Update: September 2020

*** Currently we are having problems with our landlines in Graham Hayton Unit. Whilst we are fixing this issue,  you can also contact us via  Email  Grahame Hayton Unit .We apologise for the inconvenience.

In light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in order to protect our patients and staff we are changing the way in which we deliver our outpatient services for the immediate future. 

·  We are suspending our routine face to face HIV clinics. Most appointments will be a telephone consultation. 

Your clinician will decide if you need to attend or have blood tests. You will receive a text message (or landline call) before your appointment date, confirming the type of appointment. Further prescriptions will be arranged at the consultation.

·  For any queries it is best to email us: 

If you attend the Grahame Hayton Unit or if you attend SLG or the Greenway Centre

·  We will no longer be seeing patients who walk in. Blood tests/vaccinations are by appointment.

·   If you are asked to attend for an appointment and have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste), stay at home and either access advice from 111 or your GP. Email us when you have recovered to rebook your appointment. 

·  We have compiled a list of FAQs which you may find useful.

Frequently Asked Questions:

This is a very uncertain time for everyone so we have compiled these to answer your questions. 

Am I at higher risk (in a vulnerable category) because of my HIV and do I need to self-isolate?

The British HIV Association (BHIVA) have provided the following guidance.

We advise that people with a CD4 count <50 or an opportunistic illness due to suppression of the immune system in last 6 months: follow advice for extremely vulnerable.

If you become pregnant please contact the clinic by email as soon as you find out. 

This changes frequently. The BHIVA website is a reliable source of information and is regularly updated.

How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect my HIV care:

We are limiting face to face contact in line with NHS England guidance to try to reduce the chance of you catching or passing on Covid-19 to other patients and staff.

We have made careful plans to ensure that there will always be clinic staff who can deal with emergency advice and prescriptions. However, to do this we need to suspend all routine clinic appointments for stable patients until further notice. There will be some people who will need advice over the phone or in person. We will let you know by text if you need to keep your appointment or wait for a telephone call. 

How will I know when to collect my medications:

At your consultation your clinician will arrange a further supply, either to collect from the hospital pharmacy or delivered via the homecare companies. The companies are (for GHU patients) Pharmaxo on 01225 302188  and (for SLG/Greenway patients) Fairview on 0203 393 2242  

Please ensure that you have about 10-14 days medication at home. 

If you collect from Lloyds Pharmacy, your medication will be ready to collect three working days after your request.

If your medication has (or about to) run out – email the service so a new prescription can be arranged.  We will not be able to issue a script on the day if you turn up.

What about my blood tests, when will these be done:

We will not be doing any routine bloods for people who are stable. Your doctor will be looking through your record and blood results and deciding whether your HIV is stable if you need to have bloods taken. As a rule of thumb, if your last viral load is <200 and you are well, you do not need a blood test. You do not need to call and check with us whether a blood test is needed. If we think you do need a blood test we will let you know. 

Attending the clinic:

We have suspended walk in HIV services for the time being and you will not be able to walk in. We will  only see patients who have been requested to come in after telephone discussion with a doctor or nurse and we cannot see patients who have symptoms that may be related to Covid-19. If you do attend you will speak though an intercom at the door. You will have your temperature taken and provided with a new face covering. If you turn up for an appointment which has been cancelled we will not be able to see you.

Contacting the clinic:

We are asking you not to phone the clinic to ask about your appointment or your prescription unless you are running out in the next two weeks. If you need to contact us, please email the ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net (GHU patients) or bhnt.slg-reception@nhs.net  (SLG/ Greenway patients). We will be able to respond to your queries this way. 

If you do not have a follow up appointment, email the service so one can be arranged.

Further information:

Other good websites for advice specific to HIV are:

The British HIV Association www.bhiva.org

The Terrence Higgins Trust www.tht.org.uk

NHS online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

What if I become mentally unwell, where can I get help?

If you feel the need to speak with someone about your emotional health during these challenging times, please email ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net  (GHU patients) or bhnt.slg-reception@nhs.net  (SLG/ Greenway patients). Someone from the psychology team will contact you by telephone or email to discuss your situation.

Don’t forget that it is really important to contact friends and family on the phone or instant messaging on a regular basis and make sure to exercise at home. There are many online resources and smartphone apps that you can use to help you relax and re-direct your focus onto other things.

Rethink is a charity that supports people living with mental health difficulties. Their Covid-19 help page has a great strategy regarding social media, and its potential impact on mental health and wellbeing. Turn off your notifications from news outlets! Decide when you want to access news about Covid-19 and stick to your plan because constantly checking for news about it only serves to escalate anxiety, fears and worries. 

Anxiety UK suggests using the ‘Apple’ technique to manage anxieties and worries about Covid-19:

A = Acknowledge

P = Pause

P = Pull back

L = Let go

E = Explore

 

For more information: https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources/

 

What will help me to face the emotional challenges of Covid-19?  For information, peer and emotional support and practical advice  including welfare benefits advice : www.positiveeast.org.uk  or 02077912855

 

What can I do if I find myself in a crisis state, and I need immediate support?

If you live in Tower Hamlets and you are in crisis: 0207 771 5807

https://www.elft.nhs.uk/service/446/Tower-Hamlets-Mental-Health-Crisis-Line-247

 

If you live in Newham and you are in crisis: 0207 771 5888

https://www.elft.nhs.uk/service/448/Newham-Mental-Health-Crisis-Helpline

 

If you live in Waltham Forest and you are in crisis: 0300 555 1000

https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/i-need-help

 

Some other forms if crisis support:

Samaritans:                        https://www.samaritans.org/

Give us a Shout:                https://www.giveusashout.org/get-help/

Befrienders:                       https://www.befrienders.org/need-to-talk

 

What if I am self-isolating but I find myself feeling unsafe with other people in my home?

Women’s Aid:     info@womensaid.org.uk

                              https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/

                              https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/

 

Refuge: National Domestic Abuse Helpline for women and children

                              0808 2000 247

                              https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

 

Mankind:             Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

                              01823 334244

                              https://www.mankind.org.uk

 

What can I do to stay safe and remain aware of advice from the clinic?

1)            Wash your hands

2)            Follow guidance from the government

3)            Ensure we have your mobile number so you can receive texts (please email us if you have changed your mobile number on  ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net)

4)            Don’t call the clinic unless it is a genuine emergency

5)            Email the GHU nurses with your query ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net 

6)            Consider following the @BartsHealthHIV twitter account

How do I know when normal service will resume: We will contact patients and offer appointments.

HIV treatment and care

Our service is the largest of three dedicated HIV services offered by NHS hospital trusts in north east London and it also provides a referral service for patients who may have more complicated health problems. Patients are referred to us by sexual health clinics, other hospital departments or GPs once they are diagnosed with HIV infection. Patients can also make contact with us directly without a referral from any other medical service or those newly diagnosed. We provide a free and confidential treatment for people living with HIV.

If you feel you are at risk of HIV

If you feel you are at risk of HIV infection please visits your local sexual health centre and ask for a test.

HIV services

Greenway Centre at Newham Hospital

The Greenway Centre (Upper)
Sandalwood House
Newham Hospital
Glen Road 
London, E13 8SL

We are cancelling our routine HIV clinics and will arrange prescriptions for your medication. We will contact you regarding this.

For queries, email ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net if you attend GHU or bhnt.slg-reception@nhs.net if you attend SLG or GWC. 

Main tel: 020 7363 8939
Direct dial to nurses station: 020 7363 8474
Direct dial to secretariat: 020 7363 8400
Fax: 020 7363 8316

  • Monday 10.00 – 16.30 
  • Tuesday CLOSED
  • Wednesday 13.30 - 19.30
  • Thursday 09.30 - 16.30
  • Friday 09.00 - 13.30

Grahame Hayton unit at The Royal London Hospital

Grahame Hayton unit, Ambrose King Centre 
The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel 
London, E1 1BB

We are cancelling our routine HIV clinics and will arrange prescriptions for your medication. We will contact you regarding this.

For queries, email ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net if you attend GHU or bhnt.slg-reception@nhs.net if you attend SLG or GWC. 

Main tel: 020 7377 7039
Direct dial to secretariat: 020 7377 7308
Fax: 020 7377 7065
Telephone outside clinic hours: 020 3416 5000 and ask for ward 13F

  • Mon 08:30 – 18:00 – Last bloods 17:45
  • Tues 08:30 – 20:00 – Last bloods 19:45
  • Wed 12:00 – 18:00 – Last bloods 17:45
  • Thur 08:30 – 18:00 – Last bloods 17:45
  • Fri     08:30 – 17:00 – Last bloods 15:30

Grahame Hayton unit pharmacy

  • Mon 09:20 – 17:30 (closed for lunch 13:15- 14:00)
  • Tues 09:20 – 17:30 (closed for lunch 13:15 – 14:00)
  • Wed 13:00 – 17:30
  • Thur 09:20 – 17:30 (closed for lunch 13:15 – 14:00)
  • Fri 09:20 – 17:00 (closed for lunch 13:15 – 14:00)

The Grahame Hayton unit provides a comprehensive range of HIV services and treatment:

  • Transferring your care to Grahame Hayton unit
  • Quick contacts for patients
  • Booked appointments
  • Urgent clinic (SOS)
  • Blood test
  • HIV pharmacy and prescriptions
  • Sexual health screening for HIV positive patients
  • Vaccination
  • Clinical nurse specialist (community services)
  • Clinical nurse specialist (women’s health)
  • Transport information
  • Health advisors, partner notification and family testing
  • Psychology
  • Clinical research unit at Grahame Hayton unit
  • HIV co-infection clinics
  • Social worker service
  • The virtual review

Inpatients at Royal London Hospital

Our inpatient service is located on ward 13F of The Royal London Hospital.

Ward 13F, thirteenth floor, Main Building
The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Road
Whitechapel, London, E1 1BB

Reception tel: 020 3594 2906 
Ward tel: 020 3594 2901
Fax: 020 3594 2914

Directions: once you have entered the building, follow the signs to lift core 5 and take a lift to the thirteenth floor. You will then see signs for ward 13F.

Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre, Stratford

2nd Floor, 40 Liberty Bridge Road
East Village
Stratford, E20 1AS

We are cancelling our routine HIV clinics and will arrange prescriptions for your medication. We will contact you regarding this.

For queries, email ghuappointments.bartshealth@nhs.net if you attend GHU or bhnt.slg-reception@nhs.net if you attend SLG or GWC. 

Main tel: 020 8496 7237

Mobile: 07534906239 (between 8am to 4pm)

Email:BHNT.SLG-Reception@nhs.net

We are currently experiencing some issues with answering all our calls. We are working to put new processes in place to rectify this. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. Alternatively, you can email us on BHNT.SLG-Reception@nhs.net with your requests and our reception team will reply to you as soon as possible

  • Monday 13.30 - 18.40
  • Tuesday 09.30 - 16.30 
  • Wednesday 14.00 - 16.20 
  • Thursday 09.30 - 19.40
  • Friday 09.30 - 16.30

Registering with a GP

We may find that you have a problem that is unrelated to HIV such as asthma or high cholesterol. In these situations, it is better that your GP manages that part of your health as they are likely to be more experienced in these particular aspects of health care. Your GP may also need to prescribe medication for you. It is important that whenever someone prescribes medication they are aware of what you are already taking. This is to avoid giving you something that may interact with your existing medication and potentially make you feel worse, or even cause your HIV medications to stop working.

Psychological support

Clinical psychology is part of the multidisciplinary team which offers services to patients, partners and their carers.  We provide a range of psychological therapies to help people cope with a range of health and emotional problems, such as adjustment to a diagnosis, co-morbid mood problems, disclosure and issues regarding sexual wellbeing or risk.

What is clinical psychology?

Clinical psychologists work with people in a variety of settings, most commonly in health centres, clinics and hospitals.  They have academic and specialist professional training in the application of principles of psychology to health and emotional problems.  They are not medical doctors and therefore do not prescribe drugs. Clinical psychologists use their psychological knowledge and understanding of behaviour, emotions, thoughts and experiences to help people with health-related problems, relationship and emotional difficulties.

What kinds of problems can clinical psychologists help with?

Clinical psychologists see individuals and their partners or families with many difficulties related to health problems. These may include problems such as:

  • adjustment to a diagnosis
  • anxiety or panic
  • depression or low mood
  • pain management
  • disclosure 
  • grief and loss
  • adherence to treatment
  • sexual problems or managing risk and sex
  • relationship difficulties related to your illness

How do I get to see a clinical psychologist?

If you are interested in meeting with a clinical psychologist, please speak to any member of the service about being referred.    

What do clinical psychologists do? 

After you and the clinical psychologist have assessed your current situation and problems you may decide to have a series of appointments with a member of the clinical psychology team to examine ways of addressing your difficulties.  Clinical psychologists offer a range of psychological therapies and work with individuals, couples and groups.  The length and frequency of therapy is negotiated to suit individual needs.

Clinical psychology and you

Clinical psychology aims to provide a service to a client that is respectful of individual lifestyles, and sensitive to family, social and cultural issues.

If you are interested in finding out more about the clinical psychology service please feel free to talk to any member of the GHU staff.  

Clinical research unit at Grahame Hayton unit

The clinical research unit within the Grahame Hayton unit undertakes, leads and manages clinical trials within the rapidly changing areas of HIV, sexual health and all liver diseases. Our dedicated team of research health care providers offer a very high standard of care to patients from all backgrounds and ethnicities. These studies enable our patients to access cutting edge treatments through clinical trials that are not yet available through the NHS. Within a clinical drug trial, patients are monitored and investigated more rigorously than in a general clinic. We also manage smaller academic studies which help us to understand how the various diseases manifest and how we can then treat or prevent them. 

The clinical trials unit within the GHU is among the top five recruiting centres within Barts Health NHS Trust and is a leading research and clinical trials unit for HIV and liver disease therapies. 

All clinical trials undergo a rigorous approvals process and are all approved by independent ethics committees.

If you would be interested in a research study in the areas of HIV, sexual health or liver disease, please contact our team on 020 7377 7457 and we would be happy to discuss which study would be suitable for you and also discuss which studies are currently recruiting.

Who will I see?

Clinical nurse specialist (community services)

The HIV clinics at Newham University hospital, the Royal London hospital and Whipps Cross hospital are providing care for over 4,000 HIV patients.

The department employs two HIV community clinical nurse specialists who are able to visit patients at home if they live in Newham, Tower Hamlets or Waltham Forest. Patients who live further afield can be referred to a local HIV community CNS.

A home visit, or regular home visits, might be necessary if a patient is unable to attend their regular clinic for physical or psychological reasons. Our CNSs are able to assess patients at home, take bloods, prescribe medications and arrange home delivery of medications.

The community HIV nurses do not replace district nurse or GP services but add to the existing community ones. They are able to help communicate between specialist and generic healthcare providers. 

If a patient requires rehabilitation, either from an acute centre or home, the HIV community nurses are able to arrange or instigate admission to Mildmay hospital UK, and oversee the admission and discharge back into the community.

Referrals are accepted from patients, health, or social care professionals, or non-profit organisations.

Contact the team

  • For Tower Hamlets residents: 020 7377 7616
  • For Newham residents: 020 7363 8146 or 8939
  • For Waltham Forest residents: 020 8535 6535

Email us 

Clinical nurse specialist (women’s health)

The women’s health service in the Grahame Hayton unit is run by a clinical nurse specialist who has experience in women’s health and HIV nursing.

The service offers cervical cytology tests, contraception, sexual health screening and advice on related health issues. This includes advice on fertility and planning a pregnancy. We can also provide advice to women whose partners attend the unit.

We also run a HIV antenatal clinic with dedicated specialist midwife and doctor.

Health adviser; partner notification and family testing

Health advisers are more common within sexual health clinics where the role is often about avoiding exposure to or reducing the risks of getting a sexually transmitted infection, it also involves supporting those who do get diagnosed with an infection and helping with partner notification.

At the Grahame Hayton unit, our health advisors provide help and support around disclosure and assisting with getting partners and children tested for HIV.  This specialist role was created in recognition of the difficulties disclosure can still cause for many people living with HIV.   

Despite advances in both testing and treatment, we have still encountered cases where young adults have been diagnosed with late HIV infection where it is believed that the transmission has been vertical i.e. from mother to child. This may have happened for a number of reasons:

  1. The young person was born outside of the UK and joined their parents during childhood and is therefore untested
  2. A mother has been diagnosed after their children were born and not offered to have their children tested
  3. A small number of women may not have been tested during pregnancy and therefore precautions to reduce mother to child transmission has not be possible or 
  4. Parents have been fearful of discussing the issue of testing their children and assumed that because they were well they did not need testing.

Talking to our children and young people about testing and sexual health matters is never easy, whether we are living with HIV or not.  Sometimes parents are comfortable with talking to their children and sometimes young people find it easier to talk to someone who is not their parents because it is less embarrassing.  

If you have any issues relating to your diagnosis; disclosing to partners, thinking about having a family, wanting to test your existing children or wanting to have safer sex with new partners, please make an appointment to meet with me. You can contact our health advisors via reception - they are available in the Grahame Hayton unit on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.