2 Patients not known to have COVID-19

2 Patients not known to have COVID-19

2.1 If patients have to attend the rheumatology department, ask them to come without a family member or carer if they can, to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the infection. Encourage them to use their own transport, and to travel alone to the department whenever possible. Ask that children are accompanied by only 1 parent or carer.

2.2 Minimise a patient's possible exposure to infection while at the hospital by:

  • encouraging them not to arrive early

  • texting them when staff are ready to see them, so that they can wait outside the building, for example, in their car

  • providing a 'clean route' through the hospital to the department

  • reducing, and ideally eliminating, the time patients spend in waiting areas through careful scheduling

  • delivering treatment promptly

  • ensuring prescriptions are dispensed rapidly.