NHS And Private Hospital Support Patient Care During Pandemic

Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay are working closely together to reduce the impact on patients of the pandemic.

The Trust and Ramsay Health Care have a long partnership, but this relationship reached a new level of unity as Mount Stuart Hospital supports the NHS in tackling COVID-19 since the beginning of the new NHS contract, to deliver diagnostic, urgent and cancer surgical services.

A key part of the work is ensuring NHS patients referred to Mount Stuart Hospital continue to receive care in a safe environment with people needing surgery able to have it in a completely separate COVID-19-free setting. 

One such safety measure was the setting up of a drive-through COVID-19 test centre at Mount Stuart for urgent planned surgical patients to be swabbed to check if they are safe to proceed with surgery. .

Emma Brooks, Operational Manager at Mount Stuart for the Trust, relocated at the start of the pandemic to take up the new role. She was joined by about 40 Trust colleagues from 30 locations and a huge range of roles (from IT to surgical) in order to transfer urgent surgery speedily and reduce delay to vulnerable patients. .

She said “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved, the teams worked hard to ensure that pathways were in place for the safe transfer of patient care. .

“The joint working between the two sites has been fantastic and staff from the Trust have been made to feel extremely welcome. It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of this joint venture and be able to provide urgent care for our local population.”

The huge logistical task of transferring surgery included moving the entire breast cancer surgical pathway to Mount Stuart Hospital in three days. This was complex involving coordinating multiple departments while ensuring patients had a smooth seamless experience. Several van-loads of new IT were also moved in, tested and set up.

Jeanette Mercer, Hospital Director at Mount Stuart Hospital said: “I am immensely proud of what has been achieved; our teams have embraced new ways of working to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time via skilled staff. The pandemic has created delays for patients but staff quickly moved from TSDFT to Mount Stuart Hospital, working incredibly hard alongside our own teams to maintain services, which if delayed could be detrimental to the patients’ health.

Between 30th March and 24th July Mount Stuart Hospital has completed 1057 surgical procedures, 3015 outpatient attendances and 2678 diagnostic scans (CT/MRI/Ultrasound).

With the drive through testing facility, coupled with personal protective equipment, signage, hand gel points and cleaning schedules, many more patients will benefit from the services provided at Mount Stuart Hospital.

Mount Stuart Hospital and TSDFT have a long-standing partnership and this unified approach is even more important as we stand together as one team to face the challenges ahead.

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