St Pancras Clinical Research COVID-19 Patient Guide

This is our step-by-step patient guide which we update regularly regarding our policies and procedures about COVID-19 and we hope that you will find it useful.

In light of changing restrictions and concerns about public health, we are implementing further measures to ensure the safe management of our patients and studies. As such, please work with us to maintain a clean, safe environment at the clinic for all our patients, staff, and visitors.

We are following closely all the latest guidance and risk assessments issued by the clinical research regulatory authorities, together with UK Government advice about infection control, to ensure best practice. We have also been advised on our policies and practices by Prof. A Tucker (Lead Clinical Scientist and Infection Control Lead at Barts Health NHS Trust). We are monitoring the situation continuously and revising our procedures accordingly, and we will continue to tighten and adapt our practices if we deem this necessary.

Please read the following guidance carefully.

Before Your Visit

COVID-19 Questionnaire

You will be contacted the day before your visit to complete a telephone questionnaire with a trained staff member; this is to help us assess your personal COVID-19 risk and determine whether or not it is safe for you to attend. In any case, if you have recently been in contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 or if you feel at all unwell before your visit (even if you don’t think you have COVID-19), please call us on 0203 865 1142. 

 

Refreshments, Breakfast and Lunch

We cannot provide breakfast or lunch as usual, although some pre-packaged snacks will be available on site, as well as hot and cold drinks – our usual self-service hot drinks are not available; but please ask a member of staff if you would like a hot drink. We are trying to minimise unnecessary visits outside during your visit, so please bring any additional food and drink with you but note that we cannot store or heat up food for you. For studies which would normally provide breakfast/lunch, we can still reimburse you, so please keep hold of any receipts you may have 

 

Travel To and From Your Visit

It is mandatory that all patients and visitors to the clinic adhere to UK Government regulations about the use of face-coverings when travelling on public transport, including trains, buses, and taxis. Drivers have the right to refuse passengers who are not wearing appropriate face-coverings. The taxi and accommodation services we use are Gett black cabs, Rilen Executives Ltd and Premier Inn Hotels – we have assessed these service providers, and we are happy with their COVID-19 safeguarding policies and infection control procedures. We can provide you with these policies upon request.   

 

Study Partners and Companions

If possible, please attend your visit alone to reduce the number of visitors in the building. However, if you normally attend with a friend or family member who has been consented as your formal study partner, they are still encouraged to attend, as they are also considered a study “participant”. If you have questions or concerns about this, please get in touch with us and we will find a solution.  

Arriving at SPCR

Temperature Measurements

We will ask your permission to take your temperature (from your forehead) via a hand-held device as soon as you arrive. We can only continue with your visit if your temperature is in the normal range (below 37.8°C). According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), one of the earliest symptoms of a coronavirus infection is a fever, and temperature checking can help us reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by avoiding keeping anyone on site who has an abnormal temperature. 

 

Hand Washing & Social Distancing

As soon as you enter the building, you will be directed to a hand sanitiser post. There are visual hand washing guides and additional hand sanitiser posts throughout the building please wash and/or sanitise your hands regularly throughout your visit. Please try and maintain a 2m distance between yourself and others whenever possible. Waiting room use and clinic availability has been arranged to ensure that safe social distancing can occur.  

 

 Masks/Face-Coverings

All staff, visitors, patients, and study partners (unless exempt as per government guidelines) are required to wear face-coverings at all times while on site. Please bring a suitable mask, visor, or face-covering to wear during your visit. If you or your study partner find wearing a mask-type face-covering distressing, and do not have a suitable alternative, we can provide a clear visor for you.  Please ask if you need any assistance with this and let us know if you are exempt. 

SCPR Staff Infection Control Policies

Team Management

All staff are minimising their use of public transport where possible and are using alternative methods of transport. As per UK Government guidelines, all staff are adhering to the use of face-coverings while travelling to and from work. We also require all staff to wear face-coverings at all times while on site and maintain social distancing. Visitors to our clinic are restricted to essential workers, and all deliveries undergo disinfection upon arrival. 

 

Cleaning and Disinfection

Due to the nature of the work we do, under normal circumstances we already carry out have high-grade cleaning across the site. In addition to this, staff will be regularly sanitising surfaces and other high-use items in between visits and throughout the day. Our professional cleaning service will continue to attend at the end of each working day to complete a thorough clean of the entire premises with antiviral and disinfectant cleaning agents. 

 

Additional Training

All SPCR staff have had extensive training regarding daily infection control and prevention, and this has always been key to the way we operate even prior to COVID-19. Our staff have received additional training on all aspects of our COVID-19 policy, including advice on increased hand-hygiene measures and minimising ways of transmitting infection 

 

Protective Equipment

We have a designated changing room and an on-site only clinical scrub uniform policy for all clinical staff. Prior to any patient contact, staff will change into new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including disposable apron or gown, gloves, eye protection and clinical facemask, to be disposed of at the end of each visit. For assessment visits (where it may be important for you or your study partner to see the assessor’s mouth or hear them more clearly), staff will be equipped with a clear face visor or a shielding screen. 

Isolation & Feeling Unwell

If you fall ill during your visit, we will ask you to remain in isolation in your consultation room until your taxi arrives to take you safely home. Please speak to staff immediately if you feel at all unwell during your visit. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with your key contact. Thank you for your co-operation.

The SPCR Team