How we are running our services

As a result of COVID-19, we had to close or reduce a number of services to help limit the spread of the virus and prevent the local NHS being overwhelmed. With lockdown restrictions now easing, we have re-opened most of our services but – with the virus still a very real threat to public health – we may have to deliver them in a different way.

In many cases, where possible, we are trying to reduce face-to-face contact and provide support over the telephone or via video calls. If you do need to visit one of our sites for an outpatient appointment, we need you to follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering. For full details, see our ‘visiting sites and inpatient wards’ page. Likewise, if our staff need to see you out in the community, they will take every precaution to keep you safe.

Remember, your NHS is here for you. If you or your family members need care or support, please seek it out. Call NHS 111 or access it online for advice, or contact the service you need direct.

See below for a full list of all our services and how we are running them during the pandemic. Click on the service name you are interested in for more information.

Mental Health Services

Service

Status

 

Access Mental Health Services

 

 

Connections phone line

 

Community Front Rooms

 

The Retreats

 

 

 

Call 0300 123 5440 – 24/7 support.

The Community Front Rooms are available Thursday – Sunday from 3.15-10.45pm for access to support virtually. We are not able to welcome visitors yet, so please do not just drop in. Access the service virtually.

The Retreats in Bournemouth and Dorchester are currently closed for drop-ins. However, they are offering video call support and information webinars, and in some circumstances, face-to-face meetings at the Bournemouth Retreat. Visit the web page or call Connection for more information.

 

 

Armed Forces

Offering video and telephone support, and face-to-face when required.

Community Adult Asperger’s Service

Open for new referrals and offering telephone, video and face-to-face appointments.

 

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Appointments, therapy and regular contact are taking place via video and phone, and face-to-face appointments when required. The Gateway service is now available for support via a number of online platforms, and face-to-face when required. Inpatient services operating as normal.

Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) – adults

 

Offering assessment, appointments and treatment, predominately via telephone and video but seeing patients face-to-face as required.

 

Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) – older people

 

Offering assessment, appointments and treatment, predominately via telephone and video but seeing patients face-to-face as required.

Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Service

Normal service. Alternatives to face-to-face contact will be used where possible.

Dementia services

(day hospital and in-reach)

 

The Intermediate Care Service for Dementia (ICSD) and day hospitals are running as normal. Other dementia services are running in a limited way and telephone support is available.

Early Intervention in Psychosis

Normal service, using telephone and online support where possible.

 

Eating Disorders

Supporting patients in the community via telephone and video calls, with face-to-face appointments where necessary. Inpatient and day programme services are running as usual.

 

ECT

Urgent/high priority needs only.

 

Community Forensic Mental Health

Normal service. Alternatives to face-to-face contact will be used where possible.

 

Home Treatment

Normal service, using telephone and online support where possible.

 

Homeless Health Service

Telephone support available, plus limited outreach work.

 

Inpatient Mental Health

Normal service.

 

Intensive Psychological Therapies (IPTS)

 

Taking new referrals from the Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) and treatment being offered predominately via phone and online, but face-to-face sessions are offered when required.

Community Learning Disabilities

Supporting people via telephone and video calls, with face-to-face appointments where necessary. Usual referral methods remain in place.

 

Memory Assessment Service (MAS)

Offering assessments and treatment via telephone and video calls, where possible, but face-to-face appointments can be arranged.

 

Community Perinatal Mental Health

Offering assessments and treatment via telephone and video calls, where possible, but face-to-face appointments can be arranged.

 

Psychiatric Liaison

Services available as normal at acute hospitals (Bournemouth/Christchurch, Dorchester and Poole).

 

Recovery Beds

Recovery beds are still open, subject to staffing.

 

Recovery Education Centre

Offering group sessions as well as webinars, videos and podcasts. Tailored support is available for those unable to access online.

 

Steps to Wellbeing / IAPT

Normal service.

 

Vocational Services

Open for all referrals. Telephone and online contact where possible but face-to-face appointments are available. IT skills and craft workshops remain closed.

 

Community Services

 

Services

Status

Ambulatory Intravenous (IV)

Normal service.

Audiology services

Video / phone consultations are taking place where appropriate, though face-to-face appointments can be arranged if required. We are offering a postal service to obtain hearing aid batteries and repairs. All walk-in repairs are still currently closed. The team’s on hand to support queries over the phone. If you need help or advice please call 0300 303 8640 or email at dhc.audiologyenquiries@nhs.net

 

 

Blood services (anticoagulation and phlebotomy)

Normal service. Shielded and vulnerable patients are being visited at home.

Cancer – oncology

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalopathy (CFS/ME)

 

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

Community Brain Injury

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

 

Community Neurology Service/Parkinsons/MS

 

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

 

Complex leg ulcer service
 
Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

Community Nursing

Normal service.

 

Community therapy and rehabilitation services

 

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

Dermatology

Providing telephone consultations with a limited number of face-to-face clinics available. The minor op clinics have resumed.

Dietetics – nutrition

Face to face appointments only offered if essential. Virtual appointments available via video or phone call.

 

Dorset Bladder and Bowel Continence Service

Pad provision service running as normal.

No face-to-face clinics or appointments. Providing virtual appointments via video and telephone.

Dorset Pain Service

Virtual appointments/support only, via video or phone call. We are currently unable to offer spinal injections.

 

Dorset Diabetes

 

Virtual appointments only, via video or phone call.

Dorset MSK

Virtual appointments/clinics only, via video or phone call.

 

Ear nose and throat

All face-to-face appointments are currently cancelled, though video / phone consultations can be arranged if appropriate. Our team’s on hand to support your queries. If you need help or advice please contact 01202 443815 (Bournemouth) or 01202 493250 (Poole).

End of life care

Normal service.

 

Endoscopy

All urgent endoscopy is being carried out in Dorset’s acute hospitals (Bournemouth/Christchurch, Dorchester and Poole).

 

Eye services – ophthalmology

Service stopped.

 

Heart failure/cardiac diagnostics (Echo, ECG)

 

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible. Heart failure service – home visits and clinic appointments will be arranged if required.

Intermediate care

Normal service.

 

Leg ulcer service

Normal service.

 

 

Minor Injuries Units

 

An appointment must be booked in advance by calling 111 or 01305 762541. Please do not just turn up.

 

 

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) service

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

 

Obstetrics – Gynaecology

Service stopped.

 

Orthotics

Initial consultations for people with urgent/high priority needs will take place via phone or video call. Appointments will be face-to-face, if required. We are offering a delivery/collection service for orders and repairs across the county.

 

Outpatient services at:

Blandford

Bridport

Swanage

Wimborne

Shaftesbury

Sherborne

Weymouth

 

Our Outpatient clinics are running. Appointments are via video call but a face-to-face appointment will be arranged if required.

 

The NHS e-referral service is open for booking.

Physiotherapy services (outpatients)

Referrals being accepted. Initial consultations will take place via phone or video call. Appointments will be face-to-face, if required.

 

Parkinson's disease Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.
 

Podiatry (foot care)

Urgent/high risk patient appointments are available. New referrals are accepted, with those of the highest foot risk being seen first.  We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible. If you are concerned about your feet or need advice, call 0300 303 8630.

 

Radiology (x-ray and ultrasound)

 

 

Services at Blandford, Bridport, Weymouth, Swanage and Sherborne are available.

Booked appointments only, or urgent appointments arranged via each hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit (Urgent Treatment Centre in Weymouth).

Wimborne and Shaftesbury services will return soon.

Sexual health

Service running via telephone and video calls where possible, with some face-to- face support available. Clinic appointments are available for all urgent cases. On-going online testing and contraception offers can be accessed via SH:24.

Speech and language therapy (SALT)

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible.

 

Stroke support service

Reviews will take place via telephone. Face-to-face appointments are available for priority need.

 

Telehealth

Normal service.

 

Tissue viability (wound management)

Normal service. 

 

Vocational services

Open for all referrals. Telephone and online contact where possible but face-to-face appointments are available. IT skills and craft workshops remain closed.

 

Wheelchair service

Referrals will be progressed based on priority. There may be a delay in being seen or receiving equipment.

 

Children and Young People

Services

Status

Children’s Speech and Language Therapy

 

Service running via telephone and video calls, with some face-to-face support and visits available if required. 

 

Contraception and sexual health

Service running as normal. All patients will receive a telephone call prior to a booked face-to-face appointment. Online STI testing and contraception offers can be accessed via SH:24.

 

Health Visiting and School Nursing

Service running via telephone and video calls where possible. Face-to-face support is available for families with new babies and vulnerable families.

 

Chat Health continues to provide confidential text message support for children and young people aged 11-19.

Children in Care Team

Service running as normal, via telephone and video calls where possible.

 

Newborn Screen Hearing Programme

 

Service running as normal in community clinics.

School Age Immunisation Service

We are visiting schools during September to deliver catch ups for children that missed their HPV vaccination due to COVID-19. Between October and mid-December we will be visiting schools to deliver flu vaccinations to children in Reception to Year 7.

 

We fully understand that some people will be unsettled and concerned by any changes to NHS services. However, these changes are absolutely necessary to ensure we can effectively manage the current outbreak, limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep people safe.

For more information about how Dorset HealthCare is managing the impact of the pandemic, and how you can help stop the spread of the virus, visit our COVID-19 information page.

We thank everyone for their patience and understanding at this challenging time.



COVID-19 (coronavirus)