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'We are prepared as we could be to deal with coronavirus peak' say Royal Surrey Hospital

4 minute read
'We are prepared as we could be to deal with coronavirus peak' say Royal Surrey Hospital

Published at 3:20pm 8th April 2020. (Updated at 8:09am 9th April 2020)

Guildford's Royal Surrey says it is ready to deal with the peak of the coronavirus outbreak - whenever that happens. 

Eagle Radio spoke to the Trust's chief executive Louise Stead about how the hospital is coping and what its plans are over the coming weeks. 

Previous predictions indicate that the peak of the outbreak in the UK could come on Easter Sunday (12 April). 

Royal Surrey

As hospitals across the country report low levels of personal protective equipment and ventilators Ms Stead told us how they are coping: 

"We are prepared as we could be.

"It isn't a case of people are getting a whole load of it (PPE) and keeping it in the cupboard it's a case of it being delivered on a daily basis.

"No I haven't got cupboards full of PPE but the new process means were aer getting it delivered based on our need.

"We have enough ventilators at the moment for the patients we have.

"There is a new process where we can request some more ventilators if we get to a certain point where we need extras." 

With NHS workers across the country having to self isolate because of COVID-19 Ms Stead told us they are seeing between a 13% and 20% decrease in staffing levels.

She also explained that they have enough testing kits so staff who have family members displaying symptoms can get tested and return to work if they get the all-clear. 

Eagle Radio asked Ms Stead what the hospital's plans are over the next few weeks: 

"Our plan changes hourly it feels like.

"We have cleared a lot of beds, we've got capacity to take extra patients, we've changed our rotas, we've got people of 24 hour rotas.

"We're making sure that it's the same level of care whether its daytime or nighttime.

"We've stopped all benign surgery, we're not seeing so many people come through the front door of the hospital so all of that enables us to free up beds." 

Clinical research team royal surrey during coronavirus.jpg

Ms Stead said that staff had been moved by the donations and offers of help that have come in from all over the local community. 

She also praised the work of staff in hospitals and in the community in recent weeks:

"What colleagues have achieved is nothing short of remarkable.

"We have fundamentally changed how we deliver care as we balance caring for those that need our help now and preparing for the future.

"In a very short space of time I have been inspired by how we have set up onsite testing for coronavirus, created extra beds in our community hospitals, expanded our ability to provide respiratory care, put in place drive through services for pharmacy and maternity services, transformed how we provide outpatient appointments by increasing provision of telephone and video consultations and worked with third parties to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face.

"I am immensely proud of what our teams have achieved."

The Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity has launched a campaign to support the health and wellbeing of staff as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic.