Covid bulletin header
Due to the evolving nature of guidance, please note that information is correct at the time of each bulletin.
Bulletin 144 (15-07-21)
- Preparing for a possible new wave – message from Mark Hamilton, Medical Director
- Review of Staff Covid Risk Assessments
- New Track and Trace risk assessment- Urgent Update
- Resources for Continued COVID Measures
- Hospital Update
Useful links for staff:
- Support for Staff hub
- Advice and FAQs for staff section
- Working remotely? We’re making these bulletins available here for staff working remotely. If you need help with MS Teams, help guides can be found here.
One of the things we heard you say after the first and second waves of COVID, is that we need to share our planning work with staff earlier. We are endeavouring to do that, recognising that although we have modelling and predictions, the situation is dynamic and our response has to be the same, to a degree.
I want to reassure you that planning is well underway for stepping up our response to increasing COVID. Our Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) met yesterday and this is what we discussed:
The numbers of COVID cases in our local Plymouth community is currently 423.5 per 100,000 people: this is above both the regional and national average (333.7) and rising daily. Plymouth’s 60+ cohort is also increasing, with a rate per 100k of 85.8 (+4.6).
Attendances to our Emergency Department COVID area (Plym) are increasing – 85 attendances in last 7 days, compared to 66 the week prior. In the hospital, we have 15 positive inpatients, of which three are in our Intensive Care Unit. Many of our inpatients are currently younger with fewer comorbidities and their length of stay is shorter but a small number still need support in intensive care.
The modelling data shows that we could be facing a third wave which peaks at the end of August/early September with 60-70 of UHP beds occupied with COVID positive patients. Total cases are expected to be around twice the size of the 1st wave. The duration of the wave could last until October. At the moment, these are only predictions and there is a big margin for error so we have to keep our decision-making dynamic.
This is our current pathway and the next steps to opening up more COVID capacity:
Meavy (amber) for patients with suspected COVID or those who have been in contact with positive cases: please note these two types of patients are cared for separately.
Crownhill (red for confirmed cases of COVID)
Next red ward: Clearbrook
ICU capacity – next step is emptying the link between Pencarrow and Penrose which would give us up to eight additional beds for COVID positive patients
We will be continuing with all of our current restrictions in the hospital including hand sanitising, wearing of masks, observing social distancing and our Rule of 1 visiting. We will be communicating this publicly. Nothing will change post 19 July. We are asking people:
- If you have a hospital or clinic appointment, please attend alone unless exceptional circumstances apply. This helps us reduce footfall and protect our most vulnerable patients.
- Please respect our Rule of 1 for visiting: 1 visitor for 1 hour per 1 patient per day
- You must wear a mask in our hospitals, clinics and building unless you are exempt
- Please continue to wash your hands regularly and observe social distancing
My advice to colleagues is to please continue to follow all of the infection control measures. We know our vaccination programme has been highly effective, but please don’t think that because we are double vaccinated we are immune to COVID. For our patients and fellow staff we ask you to remain vigilant. Please continue to follow all of the infection control measures plus:
- Test and Trace: If you are told by Test and Trace to isolate, you must do so. Please note having a negative PCR test does not overrule this.
- Pinged by the Test and trace app? Contact the Centralised Absence Reporting (CAR) Line as soon as possible. Staff are trained to advise you on your risk and next steps. The CAR Line remains open on 01752 430000 and is staffed from 6am to 8pm. If calling outside of these hours, please leave a message on the answering service.
- Lateral flow testing (LFT): All staff – clinical and non-clinical please continue to test yourselves twice a week. This is a very quick way for us to understand any prevalence of the virus among our staff and any asymptomatic cases. Testing kits are available via the Risk and Incident Office, Level 7, Derriford Hospital – from Cashier’s, go past Patient Services and follow LFT signs.
- Positive LFT: If your LFT test result is positive, self-isolate along with your household and call the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000 or 119 to arrange to have a PCR test. If you call 119 to book please notify the Centralised Absence Hub you have done so.
- Negative LFT but feeling unwell? Please note, if you have had a negative LFT result but you have any symptoms of COVID, you must please take a PCR test. An LFT test is fine for routine testing of people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms must take a PCR test. Thank you.
Mark Hamilton, Medical Director
As the prevalence of covid is increasing in the community, it is important for line managers to review and where necessary, update covid risk assessments for colleagues who have been particularly vulnerable and have, for example, shielded or changed how and where they work. Please note that the vaccine does not give complete protection and many of those most vulnerable, may still be at increased risk. The Trust’s Covid Risk Assessment tool and the linked ALAMA risk assessment provides guidance on how to review risk assessments in the light of changing prevalence and can be located here via this link.
We have cohesively agreed a risk assessment for staff who have an unknown contact and have been contacted by the test and trace app and told to isolate.
If you have any staff in this category, please get them to call the absence hub at their earliest convenience. The team are trained to take colleagues through the assessment and bring all staff back into work when it is safe to do so.
Director of Mass Vaccination, Flu and Testing
The Communications Team will be focussing on updating external signage today to reflect the ongoing expectations of staff, patients and visitors after 19 July.
Printable resources will be made available for departments to utilise via StaffNET tomorrow morning.
If you require any specific variations on this design, please contact email@example.com with details.
Confirmed Hospital Cases: Number of active cases at 07:30 today was 15 (no change) - three (no change) of which in ICU and two in step down. There were three newly diagnosed inpatients yesterday, and our rolling seven-day average is currently 3.0 (-0.1):
Plymouth Rate per 100,000 population (7 day rolling average): Latest total Plymouth rate (as at 10/7) is 459.6 (+36.1) and the 60+ rate is 92.1 (+6.3). The former continues to rise sharply, and our 60+ cohort is also on the rise:
Trust policy and Guidance
Trustwide COVID-19 Patient Screening Assessment.pdf [pdf] 395KB Updated 11.01.2021
De-escalation and patient discharge
Staff track and trace website (only accesible from Trust devices)