Help us protect our patients from flu

Flu can be very serious for our patients who are already unwell.  We’re asking for your help in reducing the spread of infection to protect our patients and service users.

If you have experienced two or more flu-like symptoms in the last seven days, please do not visit our hospitals unless it is an emergency. Flu-like symptoms include:

  • fever (38 degrees centigrade)
  • shortness of breath or cough
  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • tiredness
  • aching limbs
  • lack of appetite
  • vomiting and diarrhoea
  • stomach cramps

Outpatient appointments and planned care

If you have an outpatient appointment and are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please reschedule your appointment.  You can do this by calling us on 0208 235 4200 to let us know that you are unwell and would like to reschedule.

If you have a planned admission or surgery, and are experiencing flu-like symptoms, please call the number on your appointment letter to let us know that you are unwell.  Our team can then advise you further and may make alternative arrangements for you if needed.

Our Emergency Departments

Please help us keep our Emergency Departments free for seriously ill patients by only attending A&E in an emergency.  If you have flu-like symptoms, you can find out more about where the best place for your care is here.


If you are planning to visit someone who is an inpatient at one of our hospitals, please wait until you have been symptom free for seven days. This helps protect your friend or relative, as well as helping to reduce the spread of flu to other patients.

Taking care of yourself with flu

In most cases, hospital isn’t the best place to care for someone with flu – it’s usually best to rest at home, stay warm, and drink plenty of water so that you keep hydrated.  If you are concerned about being unwell, you should call the 111 helpline for advice or your GP surgery.  You can find out more about looking after yourself when you have flu on the NHS Choices website.

Free flu vaccination

Every year, the NHS offers free flu vaccinations for people who may be at risk from influenza.  This includes people over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions, people living in residential care, and carers.  You can find out more about the free flu vaccination here.