Overview of hygiene measures in the context of COVID-19 at the WPE

The Corona pandemic also influences the daily clinical routine at the WPE. In the past months, a large number of hygiene measures have been taken to adapt or optimise internal procedures. Regular revisions and updates of the regulations are taking place, also taking into account the regulations of the Federal Government/Robert-Koch-Institute as well as the Covid Hospital Outreach Board of the University Hospital Essen. The overriding goal of the current regulations is the greatest possible safety for patients and staff.

In our hygiene concept, we take into account the special circumstances of the situation and treatment of our patients. The therapy of patients with cancer in the WPE takes place daily, usually over a period of about 6 weeks and in an outpatient setting. Thus, they have daily contacts also outside the clinic. Up to 70 patients are in treatment with us every day. Our patients travel from all over Germany – and also from abroad. Some of our patients are immunosuppressed due to tumor treatment. In order to provide all patients with the greatest possible protection, we have made various regulations for our team, but also for our patients, which must be adhered to and are constantly reviewed.

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Hygiene measures at the WPE

After a year of increased caution, we are now a well-coordinated team to offer you the greatest possible safety and to support you in this situation in the best possible way. We were always able to treat patients with protons without any restrictions.
Currently, however, there is an exception with regard to patients from countries for which there are entry bans by the RKI due to the virus mutation. The cooperation with the pediatric oncology department and other clinics of the University Hospital also continues to take place without restrictions. Thus, necessary accompanying therapies, such as chemotherapy or supportive therapy, can be carried out.

In the following, we provide an overview of the current hygiene measures:

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General rules

Do not enter WPE if you have COVID-19-symptoms!
Please contact us in advance at the following number (+49 201 723 6661) and we will discuss everything further. Don’t worry about the therapy, we will take care of that together!

Wearing mouth-nose protection is obligatory
Please also try to put on your children a surgical mask if possible, for the protection of your child and the other patients and staff members. You will receive a mask at the entrance if needed.

Disinfection of hands when entering the building
Please use the disinfection dispensers in the entrance area.

No accompanying persons
Currently, adult patients may only be accompanied by a person in cases of medical urgency. If possible, please come to the WPE alone. Children may be accompanied by a single parent. Exceptions are the discussions at the initial presentation. Siblings or various escorts are currently not allowed to come to the WPE.

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Further measures

We have taken the following additional measures for your protection:

  • Obligation of the personnel to wear masks
  • Wider distribution of seating in the waiting areas
  • Separation of waiting areas for children and adults
  • Reduction of children’s play corner and other play equipment / areas
  • visitor restrictions
  • Regular inspections by our hygiene officers to ensure that all staff and patients comply with the required hygiene regulations
  • In case of suspected covid infection, organization of testing of staff and patients

In addition, there are several hygiene officers in the WPE who coordinate with the hospital hygiene department of Essen University Hospital. Internally, there are at least weekly updates together with the department leaders.

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Entrance control of patients

Upon entering the WPE, you will be greeted by a colleague from our outpatient team.

  • You will be asked daily at the entrance about your own condition and that of your child or accompanying person
  • Once a week, each patient and accompanying person must fill in a questionnaire about their state of health
  • You will receive a new mouth-nose protection every day
  • Before the first appointment, we will ask you by phone about your general condition and your travel activities (please see the relevant regulations below)
  • At the first visit you will be given information about our hygiene rules and distance rules

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Positive / suspected patients

Despite all caution, you may come into contact with a person who has been tested positive or is symptomatic, or you may develop symptoms yourself or you may get tested positive of Covid-19. Please let us know immediately!

We will make every effort to continue treatment without pauses. However, we then have to adjust our procedures to protect other patients and our staff. We have taken precautions for this case and the procedures are already prepared accordingly.

In addition, there is currently a minimum quarantine period of 14 days in the entire University Hospital Essen, irrespective of the quarantine regulations of the health authorities. This means that if you are allowed to leave your accommodation normally after 10 days, the isolation measures at the WPE will still apply for the full 14 days. A negative test result will not shorten this period.

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Testing strategy

For your initial presentation, please bring a negative Covid-19 test for yourself and for the accompanying parent that is no more than 48 hours old.

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Foreign patients / entry from abroad

Depending on the current entry regulations, patients who have been abroad prior to therapy may have to be quarantined. The regulations change regularly and depend on the country of entry. You will be informed by our case management before entering the country. They are also available at any time from the Webpage of the German Robert-Koch-Institute (it is provided in English). As explained above, please be aware that the quarantine period of the University Hospital Essen lasts 14 days. A negative test result will not shorten this period.

We try to carry out the initial presentation within the quarantine under high hygiene safety standards. The start of therapy is then scheduled so that the quarantine has been completed – as far as this is medically feasible.

For your own protection and that of other patients and WPE staff, we ask that you do not travel home in the interim. Please do not let any relatives follow you either. Otherwise, a quarantine will have to be imposed again. This will affect treatment appointments and their schedule. Patients in quarantine or with infections are always scheduled at the end of each treatment day. Please also keep in mind that if anesthesia is required, your child will not be allowed to eat for 6 hours prior and must remain fasting. We are aware that the long separation from family and friends is a great emotional burden and is not always easy financially either. However, we bear the responsibility for all patients and staff.

 

Please be careful! Avoid unnessessary contact as far as possible. This is for your own protection and the protection of the other patients and staff at the WPE!

Thank you very much!
Your WPE team