Coronavirus guidance

Restrictions remain in place and inside all of our hospitals you still need to wear a mask, wash your hands and follow social distancing. Please see information for visitors > before you plan on visiting.

Visiting restrictions in our hospitals

Vising restrictions remain in place at all of our hospitals to protect our colleagues, visitors and patients. While we understand it’s important for patients to be able to see their family and friends we have to keep safety our top priority. Suspending visiting helps us to prevent the spread of infection.

Visiting will remain limited to only essential visitors on all of our wards and departments. For full details, see our Information for visitors > page.

Coronavirus and changes to our normal services

We have introduced a number of measures to help delay the spread of the virus and maintain essential health services for those that will continue to need them during these unprecedented times.

Face coverings when attending our hospitals

Face coverings when attending our hospitals

University Hospitals of Derby and Burton has put in place comprehensive measures for staff, patients and visitors for the wearing of face masks and face coverings whilst at our hospitals. All patients and visitors should wear a face covering on entrance to the hospitals and throughout the duration of their visit.

The face coverings can be a scarf, homemade face mask or one that has been purchased. The measures are an important part, alongside social distancing, of reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our hospitals and to keep our patients and communities safe.

We have a limited supply of surgical facemasks that will be offered to patients and visitors who arrive without a face covering. Exceptions are allowed on an individual basis for vulnerable people, people with disabilities, children and those with certain medical conditions (e.g. asthma).

Under certain circumstances, for example visiting an inpatient on a ward, you may be asked to change your face covering for a face mask we will provide.

It is important that your clinical care is not compromised so in situations when wearing face covering makes communication too difficult, coverings can be removed with the appropriate social distancing followed. However, for the safety of our staff we would ask that you wear your covering if you are able to.

People with Covid-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it. Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make a face covering can be found on the government website.

Get advice on how to wear and make a face covering (opens in new window) >

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.

Good hand hygiene and maintenance of social distancing continue to be extremely important actions to reduce spread of Covid-19. The measures in place for social distancing and hand hygiene are not changing. These are maintaining a distance of 2m from others when not wearing PPE for the designated area, keeping left, following lift and stair restrictions and practicing good hand hygiene, notable handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Cohort Wards

Cohort wards have been set up in protected locations across Royal Derby Hospital and Queen’s Hospital Burton for patients who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19. These wards are staffed by teams of highly experienced doctors, nurses and other colleagues who are appropriately trained and equipped to provide this care effectively.

Please rest assured that all of our key workers on the wards are being issued with all of the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are strictly following national guidance around infection control, to keep both themselves and our patients safe.

Advice for high risk and vulnerable patients

Advice for cancer patients


Maintaining patient safety is a priority and changes may be necessary as the situation evolves. For example, your specialist teams may encourage phone consultation rather than seeing you in person, to minimise any risk to you.

Protect yourself

Stay up to date with the latest guidance:

If you have symptoms of coronavirus

  • Symptoms include a high temperature, a persistent cough and a loss of taste or smell
  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online tool for advice on what to do. You should also speak to the hospital department responsible for your care:

Bringing relatives to appointments

In order to minimise crowding, we ask you to travel alone to the hospital if you’re able, in line with national social distancing advice.

If you have anyone coming with you when you have your treatment, they should wait outside the hospital. This helps us minimise further risk to you and other patients.

We appreciate this is a difficult time so if you have any concerns, please speak to the nurse in charge on the day of your appointment.

Risk to previous cancer patients

Most people make a full recovery after cancer treatment and their immune system either recovers fully or is not affected. But the type of cancer and the treatment you have had may increase your risk from coronavirus.

If you are taking hormone tablets or injections for cancer, you are at no more risk of contracting coronavirus. You should continue your medication and take the appropriate hand washing and social distancing measures.

Find out more about the risks of coronavirus to cancer patients (opens in new window) >

Advice for carers

If you care for someone with cancer or receiving cancer treatment, you should follow social distancing measures and take extra care to protect them from coronavirus.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus and you live with someone with cancer, you should try to arrange for them to stay with family or friends for 14 days while you self-isolate.

Get guidance for carers concerned about coronavirus (opens in new window) >

Advice if you are pregnant

For information for pregant women see our  Maternity Services during coronavirus >

There is currently no evidence to suggest that coronavirus poses a greater risk if you are pregnant than it does to other healthy people, but the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have welcomed the government’s precautionary approach which aims to:

  • reduce any potential risk to your baby’s growth
  • avoid premature birth if you become unwell

Visit the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website (opens in new window) >

Appointments, scans and labour

You should prepare two support partners, so in the event of a support partner needing to self-isolate, you can ask your second support partner to come with you (as long as they are symptom free).


If you have symptoms of coronavirus, we advise that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk.

However, you should take the following precautions:

  • wash your hands before you touch your baby, your breast pump or any bottles
  • avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while you breastfeed
  • clean your breast pump after every use
  • wear a face mask while you breastfeed, if you have one

Whatever method of feeding, consider asking someone who is well to feed your baby. If you are breastfeeding, you can express your milk so someone else can bottle feed.

Your baby’s movements matter

If you notice that your baby is not moving or the movements have changed or reduced, you still need to call the hospital you are booked to give birth at immediately. Even if you think you may have Covid-19 symptoms you must contact the hospital and we will arrange for you to be seen in an isolation area to check you and your baby are healthy. Do not wait for your next midwife appointment.

Advice if you take immunosuppressive medication

If you develop symptoms of coronavirus, you should call NHS 111 and follow national Coronavirus guidance (opens in new window) >.


You should continue your immunosuppressive medication, including steroids, unless instructed otherwise by your clinician.

If you stop taking your medication, it could cause a flare up of your condition which could increase your risk of complications if you get coronavirus.

It is advisable to avoid using anti-inflammatory medications, like ibuprofen, to treat symptoms of possible coronavirus. If you have been taking these types of medications to treat a long term condition, there is no need to stop them if you remain well.

Intraveneous (IV) treatment

Your immunosuppressive treatment will continue, even if you are practicing social distancing, including:

  • Infliximab
  • Vedolizumab
  • Ustekinumab
  • Tocilizimab
  • Abatacept

If you have viral symptoms, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, please contact NHS 111.

In cases where an infection of any kind is confirmed, it may be necessary to stop your immunosuppressive treatment for a time.

Risk from coronavirus

Current national advice for people at high risk (opens in new window) > considers patients on immunosuppressive therapy at increased risk from coronavirus, and steps should be taken to isolate as much as possible and work from home.

People who live with you should continue to practice good hand hygiene and safe social distancing.

Advice to all patients

Outpatient appointments

Unless we have contacted you to cancel or rearrange your appointment, please attend as planned. Where possible, we may be able to offer you a phone call or digital appointment instead. If this is the case, we will let you know by phone or by post in advance.

You must not attend your appointment if you should be self-isolating because you, or somebody close to you, has, or has had, symptoms.

Advice for patients

  • If you have a new and persistent cough, a fever (37.8 degrees or higher), or lose your sense of smell or taste, self-isolate to protect others and stop the spread.
  • Do not visit your pharmacy, GP surgery or hospital.
  • If your symptoms worsen during home isolation, use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus

  • Do not book an appointment or visit a GP surgery or hospital.
  • Follow specific public health advice and use NHS 111 online if your symptoms worsen.

All other patients

  • Contact your GP surgery if you need medical help.
  • Continue to attend appointments, unless you are contacted directly to advise otherwise, or if you have symptoms that require you to self-isolate.
  • If you are unable to attend an appointment due to self-isolation, you should contact the hospital through usual routes for advice on what to do.
  • If you have not been contacted directly by the team that manages your care to make any other arrangements at this point, you should plan to attend as normal.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you are staying at home. Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How can I protect myself and my family?

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.