SALISBURY District Hospital is under “intense pressure” as it treats an “ever rising” number of COVID-19 positive patients.
In an open letter from Chief Executive Stacey Hunter, it has been confirmed that more than 100 patients are being treated – double the number in the first wave and equal to 25 per cent of all inpatients.
This number is rising daily – in addition 99 deaths have now been recorded at the hospital where the patient had tested positive, since the start of the pandemic.
In the letter, Stacey says: “To me and all my colleagues at the hospital this data is more than simple numbers, behind every number is a person with a family, friends and neighbours, all of whom are either worried about their loved ones health or are mourning a life cut short.”
Hospital making changes to cope
In order to continue to provide care for those suffering the severe impact of COVID-19 infection and those with other critical conditions, changes are also having to be made to the way the hospital works and who is prioritised.
Stacey adds: “To that end we are now limiting the number of surgical procedures we undertake. Sadly this means we are having to postpone some operations.
“We will continue to perform all cancer, high priority, emergency and trauma surgery.
“By making this difficult decision we can continue to provide professional, compassionate care when it is most needed.”
The hospital will contact you if your appointment has been postponed. If you do not hear from them, attend as planned.
If you are feeling unwell please contact the NHS by calling 111, your GP or in an emergency 999.
The letter added: “Our A&E remains open 24/7 to treat emergencies and the hospital contines to provide critical and urgent care, and of course our maternity team never stop delivering babies.”
‘Exhausting’ and ‘relentless’ for NHS staff
The letter adds: “We’ve been dealing with this pandemic day in and day out for almost 10 months, it’s exhausting, it feels relentless and it has impacted all areas of our lives, both at work and at home.
“I know that this must be taking its toll on the whole community.
“That’s why it’s so important we continue to look out for one another, be kind and support each other wherever we can.”
‘We must remain extra vigilant’
The letter also included a warning to the public.
It said: “With such a rapid rise of COVID-19 in the community, and with such high numbers of patients in our hospital, we must remain extra vigilant and continue to do all we can to protect each other from this new infectious strain.
“This means limiting the amount of contact we have with other people and adhering to all the lockdown regulations and continue to follow the hands, face and space guidance at work and at home.
“Together we can protect our friends and family, beat the virus and eventually get back to normal.”
To read the letter in full, click here.