Information on COVID-19 (also known as coronavirus)
Posted on Thursday 4th February 2021
Update February 2020: If you have recently received a letter from the NHS saying that your child needs to shield, please note that we are not currently advising that children families need to start shielding. Unless you have been informed directly by your child’s consultant that shielding is necessary, please continue follow standard lockdown guidance as set out by the government
Planned appointments and procedures
At this time, we may need to postpone non-urgent appointments or procedures. If your child’s appointment is postponed, you will be contacted in advance by the team caring for your child. Please understand that this will only happen if completely necessary. If your child has an appointment, please read the letter (and text) carefully, and attend as normal unless you hear otherwise.
We are not currently experiencing a high demand for emergency care for children but we are very much supporting Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals’ response to caring for adults with COVID-19 by moving staff from across Evelina London to help.
Changes to Government COVID-19 restrictions do not affect medical appointments or procedures. If your child has been invited for a face-to-face appointment or procedure, and it has not been postponed, it’s important you still come.
Find out about the extra steps we are taking to keep you safe. For example, only one parent or carer can attend. No other family or friends can visit.
We are here for you and your family
We have put all of our information together on this page about COVID-19. You can also speak to the doctor or nurse caring for your child.
For the latest government guidance related to COVID-19 please visit GOV.UK and for the latest NHS guidance please visit NHS 111.
Our emergency department is always open
Our emergency department (A&E) at St Thomas’ Hospital is open as usual.
If you are in need of urgent care, please attend.
If you have an emergency, call 999.
During the current situation, it can be confusing to know what to do, but it is important that you seek help when you need it. Read our guidance (PDF 163Kb) on when you should attend our emergency department.
Planned appointments and admissions
A number of our appointments are now being offered virtually rather than face-to-face. If this is the case, a telephone or video call has been arranged by your clinical team. Please make sure you check your appointment letter and text to avoid a wasted journey.
Face-to-to face appointments
If you and your child have been invited to come in for a face-to-face appointment at our hospital or one of our community sites, we are taking some extra steps at this time to make sure you and our staff are safe. We want you to come to the appointment and would like to reassure you that we are doing all we can to minimise any risk. We have also created a page for children and young people about what to expect when you arrive for your appointment.
Getting in touch
If you need to get in touch with the team caring for your child, this will be via the usual routes unless you hear otherwise. You can find contact details for our services on our website. You can also call us about appointments on 020 7188 4000 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 7pm) and admissions on 020 7188 9098 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Our teams are dealing with an increased amount of contacts at this time but they will do their best to get back to you as soon as possible.
Visiting our hospital and community centres
See our visitor policy explaining our current visitor restrictions and steps you can take to prevent the spread of infection.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been told to isolate
Please do not visit our sites or come for a planned, face-to-face appointment if you, your child or anyone in your household have one of the symptoms of COVID-19. However, our emergency department is always open if your child needs urgent medical help because of the symptoms.
The main symptoms are:
- high temperature
- new, continuous cough
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
If you have any one of these symptoms, current NHS advice is to stay at home (self-isolate) – do not leave your home or have visitors. Read more about what to do: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Please also do not come if you have been told to isolate due to travel or contact with other people who have tested positive for COVID-19. If this does happen please let our team know so your appointment can be offered to another family and we can reschedule your appointment to another time.
The safety of our families and staff is our top priority. Find out about the extra steps we are taking at this time to make sure you and our staff are safe.
Some of our services have special arrangements at this time. Please visit the following website pages to find out more:
Preparing for surgery
Please be aware that there are currently special arrangements for surgery to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you have any questions, please speak to your surgical team.
COVID-19 vaccine – children under 16 will not currently be vaccinated
There is currently not enough evidence on the safety and impact of the COVID-19 vaccine on children aged under 16. This means that only a very specific group of a small number of children under 16, who are at a very high risk of exposure to COVID-19 and serious illness from the virus, can be offered the vaccination in discussion with their doctors. This is the advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the Government on which groups of people should be prioritised for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Young people aged 16 and over with specific clinical vulnerabilities will be offered the vaccine in line with the Government’s priority groups.
If your child is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine the NHS will let you know when it's their turn to have the vaccine.
The NHS will never ask you to register for the vaccine, share bank details or other documents to confirm your identity, or pay for a vaccine. Find outhow you will be contacted about a COVID-19 vaccination.
Treating patients with COVID-19
Our Trust is continuing to treat patients with COVID-19 at this time. Our experienced team is well prepared for this. All patients with known or suspected COVID-19 are being treated as per Public Health England instructions on isolation and infection prevention and control.
Children and young people can get COVID-19, but this is generally a mild disease. Find out more about COVID-19 in children on the NHS website.
We know you may be concerned about a rare COVID-19 related condition in children, called Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (called PIMS-TS or PIMS for short).
This condition has only been seen in a very small number of children and is treatable with early detection. Concerned parents or carers should seek medical help if their child becomes ill by:
- contacting NHS 111 or your family doctor for urgent advice
- dialling 999 in an emergency
If a professional tells you to go to hospital, please follow their advice, and remember that our emergency department is always open for those who need it. Please read our guidance (PDF 163Kb) with further advice on attending our emergency department.
More information and support
All the latest information can be found at the NHS website and the official UK Government website. This includes information about the virus and what to do if you develop symptoms.
Read tips for families from our Evelina London sleep team.
Read ‘Coronavirus, a book for children’(PDF), a children's book created with help from Dr Sarah Carman, a clinical psychologist working in neurosciences at Evelina London. It has been published by Nosy Crow and is illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Information for children is available on the BBC Newsround website, including specific advice if children are feeling upset by the news.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) have provided advice for parents and carers to support with children feeling stressed by the coronavirus situation (PDF).
Further information about the services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ is available on the Guy’s and St Thomas’ website.
You will find the latest information on avoiding catching or spreading COVID-19 on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.