HAMPSHIRE Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed all outpatient appointments are to be conducted over the phone, as part of plans to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement affects services provided from Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Andover War Memorial Hospital and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital – as well as Alton, Bordon and Romsey community hospitals.

It will come into effect on Monday, March 30.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “For the safety of our patients, their families and our staff for the past few weeks we have been moving some outpatient appointments from being face-to-face to being telephone based.

"Due to the on-going situation with COVID-19 and in order to ensure we can continue to deliver the highest possible standards of safe care, this will be the default position as of Monday, March 30.

“From Monday all out-patient appointments will be conducted by phone unless there is a clear clinical need. If this is you, you will be contacted directly. If you are not contacted, your appointment will be by phone. In addition, some non-urgent appointments may be delayed or cancelled.

“Please do not attempt to attend your appointment in person unless contacted – you will not be seen by a clinician.

"We understand that this is a big change and that it will take time to get used to. However, it is essential that we do so in order to ensure patient and staff safety at this critical time.”