NHS urges people in Cornwall to keep fighting COVID

By Simon Artymiuk   |   Reporter   |
Friday 11th March 2022 5:00 pm
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THE NHS in Cornwall has issued a call to people in the county to keep on fighting COVID.

Whilst most of us are learning to live with COVID in our daily lives, it is still having a significant impact on our hospitals where bays and wards must close to new admissions when a patient tests positive for the virus.

The rate of COVID in the population in Cornwall is running slightly higher than the national average and is a firm reminder that it has not gone away.

Deputy Medical Director at RCHT, Dr Gill Derrick, said: “The vast majority of patients with COVID, which remains at over 80 across our acute and community hospitals, are being admitted for other reasons.

“Although all patients are tested on admission, we are finding many have been unknowingly carrying the virus. When a COVID test later in their admission then proves positive, it means we must close a bay, or in some cases a whole ward, for at least 10 days. This has a big knock-on impact for patients waiting for admission and ultimately ambulances waiting to hand over their patients. It’s very similar to the effect we saw when norovirus affected our hospitals in the past.”

“We need residents and visitors to help us stop the spread of COVID in Cornwall and to reduce the risk of the virus coming into our hospitals by continuing to take precautions in their day to day activities and isolating if they test positive themselves.

“Although it’s no longer a legal requirement, we’d ask people to keep wearing face coverings in shops, on public transport and in large indoor gatherings, keep their distance from others and making sure workplaces and homes are well ventilated.”

“All of our health and care services continue to be under significant pressure. Accessing the right services when you need them (call 111 if you’re not sure) and driving down our COVID infection rate, are the best ways people can help us, help them.”

“Remember too, to protect yourself and others by getting you COVID vaccination. It’s not too late to get your first, second or booster dose and there are plenty of places across Cornwall to get vaccinated. Visit kernowccg.nhs.uk or call 119 to find a session near you.”

In other COVID news, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) has implemented a temporary suspension of visiting as over the last few days there has been a significant increase in the number of people in hospital who are COVID positive.

Although the vast majority of the 85 people have been admitted for another reason, it means the hospital has many wards or bays unable to take new admissions.

As a result, the trust has had to take the difficult decision to suspend all visiting with immediate effect. This includes visits planned for later today and through the coming weekend.

A spokesperson for RCHT said: “Exceptional circumstances, including end of life care, will be considered compassionately on an individual basis. The current visiting arrangements for maternity, neonatal and paediatrics remain unchanged.

“We will be making every effort to resume visiting as soon as we can but we must reduce the number of people coming into our hospitals to a minimum, and it is likely we will have to keep this restriction in place for at least the next seven days.

“Wards will contact those who have already booked visits to discuss this with them. If you feel there is an exceptional need to arrange a new visit, please contact the ward first.

“Please see our Keeping In Touch information about the many ways we can help you to stay in touch with relatives and loved ones.”

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