Cohorting and configuration plan January 2021

Our plan for the hospital

With huge thanks to everyone involved in moving wards, freeing up staff and making service changes,  we are continuing to keep pace with the growth in Covid-19 admissions.

As the number of patients we are caring for with Covid-19 increases further over the coming days, we will be reorganising the hospital into zones. This will mean that for our adult beds, we will have Green Medical, Green Surgical, Amber and Red wards.  We will continue to aim to place patients in the correct specialist ward but this will not always be possible.

As the number of patients with Covid-19 increases in our hospitals, our ability to provide our usual levels of specialist care will be reduced for this period of time.

The table below shows the plan for the layout of the hospital to create capacity for up to a total of 374 Covid-19 general medical beds. We will be doing this in phases.

Over the coming days we will progress through the wards in Phase 1 and then Phase 2. We are opening a red ward around every 48 hours to meet, and stay ahead of, current levels of demand.

We will attempt to follow this order as much as possible so that staff have as much notice and certainty as possible, but we may need to deviate slightly from the plan depending on the situation we face as we move to open the next ward.

We know that uncertainty can be worrying for many of you, but wanted to give you as early a sight of the plan as possible to prepare.

Supporting staff and staying safe

On Tuesday I confirmed that staff  who are able to work in inpatient clinical areas would be asked to support those areas with the greatest need. Lorraine, our Chief Nurse, and her team have been working with Divisional Heads of Nursing and workforce teams to put this plan into place. If you are being asked to move we will communicate with you directly and we are ensuring that staff are moving to become part of a team. We are also working hard to provide training and familiarisation for all clinical groups of staff who are changing role for this period.

If you are working in a ward that is red in the table above, please ensure that if you are not yet fit tested, that you book into the fit testing clinics.

You will have seen from the communication yesterday evening that we have extended our staff vaccination programme. Thank you so much to all staff who are involved in this huge logistical exercise.  This morning over 7000 of our staff had an appointment booked for their vaccination and we are looking to increase the number of slots further over the next few weeks.

Safe patient flow

We recognise that changes in wards and teams is disruptive. It is now even more important than ever to really focus on ensuring that any patient no longer needing hospital care is discharged as soon as possible. We are working on providing remote support to wards from shielding staff to support with tasks that can be done remotely and on providing additional administrative support to wards.

We’re also continue to with regional and system colleagues to ensure that patients who require repatriation to their home Trust or patients awaiting social care input are discharged from our care as quickly as possible.