Exposed to patients with non-Covid illnesses who later tested positive
Twenty-four members of staff at Hammersmith Hospital’s intensive care unit (ICU) are self-isolating as a precaution after exposure to Covid-19.
A spokesperson for Imperial College London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, confirmed the news this Friday (30 October).
An anonymous source explained that it happened after two patients, who arrived with non-Covid issues, were admitted to the ICU.
The two patients were thought to be clear of Covid but subsequently tested positive.
It is not known whether any of the 24 ICU staff have since tested positive.
The Trust has said the staff absences “have not impacted” its capacity at Hammersmith Hospital’s ICU.
A Trust spokesperson said: “We are prepared to respond to the rising number of cases of Covid-19 nationally and have comprehensive internal test and trace procedures in place to help keep our staff and patients safe.
“This helps us respond quickly if a patient tests positive for Covid-19 unexpectedly to ensure that there is no further spread of the virus. As a precaution, 24 members of staff at Hammersmith ICU were asked to self-isolate recently following potential contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19, as per our usual policies.
“This has not impacted our ICU capacity as we also have robust plans in place to support and cover in instances where staff are required to self-isolate.”
On Wednesday (October 28), the Trust confirmed it had 55 patients who had tested positive, of whom 13 were on ventilators. These figures include patients at the Trust’s two other major hospitals in West London, Charing Cross Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital.
Owen Sheppard – Local Democracy Reporter
October 30, 2020