All Staff Update, Friday 26 June 2020

In this edition:

  • NDHT on national BBC News: clapping for Mandy
  • Managing previously COVID-19 positive patients
  • COVID-19 antibody testing for staff
  • Visiting restrictions still in place
  • Exploring the potential for drive-through outpatient services: what can your service do?
  • Thank you to our Wingman Volunteers
  • NHS Virtual Pride 2020 – Friday 26 June
  • Marking the NHS’ 72nd birthday
  • Digital update
  • Thank you: payroll team

Update from the COVID-19 Co-ordination Cell

NDHT figures at a glance

NDHT on national BBC News – clapping for Mandy

Earlier this week, we said a happy and thankful goodbye to our patient Mandy, who was one of our earliest COVID-19 patients. Mandy left ICU after 93 days to go to a general ward at NDDH, and we posted a video of staff clapping and celebrating her discharge from ICU.

Mandy was then able to return home a couple of days later, and her local community lined the streets to welcome her home.

Mandy’s amazing story has been picked up by many national media, and it appeared on national BBC News yesterday. If you didn’t see it, you can catch up here and see all of the media coverage in our roundup on BOB.

Managing previously COVID-19 positive patients

Update from Dr George Hands, respiratory consultant and clinical lead for COVID-19.

As patients recover from COVID-19 we may have inpatients who were originally admitted with COVID-19 and have, over time, recovered and are no longer infectious. Or patients who have recovered and are later readmitted.

PHE guidance suggests that after 14 days infection prevention and control measures can be stepped down if:

  • There is clinical improvement
  • Temperature of less than 37.8 for more than 48 hours
  • No underlying severe immunosuppression

Infectivity may, however, be longer in the severely unwell and testing may give additional assurance that patients are no longer infectious.

We have developed a number of pathways to help manage previously positive patients:

  • Patients initially admitted with COVID-19 who remain inpatients
  • Patients with proven COVID-19 infection admitted/readmitted within two weeks of infection
  • Patients with clinically diagnosed COVID-19 infection admitted/readmitted within two weeks of infection
  • Patients with test proven or clinically diagnosed COVID-19 infection more than two weeks previously presenting with possible COVID-19 symptoms
  • Patients with test proven or clinically diagnosed COVID-19 infection more than two weeks previously presenting with unrelated problem

Full details of each of these pathways can be found here on the COVID-19 pages.

Government advice for the stepdown of infection control precautions and discharging COVID-19 patients is available to read here.

COVID-19 antibody testing: staff testing at NDHT

Earlier this month we began testing staff for COVID-19 antibodies as part of a national programme. By Monday 22 June 48% of staff (including Sodexo) had been tested, with 4% of those being antibody positive. This is below the national average of around 10-15%.

Thank you to our team of testers and the pathology lab staff for working so hard to deliver this fantastic level of testing.

Area testing

As more and more staff have had the serology test, we have explored providing further area testing in non-clinical areas, however uptake of area testing has reduced, possibly due to the number of staff working from home. Therefore area testing will finish today (Friday 26 June).

Areas with venepuncture trained staff will now be able to undertake tests on staff as they are able to, please refer to the guidance available here to ensure the correct process is followed. The electronic questionnaire available here must be completed by everyone being tested to ensure results are received.

How to get your serology testing

Please can we ask that all staff who want to have serology testing, including those working from home, book a clinic appointment  via the COVID-19 testing cell (01271 314004, ext. 4903).

Clinics are running Monday-Friday afternoons until Friday 17 July and appointments must be pre-booked in advance (and not later than 10.30am on the day).

Please make sure to be on time for your appointment. There have been occasions where people have been late and queues have formed as a result. We need to avoid queues forming to enable good social distancing.

Shielding staff

We are in the process of setting up clinics specifically for staff who are shielding and these will be available during the weeks beginning 6 and 13 July. Details of how to book, and locations of testing clinics, will be provided next week. You are also welcome to book into the clinics at NDDH should you wish.

Questionnaire / consent

It is really important that everyone who has a test completes the electronic questionnaire and consent form available here prior to having the serology test undertaken. Please be aware results will take up to 7 days to be sent to you.

Testing in other settings

If you have had you antibody testing undertaken in another setting e.g. by your GP, please could you inform us of your result via email to  to ensure we have your details logged. When emailing please include the following:

  • Full name
  • NHS Number (if known)
  • Employing organisation e.g. NDHT, Sodexo
  • Location of work

Visiting restrictions still in place

New national guidance has recently been issued on visitors to healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are currently working with colleagues across Devon to create a standardised Devon-wide approach that can be applied across all healthcare settings and we will issue further guidance soon.

In the meantime, please continue to observe the existing guidance.

Redesign and long term recovery

Exploring the potential for drive-through outpatient services – what can your service do?

The outpatient redesign group is leading the work across NDHT to reinstate our outpatient services. The group is looking at the way teams have transformed their services and supporting all our teams to learn from each other and embed new ways of working into normal working practice.

As part of this, the group is looking at the way some services are successfully using drive-through as an alternative to a traditional face-to-face appointment in some circumstances. This drive-through approach has enabled some teams to continue delivering a service to patients during COVID-19, which is fantastic and has made a real difference to those patients.

Previous engagement with our patients and local community showed that the vast majority of people travel to NDDH by car (82%), so this innovation has a great deal of potential for a large proportion of patients. We’d like to explore this further by identifying those times when a ‘digital first’ outpatient appointment isn’t possible, but there is still an opportunity to avoid a face-to-face appointment. This would help to reduce footfall on our sites, and means our sites will be less busy for those patients who do need to come in.

The group is asking teams to consider any parts of the patient pathway that could be delivered as a drive-through option – they would like to hear what those are and how it could work.

Here’s what we’re already doing via drive-through

Drive-through is already working really well for the cardio respiratory team. Before COVID-19 patients would come into hospital for an appointment to pick up an ECG monitor, during which they would receive their monitor and guidance on how to fit it. The team saw that there was an opportunity to provide this same type of appointment with much less face-to-face interaction and without patients needing to leave their vehicle. All ambulatory ECG monitors are now distributed to patients in the car park and instructions for fitting are provided by cardiographers via the telephone and a helpsheet.

The diabetes specialist team have identified a part of their pathway where a drive through format would work well for their antenatal patients. Before COVID-19 they would see pregnant ladies face to face in an MDT clinic and provide education for managing diabetes in pregnancy. Part of this treatment pathway included blood glucose monitoring and providing a blood glucose monitor.

The diabetes specialist team have responded to the COVID situation by developing educational video resources for blood glucose monitoring and insulin initiation. Feedback from patients has been very positive in terms of the content of the videos and support they receive alongside this. However, currently patients are still required to come into the hospital to collect the blood glucose meters. If that could be done by drive through, most of these patients wouldn’t need to come into hospital and could stay in their car. Other care is mostly provided via phone/video or email consultations.

Send in your suggestions

We’re asking all teams to consider what element of the pathway could be delivered by drive-through. Perhaps involving collection of equipment or medicines, or certain tests?

It doesn’t matter how big or small, as every little helps. Remember, our objective is to save our precious clinic and OPD appointment rooms for those patients who really need to be seen face-to-face, and therefore need to be confident of being able to socially distance in our buildings.

It might help to think about:

  • The type of service that could be delivered
  • Which site(s) it might apply to
  • Any specific requirements you would need

Please send your suggestions to the outpatient redesign group by Friday 10 July – email The group will be exploring what is possible by considering the ideas and figuring out what facilities, equipment and support we would need to deliver services in this way.

Other news

Thank you to our Wingman Volunteers

Today we say a fond farewell to our Project Wingman volunteers. It has been fantastic to be able to host them in the Over and Above Fern Centre, NDDH over the last four weeks.

They have provided care and compassion to our staff alongside free drinks and snacks, which have been donated by numerous local companies and by the Wingman volunteers themselves!

The volunteers were awarded our Staff Awards badge from chief executive Suzanne Tracey to thank them for going over and above to support our staff.

We would like to wish them all the very best for the future and will never forget the airline experience they provided at NDHT.

NHS Virtual Pride 2020 – Friday 26 June

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSEI) LGBTQ+ Staff Network is holding NHS Virtual Pride today, the day before Global Pride 2020.

Pride season is the highlight of the LGBTQ+ calendar and with Pride events being cancelled this year due to COVID-19, NHSEI are extending this celebration to the whole of the NHS, all NHS LGBTQ+ staff networks and all LGBTQ+ NHS staff and allies.

Significant progress has been made towards LGBTQ+ equality. However, research evidence demonstrates that LGBTQ+ people face:

  • considerable barriers to leading happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives
  • discrimination, bullying, and harassment in education, at work and on the streets
  • greater inequalities in health satisfaction, access, experience and outcomes.

2020 is the national year of the nurse and midwife, and NHS Virtual Pride will be putting the spotlight on LGBTQ+ nursing and midwifery colleagues as part its celebrations.

There will be conversations taking place throughout today on Twitter using #NHSVirtualPride, followed by an evening show which starts at 6pm.

To find out more information please follow @VirtualNHSPride on Twitter or head to

Marking the NHS 72nd birthday – thank you and remembrance

On 5 July, it will be 72 years since the NHS was born.

During the last few months, the NHS has been through the greatest test in its lifetime. And we will continue to deal with the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.

Every single one of you has worked so hard to ensure that our organisation coped and continues to cope with the additional pressures we have faced. We want to use this opportunity to thank you once again for all that you are doing.

We have experienced many difficult times during these months, including the loss of colleagues in other parts of the country. So this year, as we remember all those we have lost, the way we mark our anniversary will have a different feel to years gone by.

National celebrations and remembrance

  • On the evening of Saturday 4 July, put a light in your window – a candle, a lamp or a torch – to remember those we have lost. National landmarks will also be lit up as part of our collective memorial. Of course, if lighting a candle you must make sure it is attended at all times for fire safety.
  • On Sunday 5 July, the birthday of our NHS, let’s say ‘Thank You – together’.


Join a one-off clap – the biggest yet, because this time it is to say thank you to everybody


Raise a glass, mug or cuppa to thank each other – our friends, family and neighbours – for looking out for us, helping the vulnerable, or simply doing the right thing and staying at home


Stay outside – socially distanced of course – to chat to your neighbours, or reach out to someone who is lonely, isolated or stuck in another household, to let them know they are appreciated.

What we’re doing at NDHT

We would like to take this opportunity to recognise the incredible work you’ve been doing to support the Trust through COVID-19.

To show our appreciation, we will be giving a commemorative pin badge to all staff, including our colleagues working for Sodexo, the Staff Bank and our volunteers.

We have come up with five designs, but only one of them will be made into a pin badge. We would like you to choose the final design.

To vote for your favourite design, please click here or head over to our staff Facebook group.

Voting closes Friday 3 July at 5pm.

The design with the most votes will be announced on Monday 6 July – we’re excited to see which one you choose!

Please only vote once using either the survey or Facebook poll.

We will keep you posted as our plans develop but we would also like to hear from you about how you would like to mark our anniversary. Contact

Show your support on social media

The NHS birthday is a great time to say thank you, encourage people to join our Trust, and reflect on what you’ve achieved recently. Here are some ways you can get involved on social media.

Personal thanks – feel free to use this wording or say your own thank you

Ahead of the #NHSBirthday, I’d like to thank my colleagues @ndht who have supported me through the highs and lows over the last few months. I’ll be joining others on 5 July at 5pm to say #ThankYouTogether!

I’d like to thank the shop workers at [INSERT HANDLE] who opened early for me before I went to work. I’ll be joining others on 5 July at 5pm to say #ThankYouTogether! #NHSBirthday

Join the NHS – use this wording or promote joining your team

Staff at every level of our NHS have gone above and beyond in recent months to care for our friends, families and loved ones, as well as each other. For the #NHSBirthday — find out how you could make a difference to the lives of others. Join us.

Live Well, Work Well, Care Well – share a story

Looking after our own health and wellbeing has never been more important. This #NHSBirthday, share your stories for how you’ve improved ways to live, work and care well and inspire others to do the same.

Digital update

The digital healthcare services teams continue to look at ways that use digital technologies and information to improve their services. One of the ways staff can access these services is through the new digital healthcare services news and updates area on BOB.

This area will include regular updates on established systems and news about utilising some of our newer tools such as Microsoft Teams.

Most recent updates include:

  • A new self-service password reset feature to help everyone reset their password quickly without having to contact the IT service desk. Before first use you will need to register your account and enter some security information. You will be prompted to do this each time you login. You can do it straight away by clicking ‘Yes’ on the NetIQ Password Manager pop-up or at a later date and logging in as normal, by selecting ‘No’.
  • The Windows 10 teams have done a great job of supporting everyone to continue working, whether from a new location or in an adapted job role, resulting in two-thirds of our devices now operating on Windows 10. For those that are still on Windows 7, look out for a nagware message that prompts the next steps for your Windows 10 migration.
  • There is a growing need for all staff to use the NDDH phone system We would like to remind everyone that there is a helpful set of telephone system guides in the help & support section of your Zenworks window. You can still contact the IT service desk to order new equipment or report any damage, and all information on bleeps, rotas and ward numbers is available on the switchboard area on BOB.
  • The digital training team are restarting all face-to-face training on Monday 6 July 2020. If you require training on TrakCare, RiO, Epro or Labcentre the new schedule is now available to book in Star. We have reconfigured our training room for a smaller number of attendees to allow for social distancing. Hand sanitizer and wipes are available. Our training suite has been certified as a COVID-19 secure/green area, so whilst you are attending training, wearing a mask is optional. For Microsoft Office and IT Skills Pathway, visit our Digital and Microsoft Office Skills page on BOB.
  • How are we doing? A new service statistics page has been launched to promote digital ideas moving forward and help you find information about service desks wait times, how to contact the service desk and performance information.

We will continue to issue updates and service changes, so keep checking back on the digital healthcare services pages on BOB.

Thank you: Payroll Team

Today’s thank you comes from Debbie Thomson, head of payroll.

She says: “I would like to say thank you to the members of the Payroll Team.

“Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the team had to change their ways of working (that have been in place for many years!) in less than a week. We have now processed 2 monthly payrolls working remotely – a huge well done to you all and what a great achievement!

“We are still delivering the same great level of service we have always prided ourselves on, just through a virtual platform and emails rather than face to face!”

If you would like to say thank you, have an example of someone going over and above or of teams working together and/or innovatively please contact and tell us all about it.

Posted in coronavirus.

Last updated: July 2, 2020