Coronavirus ‘pods’ appear at Eastbourne and Hastings hospitals
Coronavirus assessment pods have emerged at Eastbourne DGH and Hastings Conquest hospitals.
If necessary, people will be assessed for the virus in the pods, which are near the emergency departments of both hospitals.
This comes after reports last week a person in Brighton was the third confirmed case in the UK.
And four more people were said to be tested positive with the virus in Brighton this week.
Meanwhile, a GP practice in Brighton was shut down yesterday (Monday), and a student from the University of Sussex was rushed to hospital to be tested for the virus.
Anyone who has travelled from anywhere in China in the last 14 days and developed symptoms of a cough, fever, or shortness of breath, is advised to immediately isolate themselves and call NHS 111.
Vikki Carruth, director of nursing and director of infection prevention and control at East Sussex NHS Health Trust (ESHT), said the trust is following national guidance from Public Health England in terms of its response to the new 2019 novel Coronavirus.
She said, “I am incredibly proud of how our staff have worked together to put in place everything that is required of us, to be prepared and respond if needed.”
NHS 111 is the preferred point of contact for patients with symptoms and concerns about Coronavirus.
In line with national planning, she said, both Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne District General Hospital have established priority assessment pods near each emergency department.
They are for people to contact NHS111 for assessment of Coronavirus only. Only if NHS 111 deems it necessary will staff test people in the pod, said ESHT.
Ms Carruth said, “I want to stress people should only attend the Emergency Department if they need urgent or emergency treatment.
“NHS 111 will advise those individuals who need to attend the assessment pod for testing and will make the necessary arrangements with the hospital.”
A UK-wide public information campaign has been launched to advise the public on how to slow the spread of coronavirus and reduce the impact on NHS services.
The advice on how people can protect themselves from infection is similar to the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign used for flu and norovirus.
It promotes important hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.
The advice to the public is to:
• Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue
• Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs
Coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough or difficulty breathing.
The NHS says the current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild.
For further information on coronavirus, visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.