Barts hospitals reach milestone with 15,000 patients recovered from Covid
- Credit: Mike Brooke
Major hospitals have successfully treated and discharged 15,000 Covid-19 patients in east London in the 15 months since the pandemic first reached the UK.
This latest milestone was recorded on July 1 as Barts NHS Health Trust's four acute hospitals prepare for "the prospect of a third wave".
The NHS group — which includes the Royal London, Newham, Whipps Cross and St Bartholomew's — has set out its plans this week to restore as much routine surgery and regular outpatient care as possible over the next few months.
“We responded in the face of adversity and brought our values to life in ways we never imagined," Barts Health chief executive Dame Alwen Williams said.
“Our staff remain our greatest asset and we are determined to build on the scale and pace of change so far.”
She received a Damehood in the New Year Honours this year for “outstanding leadership” in her NHS career spanning 40 years, having dealt with several crises and now the Covid emergency to make sure hospitals in east London were coping.
Dame Alwen also took charge of running the Nightingale Covid emergency centre set up at the ExCeL centre in the Royal Docks.
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Acute hospitals in the Barts group are already running as many planned operations and outpatient appointments as they did last autumn, before the second wave hit.
They aim to reach 90 per cent of pre-Covid activity by September and are already said to be making inroads into the backlog of queues for surgery that built up while routine work was suspended during the crisis.
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More than 90,000 patients on the waiting list are being given priority according to their clinical need and waiting time.
The number of patients forced to wait more than 12 months has already been reduced by a third in just three months, the trust’s figures say.
Some 55,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have also been given to health and care workers, with temporary vaccination hubs set up at the four hospitals.
A vaccination centre set up at ExCeL also gave 130,000 doses to staff and members of the public in just six months, with 10,000 administered through pop-up clinics at mosques, synagogues, churches and temples for hard-to-reach communities.