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Coronavirus: Harrogate Hospital restarts some vital health services

Coronavirus: Harrogate Hospital restarts some vital health services

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 5:44am 29th April 2020.

Key services at Harrogate District Hospital to restart

  • Health bosses at Harrogate District Hospital are restarting some vital services, including cancer care and mental health support. 
  • The government says the exact pace of restoration will be determined by how many coronavirus patients hospitals have.
  • Robert Harrison, Chief Operating Officer said its key services such as cancer care are now being reviewed and patients are being contacted.

Vital NHS services which were paused because of the coronavirus outbreak are being restarted at Harrogate Hospital.

Trust bosses have announced that key parts of the health service, which had been stopped so doctors and nurses could be transferred to virus departments, will begin seeing high-priority patients.

The move was green-lighted by Health Secretary Matt Hancock who said the “exact pace of the restoration” will be determined by individual hospitals based on how many coronavirus patients they still have.

Robert Harrison, Chief Operating Officer at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said its key services such as cancer care are now being reviewed and patients are being contacted:

“Focus is now turning to the medium term management of the impact of coronavirus. This primarily covers sustainable care for patients with suspected and confirmed cases along with an approach to recovery and the delivery of services which have been significantly suspended during the past couple of months.

“We are prioritising the reintroduction of services based on clinical need, and ensuring we can do so safely as we continue to respond to coronavirus.

“We are currently developing our plans and we’ll be directly in touch with patients over the coming weeks and months.”

It comes amid worries that seriously ill people are not getting urgent medical help they need because of coronavirus fears.

Figures show admissions at Harrogate Hospital’s emergency department have almost halved.

Nationally, the number of patients attending A&E last week had fallen to 221,000, down from 477,000 in the same week last year.

Mr Harrison added:

“One service that has always been available is the emergency department.

“We are still here for anyone who needs emergency care: please call 999 in a life-threatening emergency. This includes choking, chest pain, blackout, severe bleeding that can’t be stopped, a serious injury or if you think you’re having a stroke.

“For anything less serious please visit 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111 first.”

He concluded:

“Thank you to patients, relatives and the general public for your understanding over the past few months. Your patience for the months to come while we recover and adjust back to providing a full range of services is also be much appreciated.

“Thank you as well to all my colleagues across our hospital and community services for their focus on patient care, dedication and positive attitude over what has been a very challenging time for the NHS.”