Latest Official Information from the Health Board on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Friday 11th September 2020
Requirement for Face Coverings in all Health Board Premises
In the last week, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board has seen a significant rise in positive COVID-19 cases within the community, investigations have indicated that a lack of social distancing in all age groups, in a range of different locations, has contributed to the spread of the virus.
This rise in positive cases in Caerphilly and now Newport shows that Coronavirus has not gone away. It remains the responsibility of everyone to help prevent the transmission of this virus and as a result the Health Board is introducing from Friday 11th of September 2020 the following additional measures to minimise the risk and to protect our staff, patients and our communities:
Face coverings must be worn by everyone in all patient and public facing areas within the Health Board. These will be available at the entrance to our premises, with the provision of hand sanitiser which should be used prior to donning the face covering.
When leaving Health Board premises, please use the hand sanitiser prior to removal of the face covering and place safely into a bin.
Patients will be individually risk assessed and will be advised accordingly.
Patients attending out-patient and other appointments are expected to wear a face covering. Children aged under 11, or those with medical exemptions, will not be required to wear a face covering.
Other infection prevention measures that are key in minimising the risk of transmission are:
Hand decontamination (hand washing/hand sanitiser)
Regular cleaning of frequently touched areas
Socially distancing of a minimum of 2 metres
Stay at home if you have symptoms of COVID-19
Stay at home for 14 days if a member of your household has symptoms or tests positive or if a contact tracer asks you to do so
The Health Board requests everyone to participate in the above measures to protect our patients, Health Board staff and our communities.
'No Visiting' Policy to be Extended to the Whole of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area
In order to protect our patients, public and staff, the Health Board has deemed it essential to endorse a ‘No Visiting’ policy, which is currently in place for the Caerphilly County Borough due to the local lockdown.
However, with positive cases also rising in other areas, this ‘No Visiting’ Policy will now be extended to all our wards and patient areas throughout the Health Board (Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen). The extending of the ‘No Visiting’ arrangements will come into force from 9:00am on Friday 11th September 2020.
We fully recognise the importance of contact between patients, their families and carers, but we must take measures to prevent the spread of this infection.
As a Health Board, we fully appreciate this is incredibly difficult, but please be assured these restrictions will be under constant review, the following exceptions will apply:
Visiting should be permitted for:
Women in labour (a birthing partner, from their household)
A nominated parent or guardian for a child in hospital and for neonates
Someone with a mental health issue, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient/service user distress. This will be assessed by the Ward Sister and visiting options secured in advance.
Patients at end of life care. Permission to visit will be secured in advance (where possible), this will be one visitor at a time for a specified amount as agreed with the Ward Sister.
Thank you for your co-operation and support during these very difficult times.
Thursday 30th July 2020
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Changes to isolation period for Covid-19 - Updated 30th July 2020
From today (30 July) people who have tested positive for coronavirus will have to self-isolate for 10 days instead of 7 days. The 10 day period starts from the day symptoms start, or if asymptomatic from the day a test is taken. As before a test should be arranged within 5 days of symptoms starting. This will also apply to health and social care workers.
This change is based on evidence that there is potential for the virus to be transmitted beyond 7 days after symptoms start.
Anyone who continues to be unwell or suffer from vomiting, breathlessness or fatigue after 7 days of first showing symptoms of coronavirus should contact 111 or their GP.
Those who were self-isolating before Thursday 30 July do not need to continue to day 10, unless they are still experiencing relevant symptoms on day 7.
The 14-day isolation period for contacts of cases remains unchanged. We continue to keep all evidence under review.
The exception to the 10 day rule is for hospital patients and care home residents where a 14 day isolation period applies. This is in line with the current guidance for those admitted or diagnosed in care homes and for those admitted to or diagnosed in hospital who required critical care or are severely immunocompromised. The 14 day isolation rule will now also apply to anyone admitted to or diagnosed in hospital, to make the guidance clearer and more operational.
Summary of position as a result of UK CMOs advice to change isolation period for COVID-19
Self-isolation for general public and key workers
Self-isolation period for people with symptoms (including health care workers and other key workers) – 10 days self-isolation from day of onset of symptoms (and as before a test should be arranged within 5 days of symptoms starting).
Household contacts of people with symptoms should continue to self-isolate for 14 days – if a household contact develops symptoms during this period then they should self-isolate for 10 days from day of onset of symptoms (and as before a test should be arranged within 5 days of symptoms starting).
Self-isolation period for people without symptoms but identified as positive by testing/screening (including health care workers and other key workers) – 10 days from day of positive test. If symptoms develop during this 10 day isolation period then they should self-isolate for 10 days from day of onset of symptoms.
Close contacts of confirmed cases should continue to self-isolate for 14 days – if a close contact of a confirmed case develops symptoms during this period then they should self-isolate for 10 days from day of onset of symptoms (and as before a test should be arranged within 5 days of symptoms starting).
Self-isolation for hospital in-patients and care home residents
Self-isolation period for symptomatic hospitals inpatients or care home residents – 14 days self-isolation from day of onset of symptoms (this remains the same as previous advice)
Self-isolation period for hospital inpatients or care home residents without symptoms but identified as positive by testing/screening – 14 days from day of positive test. If symptoms develop during this isolation period then they should self-isolate for 10 days from day of onset of symptoms.
As is already the case, patients will not be discharged to care homes without a confirmatory negative test.
Please find below a link to the 'Joint statement by the UK Chief Medical Officers - extension of self-isolation period':-
In response to the Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect strategy the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect Service has been set up and is now live in Gwent to carry out contact tracing.
What is contact tracing?
Contact tracing is a tried and tested method of controlling the spread of COVID-19 in the community. People who test positive will be phoned by the service and asked to share details of people they have been in close contact with, for example at home or at work.
Updated Guidance for Covid-19 Testing at Rodney Parade
This is a reminder of how key (critical) workers, their household members and their immediate contacts can be tested for COVID-19 at the testing centre at Rodney Parade in Newport.
Individuals that are symptomatic of COVID-19 should email COVID-19.Testing.Unit.ABB@wales.nhs.uk directly to request a test - they should email on the first day that they experience symptoms. Employers can continue to make a referral on behalf of their employees, especially if it is part of a strategy to get their staff back to work.
The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Employees should always follow their employer’s sickness policy and it is the employee’s responsibility to inform their employer if they become unwell and the outcome of their test. If someone is not experiencing these symptoms but they are not well enough to attend work, they should follow the employer’s sickness policy as they would in normal practice. If an individual requires urgent medical advice, they should contact their GP or call 111. If they are experiencing life threatening symptoms, they should call 999.
All individuals tested at Rodney Parade will receive a text message with their result with a link to follow for advice and guidance.
The testing site is located at Rodney Parade in Newport and all appointments must be pre-arranged using the booking process outlined above. The centre is open from 08:00 until 18:00, seven days a week.
We will continue to keep you updated with new guidance as it becomes available.
Tuesday 28th April 2020
Updated Visiting Restrictions 28 April 2020
This advice is for wards, in-patient areas and excludes areas where patients are receiving intensive care and treatment.
As a Health Board, we fully appreciate this is an incredibly difficult time for many families who have loved ones in hospital, with the ‘No Visiting’ policy introduced in line with the Government’s partial lockdown. It has been essential for us to put measures in place to protect patients, families, staff and the public by reducing the people traffic in our hospitals and minimising risks of cross-contamination.
These restrictions are under constant review locally and nationally and, with immediate effect, the following exceptions now apply. Visiting should be permitted for:
women in labour (a birthing partner, from their household)
a nominated parent or guardian for a child in hospital and for neonates
someone with a mental health issue, a learning disability or autism, where not being present would cause the patient/service user distress. This will be assessed by the Ward Sister and visiting options secured in advance.
patients receiving end of life care. Permission to visit will be secured in advance (where possible), this will be one visitor at a time for a specified amount of time as agreed by the Ward Sister.
We recognise that for the above categorised patients, visiting by family is vitally important, and we have tried to carefully balance this with the risk and spread of infection.
In general Wards, our staff will speak with you about arrangements for visiting at this difficult time and aim to fully support you in maintaining contact with your loved one.
Please note, it is not always possible to predict when someone is in the last days/ hours of their life, but we will do our very best to contact you if we feel this is the case for your loved one.
A discussion with the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse will be held to agree a visiting schedule. A named and well visitor (well = not experiencing any symptoms of Covid–19) will be fully supported in the use of Personal Protective Equipment, where required. The named visitor, who is free of signs or symptoms of Covid-19, will have a discussion with the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse and this will include: Covid-19 screening questions and highlighting the advice from Public Health Wales for high risk groups relating to Social Isolation. If the potential visitor indicates that they are both free from Covid-19 signs and symptoms and, are aware and accept the potential risk associated with visiting, then they should be permitted to visit. This conversation should be documented in the patient records.
Sunday 26th April 2020
Appeal for Unused CDs For Patients on Hospital Wards
Have you used this extra time at home to clear out some cupboards, and found some old CDs that you no longer have a use for? If so, we would be very grateful to receive these and put them to good use for a very worthy cause.
So that our patients can enjoy some mood-boosting musical therapy, we are providing CD players on our Wards, but are in need of some albums to play in them.
If you have any spare CDs that you think our patients might enjoy listening to, we would be so grateful if you could let us know via our Person Centred Care Team inbox: email@example.com
There are a few examples of genres and artists listed below, but Compilation albums such as “Now that’s what I call music” would also be gratefully received.
Thank you all for your continued support and for staying at home!
Tuesday 14th April 2020
New Messaging Service Introduced To Keep Hospital Patients In Contact With Loved Ones
We have introduced a new messaging service to keep Hospital patients in contact with family and friends during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Following the difficult decision made to close all our Hospital Sites to visitors, we have implemented a new ‘Messages from Home’ service.
This service is available for relatives and friends to help keep in contact with their loved ones in hospital who may not have access to communication devices.
The introduction of this new patient messaging service will enable families and friends to communicate well wishes to their loved ones in hospital via a dedicated Email address.
Anyone wishing to send a message to a friend or loved one should email their message, along with the patient’s full name, Ward Number and Hospital Site to: MessagesfromHome.ABB@wales.nhs.uk.
Friday 3rd April 2020
Dr Sarah Aitken, Director of Public Health, gives a further update on the effects of the 'Stay At Home' measures in Gwent:
Thursday 2nd April 2020
Official Health Board Amazon 'Wish List' Now Closed
Please note that due to the astounding generosity of the people of Gwent, our Amazon Wish List for essential patient supplies has now closed.
We are truly humbled by the overwhelming response from the public, and our staff and patients could not be more grateful for the generous donations received so far.
Anyone still wishing to donate can do so via our Official 'Just Giving' page.
Thank you all for your continued support during these very challenging times.
Tuesday 31st March 2020
Temporary Changes To GP Surgeries
All GP surgeries in the Health Board area are ready and prepared to treat patients with suspected and confirmed Coronavirus (Covid-19) and they are following the national community framework to do so.
The care GP surgeries offer during the Coronavirus pandemic will take place in either an isolated area of the surgery, in a temporary clinical assessment centre, or at home.
To prevent the spread of the virus, in some areas, surgeries have collaborated with other Practices to introduce temporary drive-up facilities which will reduce the number of people entering buildings. Marquees outside surgery buildings provide a private area, which will allow patients to stay in their vehicle whilst initial patient observations are undertaken. The surgery teams will then determine whether patients require advice, treatment, a face-to-face appointment, or a referral.
These facilities will not carry out testing for COVID-19. Anyone who has any symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend one of these assessment centres, and should continue to follow the self-isolation guidance from Public Health Wales.
Monday 30th March 2020
Donations Needed For Patients In Our Hospitals
As we’ve had to stop all visiting to our Hospitals to limit the spread of Coronavirus, many of our patients are now running out of toiletries and clean night clothes.
We are very grateful to our communities for all the kind offers of donations, both for essential supplies and monetary donations, for the benefit of our patients and staff during these challenging times.
If you would like to donate, we would be very grateful for the following items (NEW items only please):
*Please note, we are unable to accept any food donations or any other items (including electrical) not included on this list. Please do not take any donations to our Hospitals.
The easiest and best way for you to donate is to use our Amazon ‘Wish List’, as you don’t need to leave your house and items will be delivered directly to us. Please use this link to access the Wish List.
If you are not able to order from Amazon but still wish to donate, please could you contact the Person Centred Care Team on 01495 768677 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org, who can advise where any donations can be dropped off.
Alternatively, if you would like to make a monetary donation to help your local NHS Services then please go to our Just Giving page.
On behalf of our patients and staff, we would like to sincerely thank you!
#StaySafe #StayHome #ProtectTheNHS
Saturday 28th March 2020
The importance of staying at home and slowing the spread of Coronavirus (Covid 19)
This short animation explains exactly why staying at home wherever possible and staying away from others is so important. By slowing the spread of the virus as much as possible, you are allowing Healthcare Services more time to create extra beds to provide essential, life-saving care to those that really need it.
Our priority is to keep you and our Dental Teams safe, so please do not go to your Dental Practice. If you have an Urgent or Emergency Dental problem, please call first.
If you do not have a Dentist, then please call the Dental Helpline on 01633 744387.
Please do not attend your local Dental Practice unless you have a pre-booked urgent appointment.
Thursday 26th March 2020
Important Information regarding the Trauma and Orthopaedic Service during the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to COVID-19, the way we deliver care within the Trauma and Orthopaedic Service is changing.
All elective (non-emergency) appointments and operations have been cancelled, however Emergency Services will continue, albeit with some changes.
All Fracture (Emergency) Clinic Appointments in Nevill Hall Hospital and the Royal Gwent Hospital have been cancelled and relocated to Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, where all Fracture Clinics for the foreseeable future will be facilitated. If you had an existing Fracture Clinic Appointment at either of these sites, you will receive information regarding a new date and time at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.
Trauma (Emergency) Surgery will continue to be facilitated at Nevill Hall Hospital and the Royal Gwent Hospital, with some procedures also being conducted at St Woolos Hospital.
The Trauma and Orthopaedic Consultants are reviewing patients on a case-by-case basis. The booking/scheduling team will make contact with you if a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon considers it clinically necessary for you to be seen.
For any urgent queries, where possible, please contact us on the email addresses below, as telephone lines continue to be extremely busy.
We aim to respond to all emails within 48 hours, however given the current situation, responses to queries may be delayed.
Following the Government’s announcement regarding partial lockdown, it is with regret that we will now have to suspend all hospital visiting on all our sites to protect our patients and reduce the spread of infection.
The only exception is a birth partner for maternity, a nominated parent on restricted visiting for child patients/neonates and discretion for patients at End of Life.
We are increasing Administrative Support on the Wards in an attempt to manage anticipated additional telephone calls, but strongly encourage relatives to phone their loved ones directly and use Social Media where possible.
Patients can access free Wi-Fi to support “Virtual Visiting”.
We recognise this decision may cause concern, but it has been made in the interest of patient safety. We value and need your support during this difficult time.
Temporary Opening of The Grange University Hospital In Response to Coronavirus
The challenges facing our Health Board and the NHS in Wales due to Coronavirus COVID-19 is unprecedented. With the support of Welsh Government and Laing O’Rourke, we are pleased to announce that plans are being put in place to enable the partial and temporary opening of The Grange University Hospital, as part of our planned response. We are hoping that this will provide us with up to an additional 350 beds by the end of April 2020. Work is now underway to commission areas of the hospital to meet the end of April deadline.
Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We are doing everything possible in Wales to increase the capacity of our NHS in these exceptional circumstances. As such, I have approved immediate funding of up to £10m to speed up construction of sections of the Grange, which will provide up to 350 additional beds for use by the end of April 2020”.
Health Board Deputy Chief Executive, Glyn Jones said “We welcome the support from Welsh Government and Laing O’Rourke in enabling us to make earlier use of the new hospital, which will be an important part of our local plans in responding to the Coronavirus outbreak”.
We are absolutely humbled by the number of people across our community who are offering to volunteer in these difficult times. If you would like to volunteer or want to speak to us about volunteering, please complete this application form. If you have already contacted us expressing your interest in volunteering, please could we ask that you complete the Application Form as well.
Thank you very much for your support.
Friday 20th March 2020
No Visiting at Royal Gwent Hospital
In order to protect the public, patients and our staff, the decision has been taken to stop all visiting on all wards at the Royal Gwent Hospital.
The only exceptions are for children who are on our in-patients wards (who will be permitted one parent) and ladies who will be permitted one birthing partner.
Please be assured this is necessary and will be subject to review.
Thank you for your co-operation and support during this unusual and challenging period.
We are actively promoting ‘virtual visiting’ using technology to keep in touch, using our free cloud Wi-Fi.
To keep up to date with the latest information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) please follow Aneurin Bevan University Health Board on social media.
Change to Opening Times of Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Minor Injuries Unit
Due to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it has been necessary for us to revise the opening hours of the Minor Injuries Unit at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr.
With immediate effect, our opening times will be 7am until 7pm, 7 days per week.
Should you or a loved one require overnight treatment for a Minor Injury that cannot wait until the following morning, our Minor Injury Units at the Royal Gwent Hospital and Nevill Hall Hospital will remain open for 24 hours a day.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused, and thank you for your understanding.
Wednesday 18th March 2020
Due to the current situation, we have made the decision to cancel all our Engagement events. The following events will therefore not be taking place until further notice:
Wednesday 25th March – Community Listening Day ASDA Caerphilly (9am – 4pm)
Monday 30th March – Community Listening Day – Morrison’s Abergavenny (9am – 4pm)
Friday 3rd April – Talk Monmouthshire – St Michaels Centre, Abergavenny (9:30am – 11:30am)
Monday 6th April – Community Listening Day – ASDA Pill (9am – 4pm)
Friday 17th April – Community Listening Day – Morrison’s Cwmbran (10am – 4pm)
Thank you for your understanding at this time.
Due to Government advice concerning Social Distancing and other restrictions placed around Covid-19, it has regrettably been necessary to prohibit ALL visitors and other members of the public from using the restaurant facilities at all our Hospital Sites.
This will come into force from Thursday 19th March 2020.
We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
Many people are raising concerns about Covid-19 if they suffer from Asthma.
Watch these short videos to learn how to use your inhaler properly and better manage your respiratory symptoms- improve your inhaler technique in just three minutes!
Sunday 15th March 2020
Due to the operational changes we are making in preparation for caring for patients with COVID-19, from Monday 16th March, we will be closing the Belle Vue entrance at the Royal Gwent Hospital. For patients wanting to access our Maternity Services and B Block, please enter via the Floor 2 Corridor or via the Floor 2 Entrance (Maxillo Facial) at the front of the Hospital.
We are also relocating the Discharge Lounge from ward B3 to ward C4East.
Thank you for your understanding and support.
Saturday 14th March 2020
We are aware that our restaurants at the Royal Gwent and Nevill Hall Hospitals are very popular, particularly on a Sunday.
We are sure that people have started to make alternative arrangements for tomorrow. Although the restaurants will remain open, we would discourage people from coming unless they are visiting patients.
Many thanks for your support, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
In response to the emerging situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the Minister for Health and Social Services' announcement yesterday, the Health Board is urgently working through our plans for Outpatient Appointments and non-urgent Elective Operations. Please be assured that if your appointment or operation is affected, you will be contacted directly by us. We would politely ask that you do not try to make contact with the Health Board to enquire whether or not your appointment, procedure or operation will be going ahead. If there is any change for you, the Health Board will contact you directly.
We are grateful for your ongoing understanding and support at this time.
Friday 13th March 2020
As we continue to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as a Health Board we are urgently reviewing the way we deliver some of our services and you will see some changes over coming days and weeks. We need to ensure that we have the capacity and appropriate facilities to care for people in our communities, who will require care in our hospitals and in community settings.
We will be grateful for your understanding and support as we move through what will be a very difficult time for us all over the coming months. We will keep you up to date as changes take place.