Homerton hospital brings back services suspended during the Covid-19 crisis
- Credit: Homerton Hospital
Homerton hospital is gradually returning to “something like normal activity” after almost four months dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
As of June 26 there had been no new coronavirus patients admitted for several days, with three Covid-19 patients remaining at the hospital.
Homerton staff want people to know it is safe to come in and urge anyone who has been reluctant to visit to make use of vital services.
A spokesperson from Homerton Hospital told the Gazette: “People have been sitting on things and not coming to hospital for reasons such as a fear or because they don’t want to worry [staff] who are busy.
“The fact is that the hospital is open now, it has been all the time but now particularly that we’ve got these protocols in place – it’s a safe place to come.”
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The hospital has opened up green zones, which means they are Covid-19 free, but government protocols for infectious control still limit the use of some parts of the building.
Its six main theatres are not yet in use because they are on the same corridor as an intensive care unit treating Covid-19 patients but routine surgeries and endoscopy testing have resumed.
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The hospital’s spokesperson said: “Slowly and surely we are starting to bring things back to normal but still, a large proportion of our patients are being seen virtually by our consultants, either by phone, facetime or zoom.”
The possibility of a second wave, mental health support for staff and “long haul” recovery for Covid-19 patients are now on the list of hospital priorities.
An information pack collated by Homerton physiotherapist Nikki Anderton is one of the ways patients are being supported and has lead the way nationally in Covid-19 rehabilitation with twelve hospital trusts around the country asking to use it.
Hospital chair, Sir John Gieve, said: “The hospital is quieter now as the numbers of Covid patients continue to fall, although our community services will be dealing with the longer term effects for some time.”
The hospital’s chair also praised the outpouring of support from local communities and said; “It is fair to say that one key factor keeping staff going during this period was the fantastic support from our local communities – not only in the weekly outpouring of affection for the NHS on the Thursday evening ‘clap’ but also in the hundreds of gifts and donations, big and small, which poured in on a daily basis, and which are still coming.”
At the height of the pandemic Homerton was caring for 117 Covid-19 patients and all 30 of its critical care and intensive care beds were full.
Over 282 Covid-19 patients have now been discharged from the hospital and 151 have died including doctor Abdul Chowdhury and staff nurses Michael Allieu and Sophie Fagan.