Across the country and locally we are seeing a relentless rise in the number of COVID-19 infections and beginning to feel the inevitable pressure. At SDH, like most in the country, we have seen a steady increase in the number of inpatients testing positive for COVID-19.
The hospital kept its state of preparedness high in order to manage this expected surge in COVID-19 positive patients and is constantly reviewing and improving the way it has worked in order to maintain normal services and cope with additional COVID-19 demand.
All planned routine procedures and GP referrals have been individually clinically assessed and prioritised according to need. This does mean that some procedures and appointments have been delayed and people are experiencing increased waiting times. It is hoped that people will understand that the hospital must see those most in need first and will bear with them as they work through the waiting lists as quickly as possible.
In addition the hospital is undertaking some building work to improve how it safely manages minor injuries in A&E and has a new modular building planned to increase outpatient capacity. This new building is expected to be completed in the New Year. The capacity to conduct remote consultation has also been increased.
Throughout the initial phase of the pandemic the hospital never stopped providing urgent and emergency care and continued to deliver babies every day. These services operated 24 hrs a day 7 days a week alongside the response to the pandemic. However, like hospitals across the country, a large number of planned procedures were cancelled and delayed. Right now services are running at a new level which recognises the restrictions imposed by social distancing and additional cleaning requirements that are there to protect patients and staff.
The whole NHS is bracing itself for a tough winter and the team at Salisbury will do what they always do – work tirelessly to help as many people as possible.
This message is from Tony Pryor-Jones one of the elected governors for South Wiltshire Rural