Western Morning News

Derriford ready for an upsurge in patients, says chief executive


DERRIFORD Hospital in Plymouth has experience­d lower patient numbers than originally predicted for April, the chief executive of Plymouth University Hospitals NHS Trust has said.

Ann James praised the “incredible” response from staff, who have been “very flexible about moving around the hospital” to work in any area that they are needed during the coronaviru­s crisis.

Ms James, who has been at the helm of the hospital for eight years revealed that “the huge surge of patients” that had been expected has not yet been experience­d. But she admitted the trust is “not out of the woods yet”.

She said, however, she is “very confident” that the hospital “stands in really good stead” due to the planning in place. It comes as more than 110 patients have recovered from

Covid-19 thanks to the efforts of Derriford Hospital staff.

In a short video update, Ms James said: “Our staff have been incredible as you would expect. We’ve been really up skilling a whole group of staff and asking them to be prepared to work in any area that our patients might need them. Staff have been very flexible about moving around the hospital so we’re feeling very well prepared for that. We’ve really upskilled the training for our staff and I think the response from them has been incredible. We couldn’t have asked for more.

“At the moment we’re not seeing that huge surge of patients that we were expecting... I’m very confident that our planning for more patients coming through will stand us in really good stead as we see some of those changes happen over the next couple of weeks.”

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