Western Trust Rebuilding Plan – Stage Two (July-September 2020)10/07/2020
The Western Trust continues to assess the risk of COVID-19 for our service users, patients, clients and staff as well as the risk associated with the direct impact that managing COVID-19 has on reducing the capacity and access to other services for our community.
The Trust also needs to stay prepared for a potential second surge which could coincide with winter pressures, meaning we cannot return all our services back to the way they were before the pandemic. We need to prioritise and focus on treating the people which have been assessed as our most urgent cases first, and as a result some patients and service users will wait longer for their assessment, contact or intervention than we would like.
As requested by the Health Minister, the Trust published a Stage One plan covering the period to 30 June 2020 aimed at taking the early steps to plan for and increase capacity locally and across the system. The Department of Health has now set out planning for Stage Two. In support of this, the Western Trust has set out an overview of the services that we plan to maintain and rebuild as part of the COVID-19 response during July, August and September 2020.
The way services are delivered may look and feel different. Patients and service users can expect the following:
- To alleviate patient and service user concerns we are working to identify ways to ensure, where possible, services will be provided using separate pathways for patients suspected or confirmed with COVID-19;
- We recognise that some of our service users may be still shielding and we are making additional plans to support their care;
- You may be offered planned appointments during the evening and weekends to avoid unnecessary delays;
- Some outpatient appointments with clinical teams may happen by telephone or by video call, as appropriate. There will be limited face to face appointments and these will be given to urgent and priority cases;
- To minimise the time you wait, and understand any risks, we will help you to prepare for your appointments in a different way such as screening questionnaires or getting your blood samples taken before arrival;
- People may be given specific times to access services due to limited waiting spaces;
- Staff may be wearing masks and other protective covering to keep you and themselves safe;
- We will use our accommodation in a way which helps us to maintain social distancing.
Western Trust Chief Executive, Dr Anne Kilgallen said: “Similar to Phase One, during July, August and September 2020, we will continue to build on new ways of working to continue to provide safe and effective care. This involves working closely with our partners, using flexible and remote working where appropriate and using technology such as telephone and video calls.
“Our community and hospital staff have been through an extremely difficult period and it is important that we continue to engage and listen to their feedback, which is crucial to inform our plans going forward. We will continue to engage with key partners to ensure that plans are representative of and include the valuable input of those who use our services.”
Dr Kilgallen continued: “I would like to once again thank the public for their continued support and understanding as we move into the next phase of our rebuilding plan.”