Covid outbreak reported at Suffolk hospice
- Credit: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE
A "small number" of patients and some staff have tested positive for Covid-19 at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.
The hospice has temporarily stopped admitting new patients in an attempt to control the outbreak, but it is still caring for its eight current patients.
The staff who have tested positive are now self-isolating with their close contacts.
Dr Kelvin Bengtson, medical director at St Elizabeth Hospice said: “The recent introduction of home (lateral flow) testing of our frontline staff has resulted in a number of people testing positive even though many are not displaying any symptoms.
"As soon as this became apparent we took immediate steps to limit the spread of infection as much as possible. We adapted our services back in March so the number of patients visiting the building was already reduced, hospice day care and outpatient appointments as well as our Zest groups for young adults had already been paused.
"The people we care for are some of the most vulnerable who are living with incurable illnesses and it is vital that we do all we can to protect them.
"As soon as the outbreak is controlled and staffing levels as well as the environment is safe to do so, we will commence admission to the Inpatient Unit again.
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“I’d especially like to recognise the staff at St Elizabeth Hospice for the speed and thoroughness with which they’ve acted. The teams have extensive controls in place and our partners are supporting us closely."
Since March the hospice has had extensive infection prevention and control measures in place to prevent and manage coronavirus infections.
These include staff working from home or in strict bubbles, compulsory face masks to be worn on all their sites, strict hand washing regimes, social distancing throughout the hospice, and use of medical PPE.