The new critical care unit on the 15th floor of The Royal London Hospital has reopened to patients this week.
The state-of-the-art facility is dedicated to the care of Covid-19 patients and is crucial to the plans we are developing with our healthcare partners from across north east London.
We are today publishing Our plans for winter, which sets out how we plan to manage enhanced seasonal pressures while maintaining access to planned services like cancer, diagnostics and elective surgery.
The bespoke 15th floor space at The Royal London was built during the first peak and will allow us to treat Covid-19 positive patients without having to expand into other clinical areas and will allow us to maintain other services.
Our plans incorporate what we learned from the first peak and working closely with our partners across North East London (NEL). The approach will pool local NHS resources in four key areas; emergency care, critical care, planned care and community care.
Alwen William, Group Chief Executive, said: “The impact of coronavirus is already unprecedented. The NHS now faces another unique challenge with a resurgence of Covid-19 cases - just as we are restoring planned care to previous levels, and as the usual seasonal pressures begin to bite.
“Our staff responded incredibly well to the first peak, and we have learned lessons from our experience. We are therefore better prepared to meet this next challenge. We are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. We don’t know exactly how events will turn out in the end.
“Nevertheless, I am confident our committed and talented staff will do their utmost to keep patients safe. Together we will continue to improve health outcomes for our patients and provide equitable care to our diverse communities throughout this coming winter.”
The plan also outlines the five stages of escalating pressure we’ve identified, as well as what we have in place to make sure staff are looked after and supported to care for our patients, and how we will work with our local communities.
It remains safe for all patients to attend our hospitals and access the care they need.