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.

While Community Front Rooms are currently closed, you can access phone support by calling Connection (above) and face-to-face meetings can be arranged if required.

 

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

Telephone support only.

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)

Accepting new referrals and are prioritising those with the most urgent need. Appointments, therapy and regular contact are taking place via video and phone. Face-to-face appointments are due to return in July.

 

Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) – adults

 

Offering assessment, appointments and treatment, predominately via telephone and video clinics.

 

Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) – older people

 

Offering assessment, appointments and treatment, predominately via telephone and video clinics.

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)

Telephone support only.

Early Intervention in Psychosis

Normal service, using telephone and online support where possible.

 

Eating Disorders

Supporting patients via telephone and video calls, with face-to-face appointments where necessary.

 

ECT

Urgent/high priority needs only.

 

Community Forensic Mental Health

Urgent/high priority appointments only. Using telephone and internet 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 groups.

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)

Starting to offer initial assessments for people at risk of developing dementia. Consultations will take place online or over the telephone, 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 return at acute hospitals (Bournemouth/Christchurch, Dorchester and Poole).

 

Recovery Beds

Recovery beds are still open, subject to staffing.

 

Recovery Education Centre

Face-to-face courses have stopped, but a range of podcasts, videos, and webinars are available.

 

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

No face-to-face appointments or walk-in repair clinics. Video / telephone consultations will take place where appropriate.

We are offering a postal service to obtain hearing aid batteries and repairs.

For help or advice, contact us on 0300 303 8640 or email dhc.audiologyenquirires@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

Telephone consultations only.


Dietetics – nutrition

Virtual appointments only 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 appointments cancelled. If urgent, a video/phone call can be arranged.

For help or advice, please call 01202 443815.


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 will be made where possible.

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

Urgent/high priority need only.


Outpatient services at:

Blandford

Bridport

Swanage

Wimborne

Shaftesbury

Sherborne

Weymouth


Urgent/priority appointments will take place face to face. Otherwise, consultations will be via video or phone call where possible.


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)

Service is running as normal and is open for new referrals. 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 and Sherborne are available.

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

Swanage, 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. We are contacting patients by video or phone call in the first instance.


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 where possible, with some face-to- face support available.


Contraception and sexual healthService 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.

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.

ChatHealth provides confidential text message support for children and young people aged 11-19.

Looked After Children (LAC) Team

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


Newborn Screen Hearing Programme


Service running as normal in clinics and maternity units.

School Age Immunisation Service

We are preparing to immunise children who missed vaccinations due to COVID-19.


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)