07 December 2020
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, has issued the following statement:
We would like to reassure Islanders that our healthcare system is prepared and equipped to deal with this increase in Covid-19 patients – and our services are adjusting to cope with the current challenges.
The majority of patients in the General Hospital who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 do not have the virus as their primary health need, and are being treated for other conditions.
They are in wards with enhanced infection protection measures in place, including daily deep cleans, minimal staff movement and staff wearing full PPE.
This means that, at present, we currently have two Covid positive patients being cared for in the Intensive Treatment Unit. Therefore, we do not need to open the Nightingale Wing. We are, of course, continually monitoring the situation and the Nightingale Wing is available, at short notice, should it be required.
Over the past week, some of our health and social care staff have, like many other large organisations, been affected by the need to isolate due to being direct contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
Our current staffing numbers mean that we are able to deal with this.
This situation does, of course, affect our healthcare staff. They have been extremely hard working and have individually and collectively put in huge efforts over the past few months to keep Islanders safe during this pandemic – and we are incredibly thankful for all their efforts and continuing dedication.
So, we urge Islanders to please comply with Public Health guidance on mask wearing and social distancing to avoid an escalation of this issue.
We would also like to remind Islanders that the hospital remains open and we continue to care for our patients.
We have, however, today taken the decision to reduce the number of elective surgery beds for non-urgent procedures. This will allow us to redirect some of our staff to deal with any escalation in Covid-19 cases.
Dealing with a virus is not a new scenario for the hospital and enhanced infection control measures have been put in place as a matter of course.
To further reassure Islanders, there is a programme of regular Covid testing of in-patients and robust staff screening to ensure the safety of patients, colleagues and the public.
We would, therefore, like to remind Islanders to attend operations, planned procedures and outpatient clinic appointments.
Patients are also urged to attend no earlier than 10 minutes before their planned appointment or procedure and to come alone – with the exception of children or vulnerable adults who can be accompanied by one other person wearing appropriate PPE.
If Islanders do feel strongly that they should not attend their planned appointment, surgery or other procedure, then we ask that they inform us so we can make alternative arrangements.
Thank you for your continued understanding as we maintain our services whilst also containing and supressing the spread of Covid-19 in our community and health care settings.