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‘Winter planning is well underway’ - Norfolk health services react to PM’s £3bn winter pressure announcement

PUBLISHED: 08:00 18 July 2020

Winter planning is underway at all of the county's hospitals as the PM announced £3bn in funding for the NHS. Picture: Archant

Winter planning is underway at all of the county's hospitals as the PM announced £3bn in funding for the NHS. Picture: Archant

Archant

“Robust” plans are being put in place across Norfolk’s health services in preparation for a second wave of coronavirus on top of winter pressures.

It comes as Boris Johnson announced the government would allocate an extra £3bn in funding to the NHS in preparation for a possible fresh spike.

In response, Norfolk’s NHS services are continuing to urge the public to keep following social distancing and mask guidelines as well as washing hands frequently.

More: Hospital starts preparation plans in case of coronavirus ‘winter wave’

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, which is continuing to see no new confirmed coronavirus cases, has previously reported its winter plans should a second wave occur.

Chris Cobb, NNUH chief operating officer, said: “We have robust and well-rehearsed plans in place should we need to rezone and redesign services for a second wave of Covid-19 cases. We currently have no confirmed Covid-19 cases in the hospital. However, we are not complacent and we continue to follow rigorous infection control practices to limit the risk.”

More: Norwich hospital has first covid free day since March

He said by autumn the hospital will be in a “strong position” due to the completion of its new isolation unit and new ward block in its role as the regional surge centre.

Sarah Jones, deputy chief operating officer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, encouraged anyone entitled to the flu jab to have one to reduce the need for hospital admissions and pressure on services this winter.

She added: “Our winter planning is now well underway, with a particular focus on ensuring we can respond effectively and safely to any COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 patients, alongside our normal winter pressures and today’s funding announcement will further support that work.”

More: ‘We will remain ready’ - Norfolk hospital to discuss next stage of pandemic plan

Anna Hills, chief executive of the James Paget University Hospital, said it would continue to work with healthcare partners to ensure capacity if there was an increase of virus cases in the community.

Melanie Craig, chief officer of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group, said; “NHS services will face an immense challenge this winter, as the government recognises; it is highly likely coronavirus will still be circulating and remain a threat to health.

“NHS services are here for people should they need, but our GP practices, hospitals, community and mental health teams are still working in very different ways to manage the threat of coronavirus and we continue to ask the public to use services carefully and wisely.”


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