Gloucestershire health leaders say non-virus services and care will continue to be provided to as many patients as possible across the county as developments around covid-19 continue .
The local NHS said the measures taken to deal with the expected pressure from Covid-19 were “unprecedented.”
As of Friday, April 3, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Gloucestershire was 224 and local deaths were 24.
So far, thousands of ambulatory hospital appointments have been made over the phone and video conference to avoid face-to-face contact, said hospital director general Deborah Lee.
Likewise, surgeries by general practitioners have moved to telephone and video consultations for patients with health problems other than the coronavirus.
Here’s everything the local NHS has done so far to prepare for further pressure on coronaviruses, and the work the public has done to support it.
Staff at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital have seen extensive measures and preparations to prepare for the expected peak in admissions this month.
Hospitals Trust CEO, Deborah Lee, Said: “The breadth and depth of action taken is unprecedented and in making these changes we have adopted many of the best practices already seen in other parts at home and abroad.
“Some of the measures taken include reducing all interventions except cancer and death or limb surgery to free up staff and beds for Covid-19 cases, fundamentally changing the way our medical services work to reduce unnecessary contact between clinicians while enveloping the care required. around the patients.
“We have changed thousands of outpatient appointments by phone and videoconference to avoid face-to-face contact while continuing to provide excellent patient care.
“We have also implemented a wide range of staff support and wellness programs, providing practical, emotional and psychological support to frontline colleagues.
“Unfortunately, despite these measures, many people have lost and will lose loved ones because of the pandemic. It is for them, their families and the many others who count on us to take care of them in times of need that we will continue to provide our vital frontline services. “
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Community hospitals and mental health surgeries
Additional services have been installed in Stroud and Cirencester hospitals, and minor injury units have temporarily closed at Tewkesbury Hospital, Vale Hospital and Dilke.
Hospital services for inpatients on these sites are not affected.
John Trevains, Director of Nursing, Therapies and Quality at the Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, which provides community and mental health services and manages seven community hospitals and five mental health and disorder hospital units learning in the county, said: “Our whole NHS In Gloucestershire, the system works in completely different ways, and we have made significant changes to our community and hospital services.
For us, this means that we have provided a test service, for patients and staff, we have implemented additional services in Stroud and Cirencester hospitals, we have reorganized other services and we provide many services differently , either by phone or digitally.
“The key for us has been to ensure that our staff have access to the equipment and information they need to ensure the safety and well-being of our patients, as well as to ensure that they are themselves.” even in good health and able to continue to provide care. This includes, for example, access to child care. mental health counseling and support.
“Our colleagues – clinical and non-clinical – work in entirely different places and in different roles in some cases, and we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and commitment shown in what is undoubtedly the most difficult time that many of us have never experienced. .
“It is a huge team effort and I am proud of our Trust and our partner Trusts for everything we do as a health community. “
The impact of covid-19 has changed the way general practitioners’ offices in Gloucestershire work, with a sharp increase in telephone and video consultations.
Groups of general surgeons have worked together in local areas to set up community centers where patients with potential coronavirus symptoms can have face-to-face counseling.
NHS President Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and local general practitioner Dr Andy Seymour said: “The pressure on the surgeries has been enormous as they have put in place additional measures to ensure the safety of patients and staff and maintain essential health services for those in need. their.
“Our practices had to adapt quickly to changing guidelines and implement changes in their surgeries at record speed, while ensuring that daily patient care was not compromised.
“The tremendous response and outpouring of public support for the NHS is the recognition that in their daily work, NHS teams are literally putting their lives on the line to care for others. “
What has the Gloucestershire community done?
The local community has played a vital role in preparations for the NHS, from local organizations such as the University of Gloucestershire providing undergraduate nurses or staff accommodation, to local businesses and charitable organizations that donate food and personal care packages.
Communities also showed their support for staff by participating in the NHS thank you.
As it stands, accommodation is provided for those who isolate themselves from their families during work, and free parking has been provided in the two main hospitals and in other car parks in the county, so that key workers can park without any additional worries.
In addition to this sanctuary, rooms have been set up away from clinical areas and extensive on-site catering offers have been set up as well as access to a wide range of wellness programs.
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