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Shropshire hospitals boss: 'We must keep on protecting each other'

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | In-depth | Published:

Medical director at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, Dr Arne Rose, tells of how the trust is preparing for winter and working to restore services which were paused at the start of the Covid pandemic.

Dr Arne Rose

Our lives were changed again this week with new restrictions put in place to help curb a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

It is tough for all of us but we need to ensure that as we move into winter – when flu is rife and it is the busiest time in our hospitals – action is taken to protect our health services so they can help those in need.

Here, we are working towards returning to normal as much as we possibly can before winter takes hold, and planning work to recover and restore non-Covid-19 services that were paused at the beginning of the pandemic is continuing.

Most recently, we have secured two mobile MRI scanners for three months for both hospital sites which will be in place soon, and which will allow us to start inviting patients from our routine waiting lists in for a scan.

I mentioned last week that our blood-taking (phlebotomy) service has just returned to Elizabeth House at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Mallings Health Building at Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

Since resuming at these sites, the service has been incredibly busy with our call handlers taking up to 600 calls a day.

To anyone who needs to use this booking line for their appointments, please bear with them and be patient.

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Please can I also remind everyone that blood tests are now by appointment-only; this is in order to maintain a socially-distanced environment for patients and staff.

Do not turn up if you don’t have an appointment as unfortunately you won’t be able to have a blood test.

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Our antibody testing programme for colleagues working at both RSH and PRH has been very successful, and I would like to thank all of those who have been involved in this.

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This programme is due to close at the end of this month, and has seen nearly 5,600 have the test.

We have also tested nearly 8,200 colleagues from across the health system. At SaTH, our winter planning also involves vaccinating our staff against flu.

We are preparing to launch our flu campaign and we will be encouraging all colleagues to have their vaccinations just as I would encourage everyone to get the flu jab when the time comes, as flu can be a very serious virus.

Coronavirus is still here.

We must keep on protecting each other at this time – so please continue to wash your hands regularly, cover your face in crowded areas and keep your distance from others.

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