Frequently asked questions about coming to Outpatients during COVID-19
Coming to an appointment
Please do attend your booked appointment if you are able to – we are working hard at Sheffield Children’s to make sure it is safe for everyone to attend.
Please wear a face covering and keep 2 metres apart from others.
Sheffield Children’s staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a face mask, gloves and apron which means they are able to work closely with you.
COVID symptoms and self-isolation
We ask that patients don’t attend a face to face appointment at Sheffield Children’s if the patient, or a member of your household, has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19 (whether this is a lateral flow or a PCR test). Please ring the appointment line and rearrange the appointment for another time.
If anyone in the household has been a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that they don’t attend Sheffield Children’s. Other people in the household may still come to the appointment (as long as they aren’t a contact).
For example, if the sibling of a patient at Sheffield Children’s needs to isolate after a school-class bubble has been told to stay at home, the patient and a parent can still attend the appointment as long as no one has symptoms or has been told to self-isolate.
If the patient or household is self-isolating, a non-face-to-face appointment may be arranged as an alternative to face-to-face if that is appropriate.
How will you be keeping my child safe from COVID-19?
Nothing is more important to us than the safety of your child and we have made extensive changes to the way we work to keep everyone who comes to us as safe as possible.
This includes additional cleaning, social distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We are also limiting the number of visitors, and any staff who are unwell remain home until they have been confirmed not to have COVID-19.
A very small number of patients with COVID-19 infection have been treated at Sheffield Children’s. They are cared for in a separate ward area within the hospital and any procedures are carried out in a dedicated theatre.
Can I bring my other children?
No, siblings should not be brought along to appointments. To minimise the risk of infection, and to support social distancing, unfortunately we need to limit the number of people on the hospital site.
We understand there may be occasions for some people where they truly have no alternative, but most people are expected to make other childcare arrangements.
Should I wear a mask and gloves?
We ask that any patient and accompanying adult wear a face covering when entering any site of Sheffield Children’s.
There are some exceptions:
Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3.
Exceptions can be made for those visitors or patients with respiratory conditions, sensory needs and people who may find it difficult to manage them correctly.
If you wear gloves to travel to the hospital, please take them off on arrival and wash your hands.
Can I arrive early?
At present, we are asking that families arrive 15 minutes before their appointments. We understand some people have long journeys and may want to arrive early, but ask that you do everything you can to avoid coming into the building earlier than you need to.
This is to help us keep the number of visitors as low as possible at any one time. To facilitate this, some of our normal waiting areas are closed.
Will I be seen in the same place?
There may be changes to your appointment. For example, we might ask you to attend a different location to normal. Even if you are seen in the same location, it is likely to look a bit different. Your appointment may be in a different room and we may ask you to sit in a different place.
We’ll have lots of signs to help you understand what to do and where to go.
Will I be asked questions when I arrive?
Yes, it is likely that you will be stopped on arrival and asked the purpose of your visit. This is to minimise the number of visitors to the building.
Anyone who doesn’t need to be inside the building for an appointment (in other words anyone other than the patient and one parent/carer) will be asked to wait outside. Siblings will only be allowed to attend in exceptional circumstances.
Please understand that our colleagues are only asking these questions to protect the children and families coming to visit to us.
Why can’t I just have a video or phone appointment?
Many of our appointments are carried out by video or phone, and we aim to do that wherever possible. However there are still times where a face-to-face appointment is more suitable – for example so the clinician can carry out an examination of the child, to allow weighing and measuring, or for us to take blood samples.
Will I be seen by the same people?
While staff might look different in their PPE, it’s the same friendly team offering the same great care.
What PPE will staff be wearing?
The PPE our staff wear varies depending on the work they are doing. You can see more about the types of PPE we wear here.
We have COVID-19 symptoms. What should we do?
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, make sure you follow the NHS COVID-19 guidance. If you already have an appointment booked with us, please do not attend the hospital site. Please call us and let us know on 0114 305 3691 and we will arrange an appointment for another time.
Our new Outpatients Department opened in November 2016. It forms part of the bright and airy main entrance atrium and was the first section of the hospital extension to open to patients.
The department was designed and built in consultation with patients and families and features:
spacious waiting areas
large, bright consulting rooms
self-service check-in screens
electronic call screens to call you to your appointment
dedicated outpatient X-ray room
Getting to the Outpatients Department
The Outpatients Department is accessed from the new main entrance on Clarkson Street.
Please aim to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time so we can measure your child’s height and weight.
Arriving for your appointment
When you get into the atrium you’ll see check-in screens on the wall to the left of the central reception desk, next to the lifts. You can use these to let us know that you’ve arrived for your appointment. If you’d prefer to speak to a member of staff, just go to the reception desk and someone will be able to help.
Once you’re checked in you can take a seat in one of the waiting areas.
Keep an eye on the call screens – these will display your child’s name and will tell you which room you need to go to. If there is a reason why you don’t want your child’s name appear on the screens just speak to a member of reception staff when you arrive and they will make alternative arrangements.
If you’d prefer to wait in a quiet room/area, please contact PALS or the Outpatients Department prior to your visit so we can make arrangements for you.
The Outpatients Department has an orange area and a blue area which contain all the consulting rooms and other rooms used for blood tests, skin prick tests and weighing and measuring patients. There’s also an X-ray room and a plaster room. You may visit more than one of these rooms depending on the reason for your appointment.
There are some smaller waiting areas outside the clinic rooms where you may be asked to wait between tests. These have their own call screens so look out for the notification when we are ready to see you.
Patients over the age of 14 are given the opportunity to be seen alone for part of their appointment and family members are welcome to wait in these smaller waiting areas during this time.
Each area has a staff base and clerks are stationed near the clinic rooms. If you need pointing in the right direction any of our staff will be happy to help.
There are plenty of toilets around the Outpatients Department including some with baby changing facilities and hoists. We also have a dedicated breastfeeding room. Look out for the signs or ask a member of staff for directions.
Costa Coffee will be closed until 5 November. We also have WHSmith and our Parkside Restaurant for food and drink provisions at the hospital.
We have a portable buzzer system which allows you to go for a walk or get a coffee if your appointment is delayed. Just ask for a buzzer at any time so we can let you know when we’re ready for you.
Toys and games are available to help keep younger children occupied and there is an entertainment room with games consoles for over 12s.
Access to the rest of the hospital
You can access the rest of the hospital from the main entrance. Signs will point you in the right direction.
Changed your phone number?
If you change your phone number, call 0114 305 3691 to let us know, otherwise we won’t be able to let you know about upcoming appointments, or provide access to telephone/video appointments.