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Latest update on coronavirus in our hospitals

Barts Health NHS Trust: Statement on the cornonavirus 

23 March 2020

Barts Health NHS Trust would like to reassure all patients, staff, and visitors that we are working closely with NHS England and partners in line with national guidance to ensure we are prepared to deal with the changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic. 

We are well equipped to meet the challenges ahead and are putting in additional plans to care for our patients at this time. We would like to offer our assurance that it remains safe for patients to attend our hospitals.  We are working hard to treat and prioritise patients, while ensuring the safety of patients, staff and visitors. The following measures are being put in place:

Restricting the number of visitors - we have restricted access to essential visitors only immediately. Posters are displayed at all entrances to our hospitals and we have shared this information on our website, social media channels and switchboard. 

  • Increasing capacity - we are looking at ways to increase the capacity of our intensive care units. In outpatients, we have already started changing our regular face-to-face clinics to virtual appointments, which take place over the phone or online.
  • Distancing patients – we are putting in additional measures for vulnerable people with respiratory or other conditions to ensure they are cared for away from those with the coronavirus.  
  • Postponing non-urgent surgery – in line with national guidance, we will, in stages, cancel almost all elective surgery (apart from cancer treatment and life-saving operations) for the next four months. This is an incredibly difficult decision but will enable us to free up beds and staff to treat Covid-19 patients.

Our pathology department is now able to conduct coronavirus tests. This means we will prioritise testing the patients admitted to our hospitals in line with guidance from Public Health England. We are also taking delivery of daily supplies of personal protective equipment and are working with the NHS supply chain to ensure stock levels are maintained.  Our staff are also being asked to use the equipment responsibly. 

We are supporting our staff with a range of guidance in order to ensure their welfare and resilience in providing the best possible care. Clinical colleagues will be asked to help with alternative tasks that they are qualified to perform, including supporting respiratory patients and operating ventilators rather than undertaking non-urgent operations. 

We will continue to regularly update the Barts Health website. We are also advising anyone with concerns to visit NHS.UK/coronavirus for information about the virus and how to protect themselves. NHS 111 also has an online coronavirus service that can tell individuals if they need medical help and provide advice on what to do.

This is a fast-changing situation and we appreciate all the support we’ve been offered so far in these difficult times.

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  1. Chandrakant Patel Monday, 16 March 2020 at 07:37 PM

    How many corona virus patients are treated at individual hospitals of the Barts Trust?
    This information must be available for public to see.

  2. Shamsun Khan Friday, 27 March 2020 at 08:44 AM

    Hello I am cancer patient, I been diagnosed in February , in king George hospital, I had previous breast cancer 17yr ago now again it on same breast , and its transferred on my right lymph node, dr said first they want do chemotherapy at queens , but I have wait for them to call me next week or after , I am thanking to have it at st Barts can I do something about it.

  3. Peter Jennings Tuesday, 31 March 2020 at 01:48 PM

    I use a CPAP machine as I have obstructive sleep apnoea. On the television news yesterday, 30 March, it was reported that CPAP machines can help hospital patients with breathing difficulties because of Covid-19. It may be that you have an adequate supply of CPAP machines, but if there is a shortage would it help for people like me to return our machines for the time being so that they can be used for Covid-19 patients?

  4. Jane Thursday, 16 April 2020 at 01:09 PM

    Good afternoon,
    I am a 7 month pregnant mother who is registered with you at Newham Hospital.
    I had decided recently not to attend any appointments since covid19 remained very strained in the NHS service. I myself realised that as yourselves have been short staffed and growing number of fatalities in the NHS alone I am safer at home. My future fear is when I am due to give birth in July, and I am praying that maternity wards will have nurses sectioned away from any aid to covid19 patients when the nightingale hospital is in full swing of procedures and appropriate care for its patients. After the recent death of a fellow nurse heavily pregnant I am worried about giving birth in a hospital all together. I just really wanted to express my fears as this is my first pregnancy and I have a weaker immune system. I would like some reassurance when the measures have been put in place as I am still weighing out safe options for delivery In This difficult time. Stay safe NHS we love you. Xxxx

  5. Val Harper Friday, 24 April 2020 at 07:47 AM

    I would like to express my thanks to Audiology who kindly sent me some hearing aid batteries. Much appreciated.