Rob says the ability to test not only gets staff showing symptoms of the virus back to work much quicker — especially if they’re not carrying the virus or have recovered —but is helping to protect patients and providing a huge boost to the morale of front line health workers.
He explained, “We are so grateful to the Albion, Sodexo and all those involved for their work in setting up, hosting and manning the test centre at the Amex. Being able to test staff means we can get them back on the front line much quicker if they’ve shown any symptoms.
“By being able to test, we can see that a doctor or healthcare worker who might be showing one of the symptoms doesn’t have the virus, that’s a huge bonus. Often our junior doctors are also sharing accommodation, so in some cases this frees up three or four staff to return to work.
“It also gives the workers peace of mind when it comes to spending time with family and loved ones — knowing they are not at risk if they can be sure they’re not carrying the virus. So the boost to health workers in Sussex is a huge one.”
Rob also reiterated that people must continue to follow the lockdown measures and he pleaded for those with other illnesses to come to A&E for treatment.
He added, “The lockdown is working and I urge everyone to continue following the government’s guidelines. You really are helping us save lives and fight this deadly pandemic.
“Lockdown and social distancing is helping us to flatten the curve, cope with those hospitalised by the virus but also deal with other medical emergencies. Those suffering non-corona emergencies should continue to come to A&E.
“We have split the hospital to deal with coronavirus and non-coronavirus patients — and limit the spread and the risk to all concerned. So if you need emergency health care please continue to come to A&E.”
Meanwhile, Rob believes that test sites and contact tracing is the route to beating the virus and ending the national lockdown.
“We must continue to follow government advice and be patient, but testing and contact tracing can provide us with an exit strategy from the lockdown. It will take time and people need to be patient and follow NHS and government advice.
“However the more we can do in terms of testing and contact tracing, including full isolation and lockdown for 14 days for anyone with the virus, will move us towards ending the lockdown.”