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wash bags outside north mid hospitalNorth Mid staff showing off a few of the more than two thousand wash bags sewn by volunteers. They allowed staff working in coronavirus wards to safely store, transport and launder their uniforms without crosscontaminating other items 

A little late (it was issued on 23rd July), here is the North Mid hospital's stakeholder update for July, full of useful information for stakeholders - which I guess could be any of us, since we never know when we might be taken ill or need an operation.

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North Mid Stakeholder Update
July 2020

 

Elective (planned) surgery

North Mid has now restarted some of the urgent elective (planned) care that had been paused over the past few months. This has involved a great deal of work, including putting in place robust infection prevention and control measures to ensure that we can deliver care as safely as possible.

Initially this is for the most urgent patients based on their clinical need.

Some of the key measures in place for patients having elective (planned) surgery are: Prior to admission:

  • We are carrying out patient pre-operative assessments virtually where possible
  • Patients must isolate for 14 days prior to admission along with members of their household and have remained asymptomatic
  • For cardiac and interventional procedures the pathway is 7 days isolation
  • Patients must be swabbed for Covid-19 on day 14, day 3 and also on the day of admission, and return a negative swab result. The patient swabbing service is available 7 days a week for timed appointments only
  • Transport can be provided for drive through swabbing if patients do not own a car

On the day of admission:

  • All patients must avoid public transport when travelling to and from the hospital, and the Trust can provide patient transport if required
  • The patient will be assessed for any Covid-19 symptoms
  • Elective patients cannot be accompanied into hospital by a friend or relative, unless they are their essential carer or in exceptional circumstances which are pre-agreed in advance
  • A drop off and collection process will be in place for all patients

Outpatients

Outpatient appointments have continued during the pandemic but, have been delivered virtually where possible. In the coming weeks we will be increasing the number of outpatients’ appointments but, will continue to only bring patients into the hospital for face to face appointments where absolutely necessary, and this includes those patients who are shielding and/or vulnerable.

All patients attending will be provided with a time appointment slot, and to enable the Trust to adhere to social distancing guidance we would ask all patients to only attend a few minutes prior which will help to minimise the number of patients waiting in communal/waiting areas.

Phlebotomy (blood tests)

Community phlebotomy services were initially paused but we have restarted community-based services on the 11th May, with Forest Road Primary Care Centre for Enfield, and The Laurels Healthy Living Centre for Haringey. We are working to increase our capacity over the next three months which include plans to open a temporary hub.

Imaging

Clinically urgent imaging and all cancer imaging has been available throughout, however all routine imagine work is currently on hold. We have plans in progress to recommence routine imaging over the coming weeks.

We currently have a number of patients refusing their scans but would urge patients to attend their appointments, we are taking every precaution to make the hospital as safe as possible.

Cancer pathways

We are pleased to have maintained our cancer performance targets through Covid-19, and have maintained outpatients, chemotherapy and radiotherapy activity on site, although with reduced capacity.

Paediatrics

We temporarily moved paediatric inpatients to Great Ormond Street Hospital, and although the paediatric emergency department remained open and patients from Barnet were diverted to North Mid, activity was lower than normal. Paediatric inpatient beds were reopened on the 8th June.

Women’s health services

Women’s outpatients’ services relocated to the Tottenham Hotspurs stadium in early April, helping to alleviate anxiety for women who were worried about coming to the hospital, during pregnancy. We plan to bring these services back to North Mid maternity building in August.

Key messages for patients

We would encourage all patients to seek help from healthcare services when they need it and not delay due to concerns of Covid-19. However, we would urge that people who do not need A&E use alternatives for example NHS 111, Walk in Centres or contact their GP.

For those attending the Hospital we would ask that patients are not accompanied, unless by their essential carer or in exceptional circumstances in order to help with social distancing.

Car parking

Following on from patient engagement and feedback, we have plans in place to move to a ‘pay on exit’ system to make it easier for those using our car parks, and to ensure they only pay for the time they use. We are working to have this change implemented by the Autumn and will ensure that this is effectively communicated.

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