Together We're Better Stakeholder Update 30th March 2020
Fri 3 Apr 2020
As you will all be aware, we are now facing unprecedented times in the NHS, social care and as a country with the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We want to make sure that everyone is kept as up to date as possible with what is going on locally in health and care, including any temporary service changes. As a result, Together We’re Better will be releasing weekly updates, like this one, with the latest information from across the health and care system across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
Together We’re Better is the local health and care partnership and is made up of all NHS and local authority organisations, alongside voluntary and third sector organisation. All partners are working tirelessly to ensure that patients receive the best care possible, whilst keeping health and care staff and members of the public safe.
Many of you will have seen the country come together for the last two Thursdays to applaud NHS staff and carers in gardens, on doorsteps and from balconies. It is now more important than ever that partners also come together to work as a system, across health and care services. This will ensure that we are doing the very best for all residents within Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as for staff.
We are expecting that nationally we will hit the peak of activity in the coming weeks and partners are doing everything possible to prepare for this.
Across the system, the latest updates are:
- The Staffordshire Resilience Forum (made up of multiple agencies who work together to plan and prepare for localised incidents and civil emergencies) declared a major incident in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. This is a matter of process and means that resources can be pooled and that we will be able to do things in a more joined-up way. More information on this can be found HERE.
- Local NHS trusts are seeing an increase in demand and are following national guidance, working to speed up the discharge of patients as soon as it is safe to do so. Continuing Healthcare teams have also been working to discharge patients from community hospitals, to free up as many beds as possible.
- Deliveries of PPE are continuing in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and this includes to GP practices, dental practices and community pharmacies, as well as care homes, hospices and home care providers. We will continue to monitor the supply closely and ensure that PPE equipment is going to services that need it most.
- Around £2million is being invested in additional IT equipment to support remote working in primary care across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
- NHS England and NHS Improvement this week released resources in British Sign Language. These are available to download on the Public Health England Campaign Resource Centre.
- Opening of the first ‘hot hub’ in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, where all patients attending have coronavirus symptoms and are assessed to see whether they need to go to hospital. This was reportedly the first ‘hot hub’ in the country. Hot hub sites are also being set up in each of the localities across the CCG areas.
In an effort to try and ease some of our pressures locally, decisions have been made to temporarily suspend or alter services, so that the staff can be better utilised in our big hospitals, where the pressures really are immense. The most recent service changes are:
- Temporary closure for Cannock Chase Hospital’s Minor Injury Unit
- Temporary closure of maternity unit at Samuel Johnson Community Hospital
- Temporary relocation of children’s wards from Queens Hospital, Burton to Royal Derby Hospital
- Temporary changes to emergency department at Royal Derby Hospital
- Temporary changes to A&E at UHNM
- Temporary suspension of community phlebotomy (blood test) services in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffs
- Temporary suspension of breast screening service at UHNM
- Temporary services changes from Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, including the temporary suspension of the Minor Injuries Unit at Leek Moorlands Hospital