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Swabbing centre among new measures in QEH COVID fight


Swabbing centre among new measures in QEH COVID fight
Queen Elizabeth Hospital. (FILE)

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Positive cases of COVID-19 among Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) staff have increased from ten to 19 and management is implementing further measures in the fight against the viral illness.

This assurance was given by the executive director of the QEH, Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland in a Weekly Report issued on February 5, a statement from the COVID Communications Unit said.

“As the number of Covid-19 cases rise island-wide, with more patients presenting to the hospital for care, and with community contact being the principal cause of cases among QEH staff having grown from 10 to 19 in a staffing compliment of 2 500, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital is increasing measures to keep staff safe and protect patients.”

Bynoe-Sutherland said as part of the efforts, QEH has “established our own Swabbing Centre in the Phlebotomy Department during afternoon and evening hours”.

The swabbing centre forms part of wider measures “in becoming self-sufficient in COVID testing for screening”.

“In addition to receipt of 7 200 COVID antigen rapid tests, we have also acquired a machine for doing confirmatory testing of COVID, for use at the QEH.”

Bynoe-Sutherland also gave the assurance that “there remain no shortages of PPE at the QEH and the Occupational Health and Safety Officer continues to conduct departmental audits to ensure adequacy of stores”.

She said the Nursing Office provides an Emergency PPE Supply Centre 24 hours a day; so that no staff member should be without PPE.

“Some departments have shown great resilience in the face of exposure. The use of and compliance with PPE has made encounters low risk, with staff  in many areas testing negative after a case has occurred in their department.”

The executive director commended staff for following safety protocols. “At QEH, Harrisons Point, and Blackman Gollop, where COVID-positive patients have been located, there is still no evidence of transfer of  COVID from patients to staff. This underscores the importance of correct use of PPE by staff to prevent the contraction of Covid-19.”

In relation to care, where possible, patients will be facilitated through telemedicine, medication delivery and other clinical services.

Bynoe-Sutherland also said QEH “has facilitated the opening of Isolation Facilities at Savannah Hotel and Sun Bay Hotel to take spillover of patients or transfers from Blackman Gollop”.

Savannah has 70 beds and Sun Bay 103 beds. Nurse leaders with expertise in infection control, are in clinical leadership and administration of those centres. (PR)