Keeping you safe

As the world opens up once more we look forward to welcoming you back to St Joseph’s.

As announced by NHS Wales on 21 March, we joined the national response to Covid-19. We were proud to support the NHS in this way. This support is no longer needed and we have returned St Joseph’s back to private practice.

New protective measures

You’ll see changes in the way the hospital works from the moment you arrive at St Joseph’s. Your safety comes first so we have adopted new protective measures to look after you.

From enhanced infection prevention measures to rapid COVID-19 testing for patients awaiting surgery, right down to the way our hospital has been organised, every aspect has been considered to ensure your safety.

At present, no patients have tested positive for COVID-19 at St Joseph’s Hospital.  

As government advice changes, so too will the processes and measures we have put in place change. From higher levels of personal protective equipment to essential screening, we will provide high quality care in the safest possible way.

Preparing for hospital
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Preparing for hospital

The only way we can protect you is by protecting ourselves so there are a few things you can do before you arrive at hospital. These measures are to keep you and others as safe as possible.

Please follow these guidelines when coming to hospital:

Self-isolation - it is necessary for you to self-isolate 14 days prior to surgery. Self-isolation is not necessary for outpatient or diagnostic appointments.

Face masks - we ask that you wear a face mask at key points during your journey through the hospital. Staff will be wearing a face mask, where appropriate, in the hospital. 

Covid-19 symptoms - please do not come to hospital if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 within the last 7 days and still have a high temperature. Following this advice will keep you safe as well as other patients and our colleagues.

Our priority is always to provide safe care. To provide the safest possible care, we are screening patients for COVID-19 prior to surgery. We are doing this because we know recovering from surgery can weaken your immune system. 

Along with our usual pre-operative assessment, part of this screening process requires that you will be tested for COVID-19 (whether you have any symptoms or not). This is a quick and simple procedure.

Once you have had the swab it is very important you take very strict measures to self-isolate until you get the result and your surgery has taken place. This is to ensure that from the time of taking the swab and coming in for your surgery the risk of catching the virus is minimised. During this time you should follow government self-isolation guidance for people who need shielding. 

If your result is returned as negative and there are no other concerns you will be notified and your surgery can go ahead as planned.

If your result is returned as positive and you have COVID-19 unfortunately this means your surgery may have to be delayed. We will discuss the best option for you to ensure you are safe. We appreciate this may be disappointing, but it is in the interest of your safety and ensuring you have a smooth recovery.

If you have any questions during this time please contact our Pre-assessment team who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Staying at St Joseph’s
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Staying at St Joseph’s Hospital

To keep you as safe as possible, we ask that you minimise moving around the hospital. We have controlled access to and routes within the hospital. Please follow the specific instructions you have been given. There is clear signage when you arrive at St Joseph’s hospital.

Maintaining safe distances – please observe the safe distance guidelines when you’re in the hospital. The current stipulated distance is 2m according to public health guidance in Wales. 

Protective screens - Perspex screens have been installed at each reception point to protect you and our staff.

Hand sanitiser – sanitising stations are positioned throughout the hospital.

Face masks - As always our staff are here for your safety. We ask that you wear a face mask at key points during your journey through the hospital. St Joseph’s will provide face masks for patients staying overnight. Staff will be wearing a face mask, where appropriate, in the hospital.

Contact with friends and family - Wifi access has been increased to allow you to keep in touch with loved ones.

Meals – handy wipes are provided with your meal.

Entertainment - we have removed all newspapers and magazines for now however there is a TV screen in some areas of the hospital. All in-patient rooms have TV screens.

More information 


Our hospital is cleaned from top to bottom every 24 hours. Our enhanced cleaning procedures include increased disinfectant and attention to detail. 

Extra time has been allowed between appointments to sanitise key surfaces between every patient from your seat to the equipment we use. This also allows for air changing where appropriate. 

Our enhanced sanitising measures mean you will be asked to thoroughly wash your hands on both entering and leaving the hospital. Hand disinfectant is available at every connection point within the hospital.

For those of you staying overnight with us, you will have your own room and bathroom which will be cleaned every 24 hours. 

So you can relax in the knowledge that the hospital is as safe as possible.

Arriving at hospital

When you arrive for your outpatient appointment please stay in your car and call the designated arrival number: 01633 820370. You will be asked a series of Covid-19 screening questions.

You will then be called in from the car park at the appropriate time. If you do not have access to a mobile telephone we will make separate arrangements.

For an imaging appointment (MRI, CT, Ultrasound or X-ray) please follow the signs to Advanced Diagostics and wash your hands immediately on arrival.

For a pre-assessment appointment please follow the signs to the main reception and wash your hands immediately on arrival.

For a physiotherapy appointment please follow the signs to the Clinical Physiotherapy building and wash your hands immediately on arrival.

Please attend your appointment by yourself, if this is possible. If a friend or relative has driven you to the appointment then they must remain in the car.

We will be screening all patients entering the hospital. 

Face masks 

We ask that you wear a face-covering at key points during your journey through the hospital. St Joseph’s infection control protocols ensure staff wear face masks appropriate for their area and type of work. 

The hospital has been divided into green, amber, and red zones according to the level of contact with your clinician. Staff in green zones and or behind protective screens will not be required to wear a face mask. Staff and patients in amber and red zones will be required to wear a face mask. Again, this is in line with government guidelines to maintain safety for visitors and staff at all times.

Contrary to the advice in England, the Welsh government has not advocated the widespread use of medical masks. However, anyone shielding should wear a medical mask on entering a health or social care facility. 

Guidance from Wales’ Chief Medical Officer advises the use of face coverings where people cannot stay 2m (6ft 6in) apart. It is therefore of utmost importance that you observe social distancing and good hand hygiene practices.

Face coverings can become an infection control issue if not worn properly. Please follow the following guidelines when using a face-covering: 

  • A cloth face covering should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting it on and after taking it off. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times, and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
  • Do not touch the front of the face-covering or the part of the face-covering that has been in contact with your mouth and nose. Once removed, make sure you clean any surfaces the face-covering has touched.
  • You should wash a face-covering regularly. It can go in with other laundry, using your normal detergent.

Protective screens - Perspex screens have been installed at each reception point to protect you and our staff.

Maintaining safe distances – please observe the safe distance markers and instructions within the hospital. The current stipulated distance is 2m according to public health guidance. 

Washing your hands

Our enhanced sanitising measures mean you will be asked to thoroughly wash your hands on both entering and leaving the hospital. Hand disinfectant is available at every connection point within the hospital.

Q&A Section

To protect you and make sure that you are as prepared for your surgery as possible, we need you to follow strict self-isolation guidelines before and after your surgery.

This is to reduce the risk of you catching coronavirus (COVID-19), which can impact on your recovery and, in some cases, cause serious complications.

The guidelines we provide for self-isolation are stricter than standard Government guidance. We will ask you to confirm several times before your surgery that you are following this guide.

If you are not following this guidance we may have to cancel your surgery. Your team will advise you on how long you should follow these instructions.

During your self-isolation period you should:

  • not leave your house
  • not attend any gatherings
  • not have any visitors, except people who give you essential care
  • strictly avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus
  • make arrangements to have your food and medicines delivered to you in your home
  • wash your hands more often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, throat, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces in your home.

If you are living with other people you should minimise the time you spend in shared spaces, keep these areas well ventilated and remain two meters apart wherever possible. If you share a kitchen, aim to cook at separate times and consider eating your food in separate spaces. Where possible you should aim to sleep separately, use different bathrooms and different towels to others. If it is not possible to use a different bathroom it should be cleaned after each use.

You will need to make sure you have one month’s supply of any regular medicines before you start your self-isolation period. You will need to arrange this with the team who normally give you your medicines.

Everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face, and clean frequently-touched surfaces. 

If you need to travel to come to essential hospital appointments during this time, you should travel by a private household car on your own or with someone from your household. You should keep the car well ventilated and should sit as far apart as possible. 

If the rest of your household follows this guidance as well, there is no need for them to take full protective measures. If you or anyone in your household develops symptoms, please let us know.

If you have any questions about this guidance you should go to the section on the Government website about ‘shielding’. 

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