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Shropshire hospital boss: 'This is a particularly risky time - coronavirus has not gone away'

Shrewsbury | In-depth | Published:

Dr Arne Rose, medical director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, gives the latest update in their fight against coronavirus.

Dr Arne Rose

Over the past few days, we have been in the fortunate position of having no Covid patients in our hospitals.

However, you only need to look at the outbreak in Craven Arms to understand that we must not become complacent.

Indeed, you could argue that this is a particularly risky time, as people perceive that coronavirus has gone away. It has not, and we must all continue to take the necessary precautions.

Face coverings are now a familiar sight, as we must all wear them in shops, but there are still some people who are not using them correctly.

For example, I have seen people not covering the whole of their mouth and nose, which renders them ineffective. Advice on the correct use of face coverings can be found on the gov.uk website.

The situation with the reduction in Covid-19 positive cases in our hospitals does mean that we can look to restore some more of our services.

Unfortunately, restoring services takes much longer than suspending or moving services, because we need to do everything in our power to ensure that bringing a service back does not lead to a spread of the virus.

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Our patients have been wonderfully understanding of that situation and I want to thank them for it.

We have also been able to relax our visitor restrictions in some cases.

The Gynaecology Ward is the first to trial a new policy.

Challenging

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Strict rules remain in place to protect patients, visitors and staff, and to ensure that social distancing guidelines can be met.

These include visitors booking a time to see the patient and only being allowed to stay for 50 minutes, as well as adhering to our PPE requirements.

If this proves to be successful, the new visiting policy will be rolled out to other wards across our hospitals.

We’ve also been able to relax visiting rules for our Maternity Services, Fertility Services and the Neonatal Unit.

Full details of these can be found on our website at www.sath.nhs.uk

Our junior doctors have played a very important role in our response to the pandemic.

This week, we will be welcoming our new first year foundation doctors, who will be shadowing in the departments in which they will be working.

All other grades of doctors will change over next week.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming new trainees over the coming weeks in what is a very challenging time for the NHS.

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