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Patients "Should Keep Hospital Appointments"

Jersey's Health Minister has urged islanders to continue attending their hospital appointments.

Deputy Richard Renouf insists the General Hospital is safe, despite the rising number of patients with coronavirus.

23 have the infection.  Three are being treated for it. Two of those are in Intensive Care.

The Minister has moved to reassure worried islanders that 'our healthcare system is prepared and equipped to deal with this increase in Covid-19 patients – and our services are adjusting to cope with the current challenges'.

Some non-urgent elective surgery has been put off so that staff can be redirected, but patients are otherwise being told to keep to their outpatient appointments, operations and planned procedures.

The coronavirus patients are in wards with 'enhanced infection protection measures in place, including daily deep cleans, minimal staff movement and staff wearing full PPE'.

"Dealing with a virus is not a new scenario for the hospital and enhanced infection control measures have been put in place as a matter of course.

To further reassure Islanders, there is a programme of regular Covid testing of in-patients and robust staff screening to ensure the safety of patients, colleagues and the public."

Use of the Nightingale Wing is being continually monitored, and can be available at short notice.

Between 10 and 20 Covid-19 patients requiring high-flow oxygen treatment would trigger opening ward at Millbrook

Between 35-40 health staff are currently considered direct contacts of someone who has coronavirus and are isolating.

"Over the past week, some of our health and social care staff have, like many other large organisations, been affected by the need to isolate due to being direct contacts of people who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Our current staffing numbers mean that we are able to deal with this.

 This situation does, of course, affect our healthcare staff. They have been extremely hard working and have individually and collectively put in huge efforts over the past few months to keep Islanders safe during this pandemic – and we are incredibly thankful for all their efforts and continuing dedication." 

Hospital patients are being told not to attend more than 10 minutes before their appointment time and to do so alone (except children and vulnerable adults, who can have one person with them in PPE)

"If Islanders do feel strongly that they should not attend their planned appointment, surgery or other procedure, then we ask that they inform us so we can make alternative arrangements." - Deputy Richard Renouf

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