6 Communication and minimising risk

6 Communication and minimising risk

6.1 Communicate with patients, potential living donors, their families and carers, and support their mental wellbeing to help alleviate any anxiety they may have about COVID‑19. Signpost to sources of information, support groups (including NHS Volunteer Responders) and government guidance. For example:

6.2 Advise all patients:

  • not to stop or change any medicine unless advised to by their healthcare professional

  • to keep a list of the medicines they take and the conditions they have, to give to healthcare staff if they need treatment for COVID‑19

  • to attend scheduled appointments or for dialysis, even if they are shielding

  • to seek help in an emergency as normal

  • to contact their specialist team promptly if they are unwell.

6.3 Minimise face-to-face contact by:

  • using telephone, video or email consultations whenever possible

  • cutting non-essential face-to-face appointments

  • contacting patients via text message, telephone or email

  • using electronic prescriptions rather than paper

  • using different methods to deliver prescriptions and medicines, for example, pharmacy deliveries, postal services, NHS Volunteer Responders or introducing drive-through pick-up points for medicines.

6.4 If patients or potential living donors need to attend face-to-face appointments, blood tests or other investigations, ask them and their families and carers (as appropriate) to help reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID‑19 by:

  • following relevant parts of government advice on social distancing (this differs across the UK)

  • coming to the appointment alone

  • having only 1 person accompany them if they cannot come alone

  • avoiding public transport if possible.

6.5 Minimise time in the waiting area by:

  • careful scheduling

  • encouraging patients to arrive at the scheduled time (not too early)

  • texting or phoning patients when you are ready to see them, so that they can wait outside, for example, in their car

  • providing a 'clean route' through the hospital or clinic

  • delivering treatment promptly

  • ensuring prescriptions are dispensed rapidly.

6.6 Tell patients and their families and carers (as appropriate) that if they think they have COVID‑19 they should contact the NHS 111 online coronavirus service and seek advice from their hospital specialist team as soon as possible. In an emergency they should call 999.