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Chief nurse at hospital pledges ‘we’ll do our best’ to fight coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 13:06 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 18 March 2020

Libby McManus, chief nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital  Picture: QEH

Libby McManus, chief nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Picture: QEH

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A chief nurse has admitted the fight against coronavirus is the biggest challenge she has seen the NHS face in her 35-year career as she vowed staff would do their best to keep patients and themselves safe.

Five cases of the virus were confirmed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn yesterday.

MORE - Five cases of coronavirus confirmed at hospital

Its chief nurse Libby McManus said it was the biggest challenge the NHS had faced during her 35-year nursing career.

But in an interview with BBC Radio Norfolk, Miss McManus said: “The reassuring think I want to say to the community is that we’re working hard, we’ve got plans, we’re refining them every day.

“There will be a peak with this illness when it becomes very difficult for us to manage but we’re going to do our best to keep patients safe and our staff safe as well.”

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEHThe Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEH

Miss McManus said she wanted to thank the public for their support during the crisis.

“We employ 3,000 people here looking after our community and the public have been exceptionally helpful in terms of some of the restrictions we’ve put in,” she said.

“We’re prepared, we have a plan, we’re enacting that and that’s our duty and our responsibility in the community.”
Miss McManus said those suffering coronavirus would be treated by staff wearing masks and protective clothing, similar to those suffering from flu.

She said restrictions on visiting were intended to reduce footfall but managers had discretion with regard to expectant mums and the elderly nearing the end of their lives.

Notices about the suspension of visiting at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, Picture: SubmittedNotices about the suspension of visiting at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, Picture: Submitted

Many routine consultations will now be dealt with over the phone and Miss McManus said patients should not attend appointments but wait for staff to contact them.

She said many elective operations had been cancelled to prioritise beds and staff to cope with people suffering respiratory illness.

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