Health trust defends safety record as 22 staff pick up Covid 19 on single Doncaster rehab ward

Bosses at a Doncaster health trust have defended worker protection methods after it emerged 22 staff on a rehabilitation ward had contracted Covid19.

Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 5:14 pm

Concerns over the rate of infection at the Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) rehabilitiation ward at Tickhill Road Hospital, Balby, were raised by a member of the public who contacted the Free Press.

He said: “Whilst our health professionals are deserving of public gratitude and support they need to be safe and protected whilst at work.”

Patients are transferred to the ward after being treated and stabilised in different wards at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

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Tickhill Road Hospital, Balby, Doncaster. Picture: Google

Nette Carder, interim chief operating officer at RDaSH, said safety of staff and patients was a prime concern and the trust had enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff, with no shortages. Hawthorn ward was visited daily by the trust’s infection prevention team, and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected twice a day, with working surfaces routinely cleaned frequently.

All staff have been given advice on how to wear PPE properly, and how to safely put on, remove, and wash uniforms. A named psychologist is available to staff if they have worries, and they are encouraged to speak-up over concerns.

She said: “We fully appreciate that our staff have never faced a situation like the pandemic before – we are impressed that they have risen to this challenge in order to provide the very best care to our patients.

“When a member of staff reports coronavirus symptoms they are sent home to be isolated for at least seven days and they are tested for the virus. To date, since the outbreak started, 22 members of the ward have tested positive, but many of those staff have now returned to work.

“Patients admitted to the ward are placed in isolation until they have been tested for the virus. When a patient is discharged, their bed and surrounding area is thoroughly cleaned.

“We are constantly monitoring workplaces across the trust and I want to again reassure the Doncaster community that we will take whatever action is necessary to ensure the safety of our staff. They are doing a magnificent job of caring for our patients during this very challenging time.”

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