Shropshire hospitals boss: 'Please, please stay at home'
Here Dr Arne Rose, medical director at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust re-iterates his plea for people to stay home, while reminding them not to visit relatives or friends in hospital unless exemptions apply.
“Please don’t think that this virus is somehow less deadly as time goes on. As bored as we get of taking precautions, it’s not going to somehow get bored of making people really, really sick.”
These are the words of my colleague Dr Elin Roddy, who Tweeted that very sage piece of advice on Sunday. On Monday, the front page of the Shropshire Star featured a picture of scores of cars parked at the bottom of the Wrekin as people flocked to that particular beauty spot. It also featured a story of a group of up to 70 people who attended what appeared to be a pre-arranged party in Granville Country Park.
I can only repeat what I said last week. Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, the key message is still stay at home as much as possible and limit contact with other people. More than 120 people have died at our hospitals since the start of this pandemic.
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In Shropshire as a whole, that total is over 200. Nobody wants a second wave, but unless we are cautious, that remains a strong possibility. Many of you will be standing outside tomorrow clapping for hospital workers, carers and other key staff. This gives us such a boost. Your actions in the rest of the week will, however, have an even greater resonance.
This weekend is another Bank Holiday weekend. It may be tempting to travel far and wide simply for a change of scenery, but please, please stay at home unless you need to go out. By doing this, you can save people’s lives.
Now that some of the restrictions on movement have been eased, we are beginning to see people arriving at our hospitals to visit loved ones, in the belief that the restrictions we as a trust have put in place have been lifted. Sadly, we are not yet in a position to do that so we would ask people to please not visit our hospitals apart from where exceptions apply in Children’s Services, Maternity, the Neonatal Department, end of life care and for patients with specific needs. More information can be found on our website at www.sath.nhs.uk
We are still learning about this virus. This week a new symptom was added to the list of those to look out for. As well as a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (known as anosmia) might also be an indication that you have contracted Covid-19.
At SaTH I continue to see incredible things every day. While doctors and nurses are to the fore of everyone’s minds, there are so many others who play their part in our efforts to tackle this virus. Our Procurement Team are among the unsung heroes. Our supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have been constant, to the point that now we are in a position to be able to provide aid to other organisations who might have shortfalls in some of things we have in surplus.
As we are in Phase 2 of the NHS’s response to Covid-19, the next step for us is to start to restore some of the urgent services that have been stood down. We have established a group to oversee our ‘Restoration and Recovery’ programme to ensure that this is done in a considered way, so that we don’t put our patients or staff at risk.
What is important to remember is that the NHS is still ‘open for businesses’ and if you need medical help, please get it as soon as possible.