Support to meet physical distancing and safety requirements

Below are the change ideas that can be made to your system that should improve how patients and their carers apply FACTS. The change ideas listed here will be updated as more learning is generated as part of the Access Learning System. Select change ideas to implement based on what you have learned whilst understanding your current system.  


Patients understand FACTS

Innovative posters help maintain social distancing

To help staff and the local community follow social distancing regulations, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation trust launched the ‘Have a heart – Stay apart’ campaign. They are using posters that compare two metre distancing to objects people are familiar with to help keep government regulations clear in people’s minds and allow people to visualise the distance easily.


Patient navigation through sites

Improved on-site signage on infection control and directions to clinics

Sites can help limit risk of infection by providing patients with clear signage and directions throughout the hospital. This will help separate COVID-19 and non COVID-19 areas and reduce delays in clinics due to patients not knowing where to go. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has produced a number of signage examples to encourage social distancing on-site.


Concierge to help patients navigate directly

Escorting patients directly to their clinic can ensure that social distancing regulations are followed and reduce the risk of infection. Using a concierge service ensured NHS Grampian patients were adhering to PPE requirements and travelling through the hospital by the most direct route.


Management of waiting areas

Car park waiting rooms

The use of car park waiting rooms in NHS Grampian enabled services to minimise the risk of infection by keeping a patient’s time on site to a minimum. 


Redesign seating in waiting rooms (increased space and screens)

Clinics should be redesigned to adhere to current regulations on physical distancing. Liaise with the Facilities, Health and Safety and Infection Prevention and Control Teams who will be able to help guide services on their redesign.


Management of patient experience

Use value stream mapping to redesign pathways to reduce number of on-site consultations in the pathway

Value stream mapping allows teams to analyse their current pathways in order to identify tests of change to achieve their desired ‘future state’. Full guidance for structuring a value stream map is available from NHS Improvement. A case study is currently being developed with NHS Tayside and will be published here early next year.


Multidisciplinary one-stop appointments

Reducing pre-operative appointments will reduce risk of infection and maintain patient safety whilst delivering essential care. A team at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals identified a need to limit the number of patient appointments prior to surgery by establishing protocols and staff education.


Prevention and Infection control

Establish local standard operating procedure(SOPs) for prevention and infection control

When making changes to pathways in response to managing the physical environment, It is important to ensure that existing SOPs are updated and new SOPs are created where required. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have developed a series of documents aimed at managers and staff to assist with social distancing in the work place.


Your change ideas

If you have developed your own change ideas that could be included in this change package then get in touch through the feedback form or by emailing us at


Return to Stage 4: Implementing and refining changes.