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Service Update - NHS Fife

Alert message sent 23/03/2020 12:56:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch Scotland


NHS FIFE ISSUES SERVICE UPDATE ON PREPARATIONS FOR INCREASED DEMAND

The following information was recently released by NHS Fife.

NHS Fife is issuing an update on its services as the Board prepares for the anticipated increase in demand on services brought about by coronavirus.
A significant amount of work has been undertaken over recent weeks to reconfigure our services, both in our hospitals and in our communities.  This work has been carried out to ensure that healthcare services in Fife are as resilient as they can be as the pressure intensifies on healthcare in the coming weeks.
A number of service changes have also been made to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission in our hospitals, and safeguard those most vulnerable to the effects of the virus.
Routine Outpatient and Diagnostic Appointments – From Monday 30 March 2020, all non-urgent appointments are being postponed. Those patients affected are in the process of being contacted.
Planned Operations - Routine procedures at the Victoria Hospital are now being postponed. Affected patients are being notified directly and procedures will be rescheduled in due course. Emergency surgery, cancer surgery and planned caesarean sections remain unaffected and continue as normal. 
Procedures at Queen Margaret Hospital are continuing as planned for the time being.
Diabetes Service - From Monday 23 March 2020, services currently delivered from the Diabetes Centre at the Victoria Hospital will cease temporarily to accommodate the new COVID-19 Assessment Centre. A limited service will be offered from the Carnegie Unit at Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline and patients are currently being notified of the change of location.
 
Primary Care Virtual Hub - From Monday 23 March 2020, patients calling NHS 24 (111) will be triaged and either offered advice on self-care at home, or redirected to the Primary Care Virtual Hub. The Hub will be operated by a skilled team of clinicians, who will conduct a more thorough assessment by phone or video call.
If it is deemed that a face-to face assessment is required, patients will instead be seen at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre located within the Diabetes Centre at Victoria Hospital.
COVID-19 Assessment Centre – This new service will operate 24/7, through which the majority of patients with possible COVID-19 in Fife will be assessed. Those well enough to return home will be provided with self-care and public health advice, with those requiring immediate intervention taken directly to the Victoria Hospital for inpatient treatment.
Reconfiguration of Victoria Hospital – Within our acute services, plans have been enacted to manage the anticipated increase in the numbers of critically ill patients requiring hospital care.
The Victoria has been divided into two distinct zones to optimise capacity and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. The first zone (red) applies to the emergency department, critical care, infectious diseases and one medical ward at present, with scope to expand this further– this zone will accommodate those patients confirmed as carrying COVID-19.
The remaining areas of the hospital are in the second zone (green), and this definition also currently extends to Queen Margaret Hospital.
Medicines Advice and Information – There are currently no medicines shortages as a result of COVID-19.  There is no need to stockpile medicines or request additional prescriptions. 
If anyone is experiencing symptoms and needs to stay at home, family members or neighbours should be asked to collect prescriptions on their behalf.  For those whose prescription medicines are usually delivered and are symptomatic, this will not change, however, doorstep procedures may be implemented.

The Board are keen to stress that additional service changes are very likely to be required in the coming weeks as the response to coronavirus develops - updates will be issued on NHS Fife’s website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as soon as any changes are made.

The link to NWS Fife is as follows: https://www.nhsfife.org/nhs/index.cfm
The full NWS Fife news release is in the attached document.
Please share as required.
 
Message sent by
Willie Clark (NHWN, NWS Co - ordinator, NW Scotland)

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