Health Professions

NHS trusts must rise to the challenge once again

By - Integrated Care Journal
NHS trusts must rise to the challenge once again

The healthcare staff of the NHS are rising to meet the challenge presented by the second wave of Covid-19, explained Chief Executive of NHS Providers Chris Hopson who called for healthcare professionals to be celebrated.

"No-one should be in any doubt about the scale of the challenges Trusts and frontline staff face as they deal with renewed Covid pressures and work to restore services disrupted by the pandemic,” said Mr Hopson.

As the UK reverts back to additional restrictions and lockdowns across all nations, Mr Hopson explained that “Trust leaders are keenly aware of the inconvenience, anxiety and distress for patients caused by any delays for diagnostic tests, treatment or consultations. ” 

While Covid-19 cases have risen dramatically, for the most part, trusts across the country have managed to meet the ambitious targets for routine planned operations in September, reaching 80 per cent of last year’s levels.

Analysing case studies, NHS providers has discovered multiple examples of trusts developing the condition of their hospitals to ensure they can keep up with demand.

Examples from multiple hospitals include: 

  • Introducing a new rehabilitation advice line for discharged patients and implementing a rehab recovery forum for staff in East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Relocating and combining two chemotherapy units to create a Covid-secure environment for patients in Frimley
  • 800 cancer patients supported through regular telephone calls and putting together a holistic assessment form to check in on patients isolating at home in Barking, Havering and Redbridge
  • Holding a ‘cataract drive’, delivering more than four times the usual number of cataract operations in Moorfields
  • Community speech and language therapy and musculoskeletal rehabilitation services have gone virtual in Royal Surrey

While trusts have been successful during the summer and autumn months, there are concerns that remain. As Mr Hopson put it: “With winter fast approaching, it is worrying to see the number of people waiting longer than 12 hours in emergency departments before being admitted is beginning to rise. ”

As the NHS continues to operate as normally as possible Mr Hopson explained: “It is going to be extremely tough, particularly on frontline staff, many of whom are exhausted and some of them traumatised by their experiences of the pandemic. We owe them so much. ”

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