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Royal Berkshire Hospital reveals next stage of virus plan

The Royal Berkshire Hospital's planning to increase the number of intensive care beds to 56 in the next phase of its response to the virus outbreak.

It's also proposing deferring some services, and transferring others to private hospitals.

Children under 12 are also going to be stopped from visiting the hospital to reduce the number of people coming onto the site.

There's been a fall in demand for A&E services, but the hospital says more needs to be done, so it's looking into an online 'Ask A&E' service to further reduce pressure on staff.

Senior management are also looking what more can be offered to ease the pressure on all staff, from clinicians to cleaners, porters and admin staff.

Trust Chief Executive Steve McManus, said: “Whilst we’re all in very new territory with this virus we have a huge amount of tried and tested experience of planning for and dealing with major outbreaks like this. 

"There are national and regional systems in place to support us and this, coupled with the work we’re doing at the Trust, is all aimed at keeping everyone safe and making sure we can sustain this level of care for the period of this outbreak.

“ We all know now that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s crucial we plan and operate in a careful, measured way over the next few weeks and months so our resources, both staff, equipment and facilities, are able to continue providing exceptional standards of care.

“We have amazing staff with many, many years of expertise, experience and knowledge behind them and I want people to know they are in safe hands.

“This incredible wealth of healthcare expertise is being enhanced by the really outstanding support from our local communities and partners and we can’t thank them enough for all their on-going support.”
 
“We recognise we’re asking a lot of people, often at very difficult times in their lives when they are unwell or wanting to be with people who are ill.  Our staff too are facing all sorts of difficult day-today issues and this is why the support and understanding we offer to each other is so important.

“With this in mind, I really do hope people will appreciate why we’ve had to take some of the decisions we have taken, for example around visiting family and loved ones in hospital. I know this will be extremely hard for some people but we can’t say it enough - If we are to successfully deal with this virus, stop its spread, treat those affected and free up the hospital’s resources to do so, then we have to take these sort of serious steps now.

“So my message to them is please think again just how much they really do need to make that visit.

"Can they keep in touch with their loved one over the phone for now? By choosing not to come into the building they are doing a huge amount to help our staff,” 

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