the steps to reduce the number of patients on-site is to limit all non-essential visits to the hospital wherever possible. A significant proportion of the daily patient visits at both Darent Valley Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital are for routine Outpatient appointments, so the decision has been taken to move all Outpatient clinics to telephone with effect from Wednesday 18th March.
Patients with a routine Outpatient appointment should not attend either DVH or QMH but will instead receive a phone call from their consultant. Wherever possible, these telephone appointments will be at the same time and date as the original appointment.
Patients booked into clinics have been telephoned and have been sent a reminder text message this this week advising them of this change.
Following the telephone call, if the consultant deems there to be an urgent need for a face-to-face consultation then an appointment on the hospital site will be arranged. Patients should only attend the hospital if they have a confirmed appointment, and will need to show current ID in order to be allowed on-site.
This change only affects routine Outpatient appointments; urgent appointments for any patients visiting Rapid Access Clinics or who have two-week wait cancer referral maybe face-to-face or via the phone.
All non-urgent face-to-face requirements will be monitored and rebooked when appropriate. With the exception of rapid access clinics and 2 weeks wait clinics, we will amend our capacity on the NHS e-Referral System so that we can triage and review all referrals effectively.
Routine diagnostic tests such as heart scans and endoscopies will be limited, with diagnostics prioritised based on clinical necessity. Access to the NHS online booking system for appointments will also be restricted until further notice. The Trust will contact you if there are any changes to your appointment.
Patients are currently only be able to access the hospital site on production of proof of a confirmed appointment and accompanying ID.
We offer Outpatient services for a range of medical and surgical specialties.
Outpatient appointments take place in different departments as well as our main outpatient department across all of our sites. Our main outpatient departments are located:
- Your outpatient appointment is booked by our Appointments Office.
- The Appointments Office can be contacted on 01322 428350
- Once your appointment has been booked, you will be sent a letter advising you of the day, time and clinic location and any special instructions that are necessary to prepare for your appointment.