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Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to split into emergency zones

PUBLISHED: 17:03 19 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:00 19 March 2020

A patient has tested positive for coronavirus at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
 Picture: Nick Butcher

A patient has tested positive for coronavirus at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Nick Butcher

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Norfolk’s largest hospital will introduce treatment zones as part of changes during of the coronavirus pandemic.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is implementing the measures from next week as part of its plans to treat patients with or without the Covid-19 virus.

Those arriving at the hospital will be directed to either the green or yellow area based on their symptoms.

The hospital has separated itself into areas with green designated for patients being treated without the virus and yellow for those with positive or suspected coronavirus symptoms.

The hospital will also move to reduce face-to-face outpatient consultations with telephone and video calls.

Pregnant women attending the hospital for antenatal clinics will be asked to attend any maternity appointments in the community, hospital or ultrasound scans unaccompanied. Following any scans, women will have a teleconsultation with a doctor once they have returned home.

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From April 15 the hospital will suspend all non-urgent surgery for at least three months, with other procedures likely to be rescheduled. This is to allow staff to receive training and adapt to other areas.

Sam Higginson, NNUH chief executive, said: “We are living in unprecedented times for the health service with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, which has meant that we have advanced plans to carry out telephone and video consultations, which will reduce the risk to our patients and staff.

“Our teams have begun treating the first cases of COVID-19 and we are prioritising our response to the new strain of coronavirus and creating as much capacity as we can to cope with the increased demand.

“The safety of all our staff and our patients is paramount during these challenging times and we’d like to thank everyone for their support so far.”

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Arrangements are being made for more employees to park at and around the hospital to reduce the risk of infection by not using public transport.

Further measures include patients and staff being asked to minimise their movement and avoid visiting unless absolutely necessary.

The hospital also announced urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments will be carrying on as normal.

Adult patients who need to attend outpatient appointments on side are asked to attend alone if possible.

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