Covid Information

Information for IBD patients and visitors relating to Covid-19

Please consult the Government website for current Covid 19 guidance

Am I at greater risk of Coronavirus because of my condition?
Details of how best to assess your risk and the actions required are summarised at'smyrisk 

I have received a shielding letter. Why was this sent to me?
Patients have been identified from a number of sources as being at risk of severe illness if they caught COVID-19.
If you have not received a letter but think you may be at high risk please complete this COVID-19 UK IBD self-assessment tool and contact us if you require a shielding letter.

Do I need to attend the hospital for my out-patient appointment?

Due to COVID-19, we need to protect our patients and staff by ensuring patients only come to hospital if absolutely necessary. At present, we are carrying out most of our out-patient clinics by telephone. These will usually be scheduled by a member of the clerical team who will contact you to confirm a time and telephone number for the call.

You would still need to attend for any out-patient treatments, such as infusions (see below)

I am having my appointment over the phone. How will the tests that I need be carried out?

Blood tests are being taken at:

  • Phlebotomy, C Floor Royal Hallamshire Hospital
  • Phlebotomy, Medical Outpatients Northern General Hospital
  • FlyDSA Arena Drive-Through Phlebotomy Service

Poo samples can also be returned to any of the above departments.

Specialist testing such as X-rays, scans, and endoscopy (gastroscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy) has previously been restricted to emergency and urgent situations.  This is continually being reviewed and therefore the service offered by each area will be subject to frequent change throughout Covid-19. 

Should specialist testing be required, these would be carried out at the hospital.  We will therefore discuss the potential advantages and risks with you.

Will my treatment go ahead as planned?

All infusions are going ahead as planned with precautions for staff and patients in place. Attendance would also be necessary for treatments such as intravenous iron and to start some other treatments, for example those given by sub-cutaneous injection. We feel that attending for these treatments is an important part of keeping you well through the current crisis and recommend that they continue if possible. If you have concerns about this, please discuss with the IBD Nurse Advice Line on 0114 2712209.

What happens if I need surgery?

Precautions are in place to maximise the safety of an admission for surgery. If you have concerns about planned surgery, please discuss those with us. We will try to help you understand the balance of risks and benefits for going ahead with – or delaying –surgery, in your individual situation. This may not be an easy balance to strike.

Can relatives or friends come to my hospital appointment with me?

To reduce the number of people attending our hospital at this time, carers or relatives should not accompany patients. If you have any questions about this please phone the department you will be attending. We would recommend that anyone that attends does not enter the hospital building.

What should I do if the person who usually provides transport for me to attend the hospital is self-isolating?

You and your family should follow government guidelines with regards to social isolation. If the person who usually provides transport for you is self-isolating because they have come into contact with someone who is unwell with COVID 19 or with someone who has symptoms that are suggestive of COVID 19, they should not provide your transport. Please contact the department that you will be attending.

Someone in my family has symptoms, should I still come to hospital for my appointment / treatment?

You and your family should follow government guidelines with regards to social isolation. If your appointment is due whilst you are self-isolating due to COVID 19 symptoms please contact the department that you would be attending for advice.

Can I have visitors whilst I am in hospital?

We are being very careful about opening up visiting because we want to protect patients and visitors whilst the virus is still in our communities. However we know how difficult it is not being able to visit and the benefits it brings to patients and loved ones.

So from 3rd August the majority of patients will be allowed one nominated visitor to visit each day for up to an hour. Due to infection control precautions some patients or areas will not be able to have visitors and those patients will be informed of this.

In summary nominated visitors will need to follow the guidance below:

  • Notify the ward that they are the nominated visitor before they visit for the first time.
  • Be the only visitor unless there are exceptional circumstances agreed with the ward in advance. For example if a patient is receiving end of life care, has a carer, is giving birth, is in critical care or in the neonatal unit. Covid-19 positive patients who are receiving end of life care will also continue to be allowed visits.
  • Must wear a face covering at all times and wash their hands on entry and exit to the ward/unit. Must follow the signage about social distancing.
  • Must not have Covid-19 symptoms (symptoms of a high temperature, loss of taste and/or smell, a cough and new shortness of breath).
  • Should not visit if they are in self-isolation (e.g. after being in contact with a Covid-19 positive person, being contacted by Track and Trace or after visiting a country identified as requiring 14 days quarantine as per national guidance).
  • Visiting is not advised if they are ‘shielding’, but they may discuss this with the nurse in charge over the phone.
  • Should not congregate in communal areas.

I have symptoms of COVID-19 what should I do?

If you develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 and are taking immunosuppressant or biologic medication (including azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, vedolizumab, ustekinumab, tofacitinib) we would advise stopping this medication and contacting us via the advice line.

All patients should follow government guidelines with regards to social isolation.

Further information is available via these links:

How do I contact the relevant department?

IBD Nurse Telephone Advice Line: (0114) 271 2209
Online Form:  for non-urgent enquiries complete this online form

This answer sheet did not answer my query. How do I get further information?

If these FAQs do not provide you with the answer you need please contact us on (0114) 271 2209 or submit an online form for non-urgent enquiries
Further information is available from Crohn’s and Colitis UK on