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Hospitals adapt to support coronavirus preparations

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Changes are being made at Noble’s Hospital to ensure the facility is ready to deal with cases of Covid-19, while greater use is to be made of Ramsey Cottage Hospital.

Elective operations are to stop at Noble’s to free-up space and provide clinical support for incoming cases of coronavirus. Patients whose admissions are cancelled are being advised directly by the hospital on a rolling basis from today. Cancer surgery and urgent operations will continue as planned.

Patients in wards 1 and 2, the male and female surgical wards, are being transferred to other wards, freeing 40 bed spaces in dedicated wards for Covid-19 patients who need hospital care. All other wards will remain the same as now. Doctors and health staff from the surgical wards will be redeployed to assist in the hospital’s response to coronavirus.

Outpatient appointments that are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks will be reviewed by a clinician and patients contacted to confirm if their appointment will go ahead. To ensure consultations continue for as many patients as possible, individual specialities will consider how best to manage their own areas and this may see some clinics continue by telephone instead of face to face.

Reducing demand for outpatient services will release capacity of doctors and nurses to attend training in preparation for treating patients with coronavirus.

Emergency Department at Noble’s is being expanded to provide a separate area to deal with suspected and confirmed Covid-19 cases. Patients reporting to Noble’s with symptoms will be signposted to the new assessment area where they will be seen by a clinician who will decide whether they can go home, need to self-isolate or require admission. This system replaces the Coronavirus Triage Point which has been in place away from the main hospital building for several weeks. Serious medical emergencies will go, as now, to the hospital’s main ED entrance.

ED staff are coming under increasing pressure from people phoning and attending ED without symptoms requesting a test. This demand is diverting staff from dealing with unwell patients so those without symptoms are urged not to attend but instead read the advice at 

Ramsey Cottage Hospital will become the receiving centre for all patients with minor injuries from 8am tomorrow, Wednesday 18 March. The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) in Ramsey is open from 8am until 8pm seven days a week, staffed by a team of nurse practitioners skilled in the management of minor injuries and supported by an orthopaedic specialist clinician and x-ray facilities. Serious injuries will continue to be dealt with at Noble’s Hospital ED.

Arrangements are being made to transfer patients who travel to Ramsey by bus, from the bus station to the hospital on the Connect Villages service. Patients who need this transfer should let the bus driver know on boarding that they are heading for the Cottage Hospital, and the onward the leg of the journey will be organised for them. 

Visiting has been severely restricted at Noble’s to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus. Only immediate family who need to visit for critical reasons will be permitted and will require permission from the nurse in charge of the ward before entering. Signs have been put up at the entrances to Noble’s and staff have been on hand to explain the current system. It is suggested that friends and family keep in touch with patients via phone or video call.

Thie Bee coffee shop in Noble’s reception area is to close from tonight (17 March) until further notice. Staff from the café will be redeployed in the staff restaurant to support extended opening hours.