In the wake of the spread of Coronavirus the UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have Coronavirus.
The symptoms of Coronavirus are:
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How is St Andrew’s preparing?
We have well-established and tested pandemic preparedness and infection control plans, and we are putting these in place, with a central team established to oversee all preparations. These have been supplemented by specific COVID-19 (Coronavirus) procedures to assist our ward and community teams with patient care.
More general guidance about Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Can family and friends still visit our patients?
In order to protect both our staff and patients, we are not currently allowing visitors to our hospitals. We have also temporarily closed both our visitors’ accommodation and the Carers Centre. Please note, we will consider visitors on compassionate grounds for those receiving end-of-life care, only in agreement with each individual ward.
We are working hard to ensure regular contact between patients, family and friends via Skype and/or telephone. Our staff are communicating regularly with families during these challenging times to ensure they are kept updated with the progress and well-being of their loved ones.
We understand that you may have queries and concerns. In order to provide you with relevant information and updates from the charity, we will be operating a carers support line which will be available Monday - Friday between 10am-4pm by phone 01604 616125, or via email: CarersCentre@standrew.co.uk. If you contact this service outside these hours, you may leave a message and the team will get back to you.
What are we doing to protect our staff ?
In line with current guidance from the Government, we have advised our staff to self-isolate if they - or anyone in their household - exhibit the specific Coronavirus symptoms of a new continuous cough and / or a high temperature of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher.
We are supporting staff who have increased risk of illness due to significant underlying health conditions (as per the Public Health England guidelines) to undertake different roles within the charity, or to work from home where possible.
Do you have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face masks, sanitizers to nurse anyone with an infectious sickness?
Yes. We are putting together packs with PPE in line with Public Health England guidance for every ward and these are being distributed. We have enough sanitisers to continue providing them to all wards.
How would St Andrew’s manage a case on a ward?
If there was to be a suspected case on a ward, we would deep clean the area, as per our usual isolation and outbreak procedure. We would also isolate any unwell patients and staff would be given the necessary protective equipment in order to provide good care to the patient.
If a staff member got sick from one of your wards, most would not want to take this home to their families. Has this been considered?
Yes, and this is something faced by all hospitals. That is why Public Health England are specifying the need for PPE to provide protection.
We are continuing to keep a close eye on the situation and the latest advice from Public Health England. We will continue to update this page as and when required.