Covid outbreak probe at Telford hospital found lack of social distancing

An investigation into a coronavirus outbreak involving several staff at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) found issues around a lack of social distancing, a new report has revealed.

Princess Royal Hospital in Telford
Princess Royal Hospital in Telford

The outbreak happened in the radiology department at PRH in August.

A report to the board of Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust says the incident involved staff-to-staff transmission for a total of eight workers.

It was investigated with the involvement of National Health Service England Improvement and Public Health England, leading to an action plan being put in place.

No further cases were linked to the outbreak after 28 days and the matter was closed.

In the report, which was written last month, deputy chief nurse Kara Blackwell says: "The key learning from this staff outbreak related to lack of social distancing by staff when in non clinical areas and staff behaviours outside of work in relation to social interactions.

"The infection prevention control team have undertaken quality walks in radiology specifically focusing on non-clinical areas/staff rooms to ensure social distancing measures are in place and being adhered to and the radiology manager is reinforcing this with all staff.

"The trust is now seeing fewer Covid-19 cases and have had very few positive patients admitted.

"Work is continuing with Covid and planning in case of a second wave."

At the time, SaTH, which runs PRH, said the staff concerned had been wearing correct PPE, and that contact tracing had been carried out where necessary.

Staff who tested positive for Covid-19 went into self-isolation.

Guidance

The report to the trust's board, which meets tomorrow, also said the Care Quality Commission has fed back that the trust had undertaken a thorough assessment of infection prevention and control, across all services, since the pandemic was declared.

"Appropriate systems in place included having prompt identification of people within the organisation who have or are at risk of developing an infection, appropriate isolation facilities/cohorting areas had been established for patients across the trust," it said.

"Alongside this staff had received, and continue to receive necessary training, in line with national guidance which was updated accordingly.

"They commented that the trust had adopted a supportive and holistic approach which considered both the physical and psychological needs of staff."

The hospital board meeting will be streamed live on Microsoft Teams from 1pm tomorrow.

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