Page last updated: 28 April, 2020, 3:20pm
Message from the Chief Executive 7 April 2020
Last night’s news that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has been admitted to intensive care after his health deteriorated has been a shock to us all. It’s another reminder of the risk that this virus continues to pose.
I know that our colleagues at Guys and St Thomas’ Trust will be providing the very best care to him and to all of their patients and we send our best wishes.
I’m sure many of us have already been touched on a personal and professional level by the impact of the coronavirus – whether we’re caring for patients or their families, supporting the frontline or in our own home lives.
Increasingly, as time moves on, many more of us will find ourselves in that position. If you or your family are unwell at this time, please know that I am thinking of you.
Since Saturday, we have been able to offer testing for family / household members in addition to the staff testing that we have been undertaking for some weeks. This process was developed at speed and I know there are still some issues to iron out but we did not want to delay in making this offer available to you.
I know that staff have found it reassuring to have some certainty about whether a family or household member’s symptoms are linked to the COVID-19 virus.
This week we have seen the numbers of patients continue to rise as we expected them to. We now have 117 patients in our hospitals who have tested positive for COVID-19, with 20 needing intensive care.
Very sadly, 33 of our patients have died having tested positive for the virus (figures as of 6 April).
Please be assured that there is work going on around the clock nationally, regionally and here in Newcastle to make sure that we continue to be in the strongest position to fight the virus, protect staff and respond to the emerging issues.
A huge amount of work is dedicated to securing the maximum PPE, testing equipment and oxygen supply that we will need. I am chairing a regional forum of Chief Executives’ focussing on critical care capacity to ensure that all of our organisations are effectively supporting each other so that patients can access the help that they need.
I will aim to give you further updates about these important areas in my messages to staff and would ask you continue to refer to the daily updates for the most up-to-date information and advice about the pandemic.
Later this week we will launch a new website for both staff and the public that will be the gateway for key information. We are also developing other ways to keep you informed in these unprecedented times – for example webex and podcasts.
Thank you once again for your hard work and dedication to our patients and to each other.
Dame Jackie Daniel