Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust has launched a video highlighting the transformation which has taken place at King George and Queen’s hospitals during Covid-19.
Magda Smith, the Trust’s Chief Medical Officer, said: “We’ve needed to totally change the way we deliver many our services and advance how we use technology – and quickly! 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 the 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.”
The video released by the Trust, which runs King George Hospital in Goodmayes and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, features staff in a range of roles talking about the part they played in making the changes happen.
One of the staff members talking their experience is Kate Baker, a former patient whose life was saved by the Trust when she was treated for a brain tumour in 2016. Having volunteered in the years since she recovered, she took supporting the hospitals one step further by taking on a new role as a healthcare assistant during the pandemic.
Tony Chambers, Chief Executive, explained how the Trust has worked closely with other healthcare providers: “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.”
“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.”
Tony highlighted how important it is that the Trust keeps the positive changes it has made in the future:
“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!”