Covid 19Information Hub

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust


Below are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

You may find the below video useful in the first instance, if you’re struggling to explain the coronavirus to your children.

What are the symptoms of covid-19 (coronavirus) and when should I avoid Alder Hey?

Symptoms to look out for are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly
  • loss of / change in smell or taste

If you have any of those symptoms you should:

If anyone in your household has these symptoms, then you should:

Will I be tested for COVID-19 at Alder Hey?

In line with RCPCH guidance (which you can read here), all patients being admitted to Alder Hey for elective surgery or admissions will have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of admission. Any patient still in hospital after 5 days will be re-tested. More information on this can be found at

What are visiting arrangements at Alder Hey?

In order to protect patients, staff and the public we have introduced new visiting arrangements. We want to maintain contact and support between patients and their families and carers, whilst ensuring that we take measures that prevent the spread of the infection. These measures reduce the possibility of the virus inadvertently being brought into the hospital and help to keep vulnerable children safe.

For our latest visiting guidelines, please click here.

How do I keep myself or my family and friends safe?

There are a number of actions you can take including:

  • Wear a face mask when indoors or likely to be in close proximity to others
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Do we have guidelines for children with underlying health issues but not showing signs of any of the symptoms ?

If someone in the household is unwell with possible coronavirus symptoms, please follow the NHS guidelines regarding self-isolation.

If everyone in the household is well, the government advises adherence to social distancing measures more stringently, depending on the health condition.

As a parent, I am concerned as to whether it is safe to come in for my clinic appointments and if I can cancel

Unless you are told otherwise, please attend your clinic appointment. However, if you have a new continuous cough in the last 7 days, loss of / change in smell or taste or fever in the last 2 days, you should not attend, but need to self-isolate.

We are unable to get through to the 111 help line for advice, or haven’t received a call back – can you help?

The NHS 111 have a website which you can use to find help and advice: go to

Can you just come in if your child has symptoms of coronavirus?

No, if you have a new continuous cough in the last 7 days, loss of / change in smell or taste or fever in the last 2 days, you should not attend, but need to self-isolate.

My child has a compromised immune system what precautions do I need to take when visiting the hospital ?

Before your visit, please call 0151 228 4811 and contact your department. We will try to minimise contact with others while attending.

My child has complex needs who would I contact if I needed help urgently with regards to the coronavirus ?

Go to the NHS 111 website.

What if my child has CHD?

You can check the latest advice for children with Congenital Heart Disease, and other cardiac conditions, by clicking here.

How long will it last?

No one truly knows the answer to this question. Researchers and scientists are working hard to find a vaccine for the virus. By practising the measures put in place by the government, such as good handwashing and social distancing, we can help reduce the length of disruption to our lives.

How did it begin?

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) China office heard the first reports of a previously-unknown virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China with a population of over 11 million.

What started as an epidemic mainly limited to China has now become a truly global pandemic.

Does it affect young people the same as adults? Should I be scared?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.

The World Health Organisation advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

How has it spread so fast?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. This virus is particularly contagious, especially as there is no vaccine as of yet.

What support is in place for Families who are high risk?

Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.

At risk families have been sent a latter advising them to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks from the day they receive their letter.Please note that this period of time could change. Provisions have been made for visits from people who provide essential support to them, such as healthcare and personal support, to continue. A helpline has also been put in place for families worried about the care of their child at Alder Hey.

What do I do if I need to speak to someone/my medical team?

If you have any questions or concerns relating to your care at Alder Hey and your appointment has been postponed, please contact our hotline Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and weekends 9am to 3pm. 

Telephone number: 0151 282 4907
Email address: