HSC is appointing additional agency nurses and clinicians on temporary contracts, while a number of changes and new measures have been introduced at the hospital.
Health and Social Care President Heidi Soulsby said changes had to be made at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital so patients and service users can receive the care they need whilst protecting those who provide it.
“All positive cases of COVID-19 currently have a clear travel history and there is no evidence of community seeding at the present time," she said. "However, our teams across health and social care will continue to assess and respond to the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation.
"We ask for support and understanding from our community for the additional measures being introduced from today. These changes will continue to ensure our services can be maintained for those who most need our care.
Pictured: The Emergency Department will remain open 24/7 with a revised access policy.
"We are facing extraordinary circumstances currently, and I thank all our staff within HSC and across our partners for their continued focus and dedication to our community”.
The changes will affect:
Outpatient appointments - All non-urgent outpatient appointments will be suspended from today. This includes all appointments provided by HSC and the MSG across the PEH campus, Alexandra House and Mill House.
Clinicians will endeavour to provide telephone appointments if it is feasible to do so. Urgent outpatient services such as cancer care will continue as scheduled, and the patient will be asked to attend alone if possible.
Creation of ‘Hot’ ICU facility - Urgent changes to ward layout within the PEH have been finalised this weekend which has allowed a dedicated ‘hot’ ICU area to be created in the area previously used as the day patient unit, if and when it becomes necessary to utilise such a facility.
This is an area that is accessed directly from the Emergency Department and will be used to care for COVID-19 positive patients.
Visits to patients within the PEH Campus -
All inpatient visits wil be suspended with the decision kept under constant review from tomorrow, with the exception of families and friends who wish to visit loved ones within Loveridge and Frossard wards, which can be arranged by contacting the ward manager and on the basis of minimal visits consistent with the situation.
So, we are at the end of Week 2. 20 positive cases, all with travel history. None hospitalised. Testing policy from public health A1. PEH in readiness mode. Amazing support across the board. Difficult days ahead but boy have people stepped up to the plate.— Heidi Soulsby (@HeidiSoulsby) March 22, 2020
Pictured: Deputy Soulsby has praised health workers for "stepping up to the plate" amid the corona virus crisis.
There will also be exceptions for those seeking to visit loved ones who are receiving end of life care by contacting the manager of the relevant ward. The Mignot Memorial Hospital in Alderney will introduce similar measures to align to those being undertaken within Guernsey.
PEH Public Entrances - In line with this, consideration is being given to closing some of the hospital's four public entrances. The Emergency Department entrance will remain open at all times in any revised access policy but it has become necessary to control the footfall within the hospital more generally.
Community services and the impact of social distancing - In light of the social distancing guidance that is being directed by Public Health, all HSC community-facing services will be assessing the changes that are necessary to associated services across the coming days. Service users will be contacted to advise them of how those changes will affect them.
In addition to these measures, HSC is investing in staff resources and resilience.
HSC is in the process of appointing additional temporary agency nurses to support service provision, while the MSG, working in partnership with HSC, is looking to source and appoint additional temporary clinicians to support the on-island COVID-19 response capability and resilience levels.
A dedicated team are working hard to ensure the continued supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including masks, gloves etc is maintained from a range of suppliers including the NHS and other global suppliers.
Pictured top: HSC President Heidi Soulsby and the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
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