I wanted to update you on what we are doing to minimise the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) within our hospitals, and what we are doing to ensure our patients and staff are both safe and healthy.
While this is an unprecedented, challenging and fast-moving situation, I would like to share how impressed I have been with the response from our staff around our hospitals, who are working exceptionally hard during a difficult time. As you would expect, at St Andrew's Healthcare we have well-established and tested pandemic and infection control plans in place, and we are ensuring that our staff have everything they need in order to work safely.
Following the latest government instructions, we can no longer have visitors coming to our hospitals and we have closed both our visitors’ accommodation and the carers centre. We will only consider visitors on compassionate grounds for those receiving end-of-life care.
We are working hard to ensure patients can keep in touch with friends, family and advocates, and are encouraging contact to be made via Skype or on the telephone. Every ward has an iPad available for patients to do this. We have also opened a carers support line, for carers to keep in touch for updates and support. This is available Monday - Friday between 10am-4pm by phone 01604 616125, or via email: CarersCentre@standrew.co.uk.
On the wards, we are holding community meetings to explain the nature of the virus to patients, and any restrictions that will apply to them. Our clinical and nursing teams are ensuring patients feel reassured, reminding people of the importance of hand washing and good hygiene, and explaining that they may see different members of staff on their wards during this time.
This is a trying time for everyone, but myself and the leadership team have been heartened to hear so many examples of staff who are going above and beyond for our patients. Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation very closely, both nationally and within the charity.
Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have created some easy-read COVID-19 resources for our patients with learning disabilities. These resources have significantly enhanced understanding, and are reducing anxiety and risk behaviours. If you think these guides may be useful for people that you care for please download below.