Page last updated: 28 April, 2020, 3:17pm
Message from the Chief Executive 9 April 2020
We’re approaching an important phase in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial models suggested that cases would peak this weekend but as it stands today we are managing well and have sufficient intensive care capacity in the trust and in the region.
This is due to a huge amount of hard work from everyone across every part of Newcastle Hospitals. I know how much tireless effort it has taken – and will continue to take – to provide the levels of critical care that will be required.
We also need to thank the public for their efforts to ensure social distancing and following the Prime Minister’s instruction to #StayHomeStaySafe. Please encourage your family and friends to continue with this discipline over the coming long weekend.
I am acutely aware of how difficult it is to practice good social distancing at work when caring for patients but it, nevertheless, remains important for all of us to do our best.
Sadly we do seem to have some staff who have become ill with coronavirus from colleagues whilst at work.
I’d like to encourage everyone to think very carefully about what ‘professional distancing’ looks like in your work area. This is not an area where we can give clear guidelines, but I’d encourage everyone to take responsibility for their own – and their colleagues safety – and to be very mindful of this.
I’m also hearing your concerns about our level of PPE supplies. I know that this is causing a huge amount of anxiety and it has been the focus of my and the executive team’s efforts this week.
A vast effort is underway to secure all of the supplies that we need, and this means that we are currently in a safe position. Please follow the PPE guidance that has been published and is available on the Trust intranet site.
I am very grateful to the extraordinary energy and imagination that is being dedicated to this task.
Our medical physics and clinical engineering team have been working this week to design and produce new visors for the cardiology care team at the RVI. Something which they anticipate would have taken six months in usual times has been completed in seven days and has provided a huge boost to the clinical team.
Yesterday we received our first consignment of robes from Dame Margaret Barbour who has re-opened the Barbour factory to make gowns for us. The local Chamber of Commerce co-ordinated local businesses to provide thousands of items and Nissan and our local universities are making visors to our specification.
Please know that this is our first priority so that we can help you to be confident while you are providing lifesaving care. The whole region is behind us, and will ensure that together we will get through this.
Tonight, as the UK comes together once more to thank key workers with the #clapforcarers, I hope you will be able to take a moment to reflect on the wonderful job that you’re doing.
I also hope that you are able to get some time over the weekend to restore your own wellbeing and connect with your family in whatever way you can.
With heartfelt thanks
Dame Jackie Daniel