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Surrey hospitals gearing up to cope with coronavirus

3 minute read
Surrey hospitals gearing up to cope with coronavirus

Published by Grace Mcgachy at 1:17pm 13th March 2020.

As the government enters its second phase of the response to the coronavirus outbreak, hospitals in our area have been explaining the measures they are putting in place because of COVID-19. 

Anyone who has symptoms of Covid-19, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, must now stay at home for seven days.

The NHS website says people who are experiencing symptoms should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Instead you should only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • Your condition gets worse
  • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

People are asked to phone 111 only if they cannot get help online.

How are hospitals in Surrey preparing?

The Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford told Eagle Radio they are following guidance issued by Public Health England.

The hospital on Egerton Road said in a statement that while they are not currently treating any coronavirus patients they do have an assessment pod on site.

Jacqui Tingle, the Deputy Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Royal Surrey, said the hospital is managing the demand for support very closely: 

"We have a dedicated Priority Assessment Pod at the Royal Surrey site, and also have systems in place to support testing within the communities we serve.

“We are regularly reviewing our plans and what the latest information and data is telling us and adapting our next steps in line with national guidance.

"We are also talking to colleagues from other affected countries to take advantage of what they have learnt and experienced so far in managing this pandemic.

“Services including outpatient appointments are going ahead as normal."

The Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it is preparing for various scenarios with regard to COVID-19. 

It is advising patients to continue to attend appointments as usual unless they have specific concerns around the virus or have returned from a 'high risk' country recently.

A spokesperson for the Trust told Eagle Radio about what would happen if we saw a large increase of coronavirus cases in Surrey: 

"We have identified areas at the Trust for the isolation and management of these patients – including cohort wards (where we would care for all patients with COVID-19 in one location) and capacity in intensive care.

"Training and education has been undertaken to ensure that staff are prepared to care for these patients.

"If you are referred to the Trust for testing we have an isolation pod onsite at St Peter’s, but you should not self-present here, please only come if told to do so by NHS 111."