Admissions suspended at Telford's Severn Hospice as 18 staff contract virus

New admissions to a ward at the Severn Hospice centre in Telford have been suspended after 18 members of staff tested positive for coronavirus.

Severn Hospice, Telford.
Severn Hospice, Telford.

Trust bosses said the safety of patients was a priority and that the move was a temporary measure. Meanwhile a small number of patients were being cared for at the 11-bed Alexandra ward which is not closed at the premises, in Apley Castle.

Poorly patients who are unable to be looked after in their own homes with the support of community nurses were being admitted at the hospice’s Shrewsbury site instead.

Severn Hospice chief executive Heather Tudor said: “The last 10 months have been the most challenging in the hospice’s 30-plus year history.

"In the past week, this challenge has become yet more severe as we faced a dramatic increase in absence across the hospice workforce, mirroring what is happening in the community.”

Ms Tudor added: “Unfortunately, the impact has been felt most keenly at our Telford hospice, particularly within our ward specialists.

“Our priority is always patient safety and until ward staff levels return to normal, we will not be admitting any new patients to our Alexandra ward in Telford.

“We are reviewing this situation daily and in the meantime patients who would have been cared for in Telford will receive enhanced support from our community nursing teams or be cared for in Shrewsbury.

“All our patients will continue to receive the level of care they need.”

Difficulties

The hospice said it hoped to re-open the ward to new admissions in a week’s time, but that would depend on staff availability after 18 who carried out a number of different roles in the service contracted the virus.

Difficulties have also been caused by fewer bank staff being available during the pandemic as many of those people were currently working in hospitals. It has a total of 330 employees across the centres.

Some hospice patients will managed at home with the help of community nursing teams until the ward can accept new patients. Last week the trust unveiled it’s new £5 million extension at its hospice centre, in Bicton, Shrewsbury.

It will feature space for the charity’s community services and provide better facilities for its day services operations. There will be a cafe for the public once the lockdown has ended and it will be open to patients from next month.

Construction of the new extension, which has been built opposite the original hospice building, has taken more than 18 months due to the pandemic interrupting the development schedule.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the hospice which offers a number of services including end of life care, has suffered a massive budget gap due to the cancellation of its major fundraising events last year.

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