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Service Changes for COVID-19 – Royal Glamorgan Hospital Emergency Department (ED)

At Royal Glamorgan Hospital Emergency Department (ED) we have recently made some changes which allow us to adhere to social distancing and operate safely, while still managing the challenges posed by COVID-19.

We are currently implementing a series of plans that will allow our ED to return to a more normal pattern of working, providing a 24 hour a day service. As our waiting area is relatively small, we have needed to make some adjustments to ensure social distancing and patient safety.

Process upon arrival at RGH ED

  • Every patient who attends the ED will book in at the reception desk and be asked a number of COVID-19 screening questions.
  • All patients are provided with a mask and asked to take a seat in the waiting room, unless they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, in which case they will be taken straight to a dedicated COVID zone.
  • All patients will be assessed by a triage nurse and, if appropriate, may be asked to wait in their car in the parking bays immediately outside of the ED. This will be decided depending on their individual circumstances and the waiting room capacity, and will not apply to vulnerable patients or paediatric patients identified as vulnerable under the safeguarding children policy.
  • The triage nurse will complete a patient detail form that includes the patient’s contact details and car registration. 
  • Patients will be kept updated about their wait times and will be given a patient information leaflet with the triage nurse’s contact number and a sign to display in their windscreen.
  • Patients will then be called on their mobile phone number to come into the department and be assessed by a clinician. If the patient does not have a mobile phone a member of staff will collect them.

If patients did not arrive by private transport, the department will find an alternative place for them to wait. Patients who arrived on foot, via taxi, etc. will not be expected to wait outside.

Each patient will be clinically triaged, and an assessment of their individual presentation and circumstance will be made, before there is a decision to ask them to wait in their car.  

We have dedicated car parking spaces outside the ED, and those who are asked to wait in their car can stay here until they are discharged. These patients have full access to the facilities within the ED, including the toilets, food and drinks machines.  

We are already receiving positive feedback from patients who have been asked to wait in their cars. This has worked well and maintained patient and staff safety.