How we are running our services

While many COVID-19 restrictions are being eased in England, the NHS is taking a more precautionary approach for the time being, to help protect the most vulnerable and manage any potential pressures on our services.

As a result, in line with other healthcare settings across the country, you must continue to wear face coverings when visiting our sites to help minimise the risk of infection. Guidelines around social distancing and the use of hand sanitiser will also remain in place.

This will help to keep all visitors, patients and staff safe. Thank you for your co-operation and continued support of the NHS.

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. 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, wear a face covering and use hand sanitizer provided. 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 0800 652 0190 – 24/7 support.

Our face-to-face drop-ins are back open for The Retreats and Community Front Rooms and we are continuing to offer virtual support.

The Retreat is open for both face-to-face (4.30pm-midnight) and virtual drop-ins (4.30-11.30pm) seven days a week. Community Front Rooms are open Thursday-Sunday from 3.15-10.45pm in Bridport, Wareham, Weymouth and Shaftsbury for face-to-face and virtual drop-ins.

 

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.

Cancer – oncology

Normal service. 

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalopathy (CFS/ME)

 

Normal service. We are contacting patients by video or phone call where possible. Also supporting long-COVID rehabilitation. 

Community Brain Injury

Normal service.

 

Community Neurology Service/Parkinsons/MS

 

Normal service.

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

Community Nursing

Essential visits only.

Community therapy and rehabilitation services

 

We are focusing on supporting  hospital discharges at present. Will resume support  for long-term conditions as soon as possible.

Dermatology

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

Dietetics – nutrition

Normal service.

 

Dorset Bladder and Bowel Continence Service

Normal service.

Dorset Pain Service

Normal service.

Dorset Diabetes

 

Normal service.

Dorset MSK

Normal service.

Ear nose and throat

Urgent, priority cases only.

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. Capacity increased through redeployment of staff. 

 

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. 

 

Outpatient services at:

Blandford

Bridport

Swanage

Wimborne

Shaftesbury

Sherborne

Weymouth

 

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

 

Sherborne, Blandford and Portland remain temporarily closed. Extended hours at Shaftsbury and Wimborne

The NHS e-referral service is open for booking.

Physiotherapy services (outpatients)

Normal service.

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. All services for HIV and LGBTQ+ clients continue to be available.

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, sexual health, genitourinary medicine (GUM) and HIV

Service running via telephone and video calls wherever possible, to help minimise clinic appointments. Online STI testing and contraception offers can be accessed via SH:24. All services provided for young people under 18, for HIV and LGBTQ+ clients continue to be available.

 

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

Due to school closures, this is now being delivered in clinics.

 

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)