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With John Leech

Queen’s and King George Hospitals to keep life-saving changes made during coronavirus crisis

The video covers a wide range of improvements made in recent months (credit: BHRUT)

A video has been released highlighting the changes made at Queen’s and King George Hospitals during the coronavirus crisis. 

Throughout the pandemic, 403 Covid-19 patients have died in the hospitals while 1,300 have been discharged. 

“We’ve needed to totally change the way we deliver many our services and advance how we use technology – and quickly!” said Dr Magda Smith, Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Chief Medical Officer. 

“In April alone, we ran 5,700 appointments over the telephone rather than face-to-face. That’s thousands of journeys saved at a time when many patients are anxious about coming to hospital.”

“We’ve also increased our critical care capacity five-fold and launched a multi-disciplinary training programme for staff who have moved from areas such as Outpatients to wards. Some of our staff hadn’t worked on wards in many years, and I’m so proud of how they embraced the challenge.”  

One of the staff members speaking in the video, Kate Baker, is a former patient whose life was saved when she was treated for a brain tumour in 2016. 

She has spent years volunteering since her recovery and took on a new role as a healthcare assistant when Covid-19 spread across the country. 

The Trust has also worked with other healthcare providers to tackle the crisis. 

“Two hospitals in the private sector are now our designated ‘Covid-free hospitals’ which has enabled us to continue cancer treatments and trauma care in an environment that’s safer for some of our most vulnerable patients,” said Chief Executive, Tony Chambers. 

“We’ve also worked closely with our three local authorities, our commissioners and the North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) to make sure our patients can leave hospital as soon as they are well enough.

“In one week, at the end of March, we went from having 408 patients who had been with us for seven days down to 140. NELFT have set up 117 additional beds at their Goodmayes site in just 15 days for patients who are well enough to leave an acute hospital but still need a community bed.”

Mr Chambers concluded by saying the Trust will keep the improvements they have made so far:  

“Where we find that changes we’ve made improve patient care, we’re determined that these changes stick so we can continually improve the way we deliver care for our communities. It’s a new NHS and a new BHRUT – there’s no going back!”


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