How we are running our services

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.

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 we may have to deliver them in a different way. For instance, a service may use virtual or telephone consultations alongside or instead of physical service where appropriate.

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, please follow social distancing guidelines, wear a face covering and use the hand sanitiser provided. If your clinician needs to undertake a physical assessment, you will be provided with a special fluid-resistant surgical mask to wear. 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.

Please continue to wear face masks on all NHS sites to help keep you, our patients and our staff safe.

Mental health services

Our mental health services are now operating with a blended approach of face-to-face, virtual consultations and over the phone appointments. This is in place as our services emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To find out more information including opening days and times, locations and contact details of the service you require, please visit our Mental health and learning disabilities page

Community Services





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



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


Normal service with potential for longer waiting times.


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.



Victoria Hospital (Wimborne) ios providing services as per normal. 


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


Eye services – ophthalmology

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

If you require urgent care, please call 111 or go online for an assessment. This help us to provide the right support/treatment as quickly as possible, and could save you an unnecessary journey.

If you turn up unannounced at a MIU, you will be assessed but could be directed elsewhere or given an appointment later that day or the next.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) service

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



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:









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)

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.



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



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)