What has been happening?
- Rates of Coronavirus infection across the communities Kingston Hospital serves are very high, and amongst the highest in London.
- Because rates of community infection for Coronavirus are so high, it means more people attending hospital are carrying the virus.
- As a result, Kingston Hospital has seen the same marked rise in rates of Coronavirus infection as the wider community.
- Identifying people who carry Coronavirus has been a challenge due to limited, rapid in-hospital testing.
What is being done to make it safer to attend hospital?
The Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has already been able to act to reduce the risk of catching Coronavirus in hospital:
- Despite high community rates of Coronavirus, hospital rates have reduced.
- Rapid testing of people being admitted to hospital, and regular testing of all inpatients is in place and already achieving a strong increase in detection of people admitted with Coronavirus. The hospital has strict procedures in place to separate those who test positive from all other inpatients.
- People who are inpatients are not at risk of being infected by staff. The strict precautions and measures applied to staff mean that patients are not being exposed to Coronavirus from anyone working at the hospital. In addition, over 3,000 of the staff at the hospital are being tested for COVID twice a week, using lateral flow testing devices.
- Visits to hospital are restricted and temperature checks applied on entry. Staff and patients wear masks and regular hand sanitisation is in place for everybody.
Healthwatch Kingston will continue to monitor all aspects of community safety and care for attendance at hospital. Despite unprecedented and extraordinary demand caused by Coronavirus, Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been able to make important and effective improvements.
Anyone attending the hospital for an outpatient appointment or coming to the hospital as a visitor to support a relative or friend that is an inpatient should follow all the guidance and measures that are in place to help protect us all. These can be found at https://kingstonhospital.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/covid-19/