NOTE: This press release was issued 1 April 2020
In the unprecedented battle against coronavirus services are fighting to protect and support people as every necessary measure is taken to beat this disease.
Professionals across health and care, local authorities, volunteers, businesses, community groups are all doing their utmost to tackle the “invisible enemy” which has so far claimed the lives of 1,789* people across the country.
Dr Chris Clayton, Chief Executive Officer of NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group, which plans, commissions and monitors services across the county, said: “Across the whole of the city and county staff are doing unbelievable work to be here for you when you need us most.
"I know I speak on behalf of health and care across Derbyshire when I say thank you to each and every staff member, business, volunteer, and individual in our communities for helping us navigate the challenges ahead.
"The NHS and other service providers have put in place the nationally mandated measures to ensure the safety of all patients and staff while we continue to deliver the level of care needed.
“But inevitably, as we put these measures in place, we have to make changes to services as we adapt to constantly changing circumstances.
"As the Government’s scientific and medical advisors are reminding us daily, it is only by doing what is asked of us all that we will slow down the rate of infections and manage the response to this pandemic.
“We know it is not always easy which is why we thank everyone for doing what is difficult to help support frontline workers, protect our NHS and save lives.”
As measures continue to evolve in line with the planned national response, some changes have already been introduced to ensure there is staffing and capacity to care for patients.
Routine face to face appointments with GPs have been suspended on national guidance, with patients still being treated either over the phone or by using skype or other digital technology where available. This means patients who need a face-to-face appointment can still be treated as a priority.
Non-emergency, planned 'elective' surgeries at hospitals have been postponed and visiting and access arrangements have also been adapted to make sure safety is paramount at this time.
Dr Clayton said: “We do not take any decision lightly as we consider how we make sure staff and beds are available to care for the sickest patients.
"We are as prepared as we can be and everyone can do their part by staying at home wherever possible and following national and local advice and updates.”
*figure from latest Downing Street briefing (31 March 2020). NHS coronavirus advice is available at www.nhs.uk/coronavirus