Update from Great Western Hospital
We are doing a huge amount of work at the acute hospital, in primary care, and in the community to prepare and plan for how we will manage the situation as it grows more advanced.
It is a very challenging time for our staff across the Trust, who are displaying incredible professionalism in dealing with this unprecedented situation.
The information below is intended to help you understand what actions we are taking.
Managing patients with suspected COVID-19
We’ve created an entrance to the hospital for suspected COVID-19 patients, via the Shalbourne Private Healthcare entrance, to try to reduce the risk of transmission. This has meant we have had to close our private department until further notice.
While awaiting test results, we are keeping patients who we suspect to be COVID-19 patients on specific wards with other wards used as needed. Due to volume of testing being done, results from off-site labs are taking longer than normal and we are aware there is national work to increase lab/testing capacity and this will help manage our bed capacity more effectively.
We tell staff to wear personal protective equipment when treating patients suspected of having COVID-19, and this is inevitably putting some pressure on some of our supplies, particularly face masks – this is a national priority and we are staying close to those discussions.
Suspending non-emergency elective operations
We have canceled the majority of our non-urgent operations, with the exception of cancer operations or operations assessed as being clinically urgent by the consultant. This will free up the majority of our operating theatres, some of which will be kept free for emergencies. Anaesthetic staff are now providing training for other clinical staff to give them the skills to support ventilated patients.
Many of our outpatient appointments have moved to telephone appointments to reduce footfall in the hospital – we have contacted those patients affected directly.
Restrictions on visiting
We have also taken the decision to restrict all but essential visitors, such as parents of children or a patient’s main carer or for other compassionate grounds, and have warned patients not to visit if they are self-isolating, have coronavirus symptoms, or are at an increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
All of these measures are intended to put us in the best position to respond to the expected increase in the number of cases and also to limit the risk to patients and staff.
Information about Coronavirus
If you think you or loved ones have the Coronavirus and you're not sure what to do we have put together important information based on advice and information from NHS Enlgand and Public Health England.