Dr J P Carpenter, cardiologist at Poole Hospital, has sent the following message to PHSG members:
You may want to let your members know the following:
- Major preparations are being made both at Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals in view of the Coronavirus pandemic
- The intensive care unit in Poole has been expanded, taking over the Acute Cardiac Unit (previously Coronary Care) and another ward
- Major investment has been made with the purchase of many new ventilators and three brand new echo machines – more equipment is on its way
- The medical staff have completely changed the way they are working in order to cover the anticipated demand (as well as sickness within their own ranks)
- Planned care (such as outpatient appointments, cardioversions, etc) and investigations have all been postponed for now. We will keep a careful log of each person’s appointments and will ensure that these are not forgotten.
- Some patients will be offered telephone or video consultations whilst we are still able to devote time to this
- All current requests for tests are being reviewed to try to ensure that we don’t miss any urgent or important issues
- All appointments at Wimborne Hospital have been deferred for now but will also reviewed by the consultants to ensure that nothing is missed
- Any urgent problems will still be dealt with at Poole Hospital by one of the cardiology consultants
- Rapid access clinics (for chest pain and heart failure) are still running at present but may be telephone or remote consultations rather than face-to-face
- Your GP should be the first point of call for any problems that may arise
- In case of medical emergency, the Emergency Departments are still running and normal processes should be followed (i.e. dialling 111 or 999)
- Bournemouth Nuffield Hospital and BMI The Harbour Hospital have both offered their services entirely to the NHS, effectively becoming NHS Trusts for the next three months. These hospitals can therefore help carry on the vital work (such as cancer operations) that the other two Hospitals are needing to put aside for now.
All of this is being done for two reasons: firstly, to ensure the safety of patients who previously would attend the hospital and, secondly, to prepare to look after those people who may have COVID-19.
With all our best wishes – keep well and stay safe!
Many thanks to J P for this!