COVID-19 (coronavirus) FAQs

Updated 23 June 2022

Coronavirus restrictions

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place at the RHN

Chief Executive Paul Allen will write to families every month, and publish a video here the first Friday of every month. It will also appear on the home page.


Family visiting has changed. Visitors no longer need to pre-book visits. Families can visit as often as they want and must check-in via reception.

Daily visits allowed as normal from 12pm – 8pm, maximum number of 2 visitors at a time per patient/resident. Ward managers and Matrons can be contacted via your channel to authorise special visiting arrangements outside the guidance. Children need not be included.

Lateral flow device testing

Visitors no longer need to do a lateral flow device test before they arrive. Visitors must check-in via reception and fill out a Covid-19 questionnaire to declare they are free from symptoms.

If you are feeling unwell on the day of, or before your visit, please do a lateral flow device test and follow this guidance.

Find out more about lateral flow device testing and how you can order kits here.

The isolation period will follow the government guidelines, to last a period of 10 days, with early release after 6 if LFD test is negative for two consecutive days before.

Business visitors

External business visitors are now allowed on site. External visitors do not need to do a lateral flow device test.

Patient/resident facing visitors must do a lateral flow device test before they arrive and upload it to Visitors must bring the text or email confirmation of their result.


All visitors must wash their hands thoroughly on arrival at the RHN, and continue to wash their hands throughout their visit.

Masks and social distancing

Wearing of surgical face masks in clinical areas is still mandatory – these include wards, therapy rooms, clinics, chapel, gyms and LIFTs. Wearing of masks in non-clinical areas is no longer mandatory. However, windows and doors should be opened wherever possible and social distancing to be observed where possible.

Visitors must take a fresh surgical mask at reception and wear them during their visit. If you have a child with you, please could they also wear a mask.

If you are exempt from wearing a mask please speak to a matron or head of service to arrange for a mask exemption while inside the RHN.

How can I help?
We are working with our NHS colleagues to make sure we receive support and advice from healthcare teams in London. aWe will keep you up to date with information as it changes.Please help us by looking after your own health! Reading Paul Allen’s monthly letter, or watching his monthly video as well as through your own ward’s communication channels.
We will let you know if there is anything more you can do to help.

Please do not phone the wards to ask if we have patients in the hospital who are unwell. We will not be able to give you this information.
Staff will maintain patient confidentiality at all times, but please be assured that we are taking every step possible to ensure the safety of all our patients and residents.

Worried about your wellbeing?
Click here for tips from our Clinical Psychology team.
For all questions about your own health, please follow NHS guidance and take advice by contacting NHS 111.
Who is being tested for Coronavirus?

We follow the advice from the UK Health Security Agency regarding the testing of both our patients and staff.

Many of our patients are vulnerable and due to individual underlying health conditions, may have respiratory problems and/or difficulties controlling their body temperature. We know that these are also symptoms of COVID-19.

If a patient has these symptoms, we will carefully assess the situation and test a patient if we feel that there is any possibility the symptoms might be a Coronavirus infection. In many cases, the tests will be negative. In the event of a positive result, we will take swift and appropriate changes to clinical care and treatment.

What does testing involve?

The test involves swabs of the nose and throat. The time taken for results to be available varies but is approximately 24-48 hours.

Whilst waiting for results, the patient will be treated in isolation and ward staff will use masks and gloves when providing care. Isolation will continue if a patient has a positive result, but it is not necessary to continue isolation if the results are negative.

What happens if a patient needs urgent or emergency medical treatment?

There is currently no change in our procedures for managing medical emergencies. Patients and residents who become unwell will be reviewed by a medical team and will be transferred to another hospital if this is necessary.

Can I phone the ward that my relative/friend is on for an update?

You can find the numbers for each ward here. Please call after 10am wherever possible.

We do ask that only one or two people phone the ward with any questions, and then inform other relatives/friends afterwards. This will mean that our staff aren’t being taken away from patient care.

If you are asking about a patient/resident, you will be asked

  • what your relationship is to the patient and their date of birth
  • your full details

Where a patient/resident is unable to give permission, our staff will refer to the usual adult representative. If they are able to give consent, staff will seek permission before giving you information about their condition or treatment.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation.

Will the hospital have enough staff?

We have extensive plans in place to staff our hospital safely, and we are monitoring our staffing numbers very closely. Our staff are really committed to our patients, and we are well supported by non-clinical staff who have received training to support where necessary.

Are agency staff still working?

Yes – we are working very closely with all our supporting agencies who provide temporary staff to the RHN. Medical, nursing and healthcare staff are working in designated zones alongside permanent staff and this will continue.

Does the hospital have enough supplies?

Yes. We have been working to increase our stock levels of important equipment and medicine. We have support from other agencies and the NHS to help us if necessary.


Information on losing your loved ones

Information for families and carers of those who died in hospital – Download .pdf