Coronavirus cases at Homerton Hospital ‘starting to drop off’

The Homerton Hospital. Picture: Archant

The Homerton Hospital. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Ninety-nine coronavirus patients have now died at Homerton Hospital, but the number of people being admitted with Covid-19 is “starting to drop off”.

Paddy the dog will be providing pet therapy for Homerton Hospital staff. Picture: Emma Higgins

Paddy the dog will be providing pet therapy for Homerton Hospital staff. Picture: Emma Higgins - Credit: Archant

The hospital also said on Friday that three or four people a day are being discharged having had the virus, with the total number of discharges since the outbreak started standing at 183.

Another 14 patients have died since Monday, when the death toll stood at 85. One member of staff, Dr Abdul Mabud Chowdhury, has died, and some are self-isolating.

“At the height of this we had well over 120 people at any one time suffering from the virus,” said a spokesperson. “Now we are seeing a gentle drop from that and we are considering whether or not to change back a couple of wards next week.”

Almost all wards in the hospital are currently focused on fighting the virus, including the endoscopy ward where staff have been trained and are now on coronavirus wards.

As the hospital cancelled all routine operations hardly any children are being admitted, so it has stopped child admissions altogether with the exception of A&E, and will refer cases to the Royal London if needed.

That has allowed the Starlight children’s ward, which has a good oxygen supply, to be converted into a coronavirus ward.

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The spokesperson said social distancing looked to be having an impact but added: “It’s like a major incident every day. It’s a very fluid situation where conditions of patients can deteriorate very quickly. We had 10 critical care beds at the start of this, and we now have 30.”

The hospital’s library workers have supported the heroic frontline staff members by creating the “wobble room” where they can have some time out.

“That’s been very popular,” said the spokesperson. “And the support from the community is amazing. All the food and drink from individuals and restaurants is magnificent. We had 4,000 Easter eggs delivered at the weekend and a restaurant has set up a stand outside for night staff to get a meal.”

Staff will also soon be benefiting from pet therapy.

The spokesperson explained: “?A member of the intensive care team sent in a request for a dog to perhaps come in and be with staff during their down time period, to help them relax after the stress of working in the ICU.

“Emma Higgins, our dementia lead nurse, arranges for Pets as Therapy animals to visit our elderly care wards and said she would be delighted to bring her own dog, Paddy, into the hospital next week.”