Ellern Mede is taking every precaution to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors by implementing the official prevention guidelines issued by Public Health England (PHE). We have a business continuity graded response plan which, in terms of current guidance, will enable the hospitals to continue to care for our inpatients throughout the outbreak.
Stringent infection control measures include hand sanitisation stations, regular deep cleaning of the premises, and temperature testing for essential staff and visitors entering the building. Since 26 March, we responded to what is essentially ‘lockdown’ by taking the regrettable, temporary, but unavoidable step of ceasing visits to patients, even by parents. We know this is a sacrifice to make and it will be under constant review, which means on a weekly basis. We have also ceased patient leave or activity off the hospital grounds and this too will be until Government announces a change in advice. We have also suspended any new Outpatient appointments and moved existing outpatient appointments to remote video call therapy sessions. Ellern Mede School learning is being offered remotely in video sessions and this is going well.
All our staff and suppliers are warned about recent travel, recognising symptoms and the importance of observing social distancing when both in and outside of the hospital as well as remaining at home when not at work other than for essential shopping for food or fuel. We are also looking into reducing staff travel by sourcing temporary accommodation closer to the hospital for extended shifts.
For our inpatients, we have implemented COVID-19 Risk Management care plans. The purpose of the plan is for the scenario where we encounter reduced staffing levels. The plans identify safe ways, specific to each patient’s needs, to reduce their non-essential clinical routines such as ward rounds and case meetings if that is possible. Every patient is different. We have graded levels of response to potential lower staffing levels, should they arise. For the time being, we have the usual safe staffing levels and a full complement of staff. However we recognise that during the outbreak there may be days when our staffing levels may come under pressure and we are prepared for that eventuality with a graded response action plan as follows:
Managing Director Peter Curtis said: “Whilst this is undoubtably the biggest management challenge in our service’s history, the clinical, administrative and school teams have all responded magnificently in rising to meet whatever our patients and families need.”
“We realise that this is an anxious time for patients, their families and staff. Should anyone linked to our service be affected we will seek to support them in every way we can, following national guidance.”
For more information please contact the Communications Team on 07908 080300.