Increased our Critical Care Capacity
We have already doubled our normal critical care capacity, and our aim is to ultimately have five times our normal capacity. This involves expanding critical care into theatres and recovery areas.
Relocated our Chemotherapy Services
To minimise the risks to our cancer patients, we have temporarily moved chemotherapy and infusion care to East Sussex College in Eastbourne. This change in location means that we can safely deliver treatment to cancer patients away from the main hospital.
Created discharge hubs
Our new seven-day Discharge Hubs are supporting the rapid discharge of patients as soon as it is clinically safe to do so. Working with local partners we have significantly reduced the numbers of medically fit for discharge patients in our hospitals.
Relocated all our Maternity services to Conquest Hospital
We have temporarily suspended the homebirth service and Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU) service. All deliveries will be in the Obstetric Unit at Conquest Hospital, Hastings. A key factor in making this decision is that the ambulance service is under considerable pressure, and could not guarantee a timely response to calls in an emergency. This presented an unacceptable risk to mothers and their babies. The obstetric unit at Conquest has a dedicated entrance door so that there is no need for mothers to go through the hospital.
We have cancelled non-urgent operations and procedures
We have cancelled all non-urgent operations and procedures to free up clinical areas and clinicians to help treat Covid-19 patients. We understand the frustration this will cause many people and their procedure will be rebooked at a later date. We will continue to perform urgent and emergency procedures with some taking place in other facilities away from the main hospitals. Cancer treatment continues with close attention being paid to referral and treatment volumes to make sure that cancer cases continue to be identified, diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
We have increased the number of telephone outpatient appointments
Some appointments have moved to a telephone conversation with the hope that we will soon be able to offer some video appointments in the future.
We have introduced visiting restrictions
To help us keep our patients, staff and visitors safe, stop the spread Covid-19 and keep our hospitals running, we have had to put strict restrictions on visitors. Please see visiting restrictions.
We have speeded up our recruitment processes
Our recruitment process for new employees is being fast tracked to allow more clinical staff to start working on the wards sooner than would normally be the case. We are also contacting all members of staff with lapsed or current healthcare registration who do not currently work in clinical roles and are offering training so that they can support frontline care.
Additional training is being provided to a wide range of clinical staff such as HCAs, staff nurses, matrons, junior doctors of all grades and senior clinicians. For example, intensive Care consultants are providing training for members of clinical staff who might be required to support patients requiring ventilation.
We appreciate the significant numbers of people who have offered to volunteer to help us. It is important that we find suitable roles that are safe and most helpful. Please bear with us while we work to make the appropriate arrangements.