All Staff Update, Tuesday 30 June 2020

In this edition:

  • NDHT COVID-19 figures at a glance
  • COVID-19 antibody testing: staff testing at NDHT – reminder
  • Swabbing of carers and visitors – new
  • COVID-19 safety measures in the Seamoor Unit – new
  • NDHT scores well again in cancer patient survey – new
  • Thank you: bowel and bladder care team – new

Update from the COVID-19 Co-ordination Cell

NDHT figures at a glance

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. Over 60% of staff (including Sodexo) have now been tested.

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). Please note that area testing has now finished.

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 to avoid queues forming and 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 once confirmed. 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

Swabbing of carers and visitors

In April we began widespread testing of:

  • all emergency admissions
  • all inpatients
  • all elective inpatients

Testing these groups of patients allows us to manage patients according to blue/green pathways and limit the risk of transmission to patients, staff and visitors.

We have recently become aware that some carers and those accompanying patients to hospital for elective procedures have also been swabbed. Please note testing is not to be provided for these groups.

These groups of people are classed as visitors and therefore should follow guidance for visitors – wear masks when in the hospital and practice social distancing and hand hygiene.

Video: COVID-19 safety measures in the Seamoor Unit

Recent patient engagement in Devon has been asking patients about their concerns when attending hospital appointments. These have included:

  • Concerns about catching COVID-19 while in hospital
  • Not wanting to burden the NHS
  • Concerns about getting (more) time off work to isolate before an appointment and then attend it
  • Not being able to attend appointments with a family member, friend or carer – or have visitors

Our services and staff look a bit different right now because of all the safety measures we’re putting in place to protect patients and staff from COVID-19. These measures will be really familiar to us, but for patients who haven’t left their homes very much over the past few months, the experience of having an appointment will be unfamiliar.

To reassure patients who need to come into the Seamoor Unit for urgent treatment that can only be provided face to face, we have created a video walkthrough showing all the safety measures we’ve put in place.

We have also posted the video on our Facebook page and on Twitter – please share our posts so we can reach more people who may need to come to the Seamoor Unit in the near future.

Share our Facebook post

Retweet our Tweet

*Please note that some of this video was filmed before the face coverings guidance mentioned above came in (15 June). When you come into the Seamoor Unit now, you will see a lot more face masks and face coverings being used than in the video.

Other news

NDHT scores well again in cancer patient survey

Cancer patients receiving treatment at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust have again rated their treatment positively, with an average score of 8.8 out of 10, according to the results of the 2019 National Cancer Patient Experience Survey.

This annual survey looks at how cancer patients feel about the care provided by the NHS with results published by NHS England. In total, 274 patients responded out of a total of 423 patients, resulting in a response rate of 65%.

NDHT was rated above-average in several areas, including:

  • Patient thought they were seen as soon as necessary – 88%
  • Patient found it very or quite easy to contact their cancer nurse specialist (CNS) – 91%
  • Beforehand, patient had all the information needed about the operation – 100%
  • Patient definitely found hospital staff to discuss worries or fears during their outpatient
  • or day case visit – 78%
  • Patient given enough information about whether chemotherapy was working in a completely understandable way – 76%.

Other areas in which NDHT scored highly included:

  • Patient definitely involved as much as they wanted in decisions about care and treatment – 82%
  • Patient given the name of a CNS who would support them through their treatment – 92%
  • Patient always felt they were treated with respect and dignity while in hospital – 88%
  • Hospital staff told patient who to contact if worried about condition or treatment after
  • leaving hospital – 91%
  • General practice staff definitely did everything they could to support patient during treatment – 62%

There were no areas in which NDHT performed less well than expected. Most question scores for NDHT were similar or slightly better than those for the previous survey.

There was a marked increase from 2018 to 2019 in the number of patients giving positive feedback on the information received about radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Well done to everyone who has played a part in achieving these great results.

Full results can be accessed via the website

Thank you: bladder and bowel care team

Today’s thank you comes from Debbie Yarde, clinical lead, bladder and bowel care service.

She says: “Please can I say thank you to the adult bladder and bowel care team including a ‘welcome back’ those who left us virtually overnight to support RD&E community services and are now back with us.

“I am so proud of the way all of the team have responded to the rapid changes we have had to make. Many of the clinicians immediately volunteered to be redeployed to areas likely to be dealing with COVID-19 positive patients. In the end not all of those who volunteered were re-deployed but as a result we have been able to provide telephone consultations to a large number of patients, requiring both new and follow-up appointments.

“This has been happening from offices and clinicians homes and supported by an equally hard working admin team. I know from comments that patients have really appreciated the calls and that the psychological impact has often been as meaningful as the practical advice. The work you have all done puts us in good stead for implementing our recovery.”

Posted in coronavirus.

Last updated: June 30, 2020