With the Easter weekend approaching the Chief Executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NLaG) is urging people to stay at home.
The Trust is doing everything it can to ensure it is prepared to deal with increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, now the public are being asked to do their bit.
Cases in the region are continuing to rise and sadly there have been a number of deaths* at the Trust’s hospitals.
Peter Reading, Chief Executive, said: “I want to extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to those who have lost loved ones due to the virus. Our thoughts are with you and your families. I know that some of our staff will also be affected by losing someone close to them so we have put support in place to help them through this difficult and trying time.”
The Trust has been preparing for increases in cases by:
- Increasing capacity across its three hospitals (Scunthorpe General Hospital, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital and Goole and District Hospital) by discharging patients who don’t need to be in hospital, re-configuring wards so there are dedicated Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 areas, postponing non-urgent appointments and holding appointments via telephone or video consultation where possible
- Ensuring enough staff are available to work: staff testing began last week run by the Trust’s community services and Scunthorpe laboratory. Those staff at home self-isolating (and their families where relevant) are being prioritised so people can return to work. Some staff have cancelled their planned Easter leave, and retired and former health workers are returning to work
- Redeploying staff: non clinical staff are being redeployed to support frontline areas and clinical staff who are currently in non–frontline roles are receiving refresher sessions to make sure they are ready to return to the frontline. Clinical staff across all areas are being trained in critical care to support highly specialist areas
- Suspending visiting apart from in exceptional circumstances to reduce the risk to staff and patients
- Launching a Care for Each other campaign to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff during this stressful time.
Dr Reading continued: “We are doing everything we can to free up capacity in our hospitals and to ensure we have enough staff and equipment to meet a surge in demand.
“We know bank holiday weekends normally provide people with the chance to spend quality time with their loved ones, family and friends and our region has some attractive open spaces and coastlines but now is not the time to be visiting them. I would urge people to continue to follow the government guidance by staying at home to protect the NHS and show support for our staff.
“I want to thank our staff, and I mean all of our staff, everyone regardless of their role is a vital cog in the wheel – from those working on the frontline treating patients, those testing in the labs, the support staff including porters and cleaners, our dedicated admin staff and everyone working in our community services as well as in our hospitals.
“Each and every one of them are working incredibly hard in these difficult and challenging times. I also want to thank local people for your kind wishes, offers of help and donations. The overwhelming support from our local communities is keeping their spirits high.”
Stay at home advice
People should only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home). If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times. Wash your hands as soon as you get home. Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.