Weston hospital in phased reopening after coronavirus outbreak
- Credit: Archant
Weston General Hospital has started to accept new patients today (Thursday), with the aim of reopening A&E by the end of next week.
University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Trust (UHBW), which runs the hospital, has confirmed it is now in a position to accept new patients and restart services in a ‘carefully planned and phased way’.
The hospital was closed to new patients on May 25 due to an outbreak of coronavirus, but due to its fast actions to contain the virus the trust says it is now in a position to safely accept new patients.
Dr William Oldfield, medical director at UHBW, said: “Our absolute priority remains the safety of our patients and our staff, and there are strict criteria in place that must be met before we accept new patients into our hospital.
“We have deep cleaned and appropriately zoned the hospital and social distancing measures are in place in line with national guidance.
“We have enough staff to safely operate services and they have all been tested, at least twice, or completed recommended isolation periods, to confirm that they do not have coronavirus infection.
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“We have tested all current inpatients for coronavirus infection and this has shown no new cases in our non-Covid wards since the temporary measures were introduced.
“This indicates no in-hospital transmission of infection and clearly demonstrates that the actions we have taken are working, thus ensuring our patients and staff remain as safe as possible.
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“All of this means that we can begin to reopen services in a carefully planned and phased way from today, and we are now taking patients back into our care from our neighbouring trusts, and contacting our patients to arrange appointments as individual clinics reopen.”
An investigation into the cause of the coronavirus outbreak at the hospital is ongoing and bosses say there will be ‘lessons to learn’ across the NHS due to the number of asymptomatic staff with the disease.
The hospital is accepting new patients which would have been transferred to neighbouring hospitals, and restarting a number of clinics. Patients will be contacted to confirm arrangements.
Dr Oldfield added: “Reaching this stage has only been possible because of the hard work and commitment of our staff during this exceptionally challenging time and the support of partner organisations.
“Thanks to everyone’s continued efforts we have been able to maintain high standards of care for those patients who have remained at the hospital throughout this period.
“The support of our partner organisations has meant that patients have continued to have access to the care and treatment they need in other healthcare settings, and this remains in place whilst we work to reopen our A&E department.
“We would also like to thank the people of Weston-super-Mare and the surrounding areas for their patience and understanding as we have worked to reopen their hospital.”
More information on the changes at the hospital are available here.