20 March 2020

Trust Medical Director urges people to follow government advice on social distancing

ESHT Medical Director, Dr David Walker is urging people to follow government advice on social distancing to help the local NHS.

Dr David Walker said: “The local NHS needs your help. London is already suffering with large numbers of COVID-19 patients and we are thought to be a couple of weeks behind them with the peak of the problem expected in around 3 to 5 weeks’ time.

“I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Please take the Government’s advice seriously. Stay away from public places where possible to reduce spreading the virus. Self isolate if you develop symptoms – do not come to A&E and use the NHS 111 online service if your symptoms worsen. All of this is essential to slow the spread of the virus and allow your local hospitals to cope with the peak period.

“We are doing all we can to prepare. We are creating extra Critical Care beds and extra ventilators have been delivered with more on the way. However all our planning depends on slowing the spread of the virus and this needs your co-operation NOW and the cooperation of everyone in our community young and old.

“During this difficult period, treatment of other non-urgent conditions may have to be delayed. Please bear with us, we will do our best to catch up quickly when the pandemic is over. But for now our focus is on preparing for this peak in demand. Everyone’s actions now by following the Government’s advice will help reduce this peak.”

Remember that essential public health advice can help stop the spread of this virus, and others. Please:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel/foam if soap and water are not immediately available (hand washing is still best)
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel. If no tissues are available, please sneeze into your elbow
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell/symptomatic