Local NHS leaders confirm that as the Covid-19 pandemic escalates, difficult decisions have to be made to manage unprecedented levels of cases, whilst keeping patients and staff safe in our hospitals.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive, Karen Partington, said: “Working with local health and care partners, we have assessed the potential repercussions on our hospitals in terms of capacity, availability of medical equipment, and delivering a safe and effective service. The priority of the Trust is to ensure a safe patient experience and safe staffing levels, in all areas.
“At this time of exceptional circumstance, the Trust has a responsibility to act in the best interests of patients and staff and this will require a temporary reorganisation of our urgent and emergency systems. These measures are temporary and all services will be reinstated as soon as possible.
“We will make decisions based on recommendations from leading clinicians and health care specialists. All the decisions have been made with the support of the Trust Board, Clinical Commissioning Group, Integrated Care System, NHS England and NHS Improvement.
“We would like to recognise the amazing work and efforts of our NHS staff and volunteers, as they deliver care and treatment, in a sensitive and humane way to all patients, over the next weeks and months.
“This move will allow us to harness all our available resources on a single site with the largest intensive care units, in order to better care for our patients.
"In addition, it will reduce the risks associated with transporting infectious patients between locations.
“Diluting our approach would unnecessarily put lives at risk. I would ask the public at this time to be understanding of the measures we are taking and the reasons behind them.”
The decisions, which are fully supported by the Trust Board, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Integrated Care System, NHS England and NHS Improvement have been made as an interim temporary measure under emergency powers and will be returned to normality, once the pandemic is over.
Karen, Denis and their wider leadership teams are calling for everyone to recognise the mammoth task ahead for us all and to support the amazing work of our NHS staff and volunteers, as they deliver care and treatment over the next weeks and months.
A statement regarding the reconfiguration of medical services will be released in the next 48 hours, once all staff have been fully apprised of the situation.
Karen Partington, - Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Denis Gizzi - Chief Officer at NHS Chorley and South Ribble and Greater Preston CCGs