Temporary changes to our service
All of our staff are working incredibly hard to care for our patients in what are very difficult times. To keep patients and our staff safe we are having to make some urgent temporary changes to some of our services. This is a direct result of the increase in the numbers of patients we are treating with COVID-19, the staffing challenges we are facing due to sickness or self-isolation and the need to provide safe care for all of our patients. The temporary changes we have made are:
Elective (planned) care
During the COVID-19 pandemic, in line with NHS England national guidance, we had to postponed almost all planned (elective) procedures and operations. We protected urgent treatment for cancer or other specific groups of patients whose treatment cannot be deferred or provided by other means and urgent operations were carried out at Ashtead and St Anthony’s hospitals.
This meant that temporarily we had re-purpose facilities in the South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre (SWLEOC) at Epsom Hospital to create an extra 30 to 55 intensive care beds. We are now looking to reintroduce some essential face to face outpatient and planned care appointments and are letting our patients know.
We are unable to maintain safe stroke services at both St Helier and Epsom hospitals while we are caring for the increased numbers of patients with COVID-19. We need to bring together all of our specialist stroke staff to care for our vulnerable stroke patients.
On a temporary basis we have move the St Helier Acute Stroke Unit to be co-located with the Epsom service at Epsom Hospital. All of the specialist staff and equipment from St Helier Hospital have been moved to Epsom Hospital, to ensure safe levels of staffing and to provide specialist stroke care, ensuring that we can maintain the same number of stroke beds. Epsom will continue to operate as a Hyper Acute Stroke Unit, as well as an Acute Stroke Unit, within the Surrey stroke network.
More care outside of hospital
Through our Sutton Health and Care and Surrey Downs Health and Care partnerships, we have increased the numbers of patients being cared for outside of the hospital, at home and in other settings, to create extra capacity in our hospitals.