No ‘trauma’ – our trauma and orthopaedics department rise to the challenge of keeping patients safe during Covid-19

Covid supplies

Our Trauma and Orthopaedic department Our Trauma and Orthopaedic department, like many across our Trust, has rapidly risen to the challenge of changing how they work to help keep our patients safe during Covid 19.

At the beginning of the pandemic, in just one week the team managed to move all their services from Queen’s Hospital to the Independent Treatment Centre (ISTC) at King George Hospital. In normal times such a move would have taken several weeks.

Several teams were involved with the move overseen by the Trauma and Orthopaedics department, Lucy Gladman, Deputy Divisional Manager for Anaesthetics and Lee Basso, Deputy Director of Strategy.  He said: “This was a very concentrated logistical piece of work delivered at a significant pace. I think it is a great example of what we can achieve if we all work as one system across the healthcare sector.  This would have not have been possible without the can-do attitude and willingness of the entire team to work around the clock and get services up and running for the following week.”

A visit took place to view the ISTC site on Tuesday 24 March, and an agreement reached to use the site for our services.  By that Friday (27 March), all of the department’s equipment and infrastructure was packed up, moved and installed in time to see patients the following Monday (30 March).  Even Havering Council got in on the act by kindly volunteering to provide a lorry to transport the department’s very large omnicell cabinet from Romford to the King George site in Ilford!

Departments across our Trust and the healthcare sector worked together at speed to achieve the move from transport, pharmacy, procurement, medical records, coding and IT.  Lee added: “It was a great partnership for the greater good.”

Since the move there has been a large amount of planning and restructuring of services to help manage pressures and changing practices to deliver services safely for both Covid and non Covid patients including:

  • Treating nearly 1,700 fracture clinic patients over the phone in five weeks, meaning 40 per cent less patients having to come to hospital for a face-to-face consultation.
  • Treating 210 paediatric outpatient trauma patients.
  • Re-arranging clinical rotas to ensure safe staffing for all trauma and orthopaedic teams at Queen’s Hospital and ISTC at King George Hospital.
  • Holding virtual meetings for daily trauma meetings, handovers, orthopaedic MDTs and business meetings. 
  • Partnership working between our trauma theatre team and the ISTC theatre team.
  • Carrying out 23 operations in Queen’s Hospital and 83 operations at ISTC.
  • Providing training opportunities for junior doctors and submitting research papers for publications.

Our consultants also wanted to provide services for people unable to come to our hospitals due to the lockdown.  They created three short videos for:

From Wednesday 18 May the department plans to start undertaking elective procedures at Holly House Hospital in Buckhurst Hill. 

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