Coronavirus: This is how Scarborough Hospital is prepared for patients who think they might have it
The national news is dominated by one subject at the moment – the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus, or Covid-19.
There aren’t yet any confirmed cases in Scarborough, but plans are still in place at the town’s hospital in preparation for any residents who believe they might have caught the virus.
A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Scarborough Hospital, said that NHS 111 pods have been installed at emergency departments.
She said: “Following national guidance we have put in place NHS 111 pods at our emergency departments, so that anyone attending hospital with symptoms of the virus can be kept isolated from other patients and avoid causing unnecessary pressure in A&E.
“We are also setting up a ‘drive through’ service to make sure people in our community can get safe, convenient and quick checks for coronavirus, as part of NHS efforts to keep everyone safe.”
The drive through service can only be accessed through a referral from NHS 111 and people are then invited to attend hospital in their car and staff will come out to take a swab.
If people are unable to go in their own vehicle, there is a pedestrian option which allows them to go to the pod for the same testing.
They are discouraged from taking public transport.
This measure, plus the isolation pod, means anyone attending hospital with symptoms can be isolated from other patients.
The trust said that in the coming weeks many more of us may need to self-isolate to reduce the virus’ spread.
The spokeswoman added: “Everyone can continue to play their part by taking simple steps such as washing hands to prevent the spread of infection and calling NHS 111 first before going to the doctors or A&E if they have any concerns about or show symptoms of coronavirus.”
Before going to a hospital or GP surgery, anyone with initial concerns should call NHS 111 or access the NHS 111 online coronavirus service at 111.nhs.uk/covid-19.
Speaking about the Government’s coronavirus plan on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “For the overwhelming majority of people who contract the virus, this will be a mild disease from which they will speedily and fully recover, as we have already seen.”
For those worried about attending Scarborough Hospital during the outbreak, the trust has sought to reassure them: “If people need to come to hospital for any other reason please be reassured our hospitals are functioning as normal.”
Coronavirus in Yorkshire
The first two people in the UK to be diagnosed were two members of the same family who had been staying at a hotel in York. The cases were confirmed on January 31.
One of those infected is a student at the University of York and had recently returned to the UK from China.
On Sunday March 1 it was confirmed two people in Leeds had contracted the virus. It is believed they were infected in Iran.
A third case in Ilkley, Bradford, was confirmed on the same day in a patient who had recently been to Italy.
The locations of the most recent cases in the UK are yet to be released by officials.